OREANDA-NEWS. A European Investment Bank (EIB) delegation, led by Pim van Ballekom, the EIB Vice President responsible for lending in the Caribbean, is in Suriname this week to explore opportunities for financing new projects in the country.

In his first visit to the country, Mr. Van Ballekom and his team of investment officers and advisers discussed financing opportunities with senior officials of the government of Suriname, private investors and project developers, with a view to providing loans to Surinamese projects. The emphasis will be on investments supporting the private sector, companies and local initiatives. For decades, the European Investment Bank has supported investment essential for private and public sector growth in Suriname and across the Caribbean.

During this visit to Suriname, the delegation will visit projects supported by the EIB in the country, including the Staatsolie energy project. The Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname N.V, specialises in the exploration, production and transport of crude and refined products and produces 17.000 barrels of oil per day. This is the EIB’s first energy project in the Caribbean, which also tackles increasing efficiency, reliability and safety in the transportation of crude oil, and supports one of Suriname’s growing sectors in the local economy in a sustainable manner. The visit will be followed by a transfer to Guyana where further discussions will take place with Guyanese officials. 

Pim Van Ballekom, EIB Vice President said: “We enjoyed an interesting exchange of ideas about future support, in particular for projects in the private sector in Suriname. The project we will visit during our stay is a great example of what we can achieve with local partners. The development of the Tambaredjoveld and the pipeline has contributed to the improvement and sustainability of energy transport. With our diverse sector engagement across the world, we can bring expertise from other geographies to the Caribbean. The EIB started lending in Suriname in 1968, but it has been quite a while since we signed a new project. Suriname should be able to benefit from our support and we hope to continue to finance projects across the country, including in transport and energy and support schemes for entrepreneurs, such as SMEs."

The visit was made possible with assistance from the EU delegation in Georgetown and the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Paramaribo.

H.E. Jernej Videti?, EU-ambassador: "The EU Delegation is delighted to welcome this important visit from the European Investment Bank. Investment and financing opportunities will doubtless be most welcome in Suriname, both in public and private sector development and such investment would complement the existing EU projects here, for example in sustainable agriculture and sustainability of the power sector."