CWWA Opening Plenary Take Away

There is concern in the local contractor/consultant community that the development banks favor international companies for large Caribbean infrastructure projects. Mr. O’Reilly Lewis, Infrastructure Development Specialist at the Caribbean Development Bank, addressed this question at the Opening Plenary of the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association virtual conference.

Take Away: It is important for local contractors to build their reputation, and because you must build capacity you’ll likely have to start with smaller projects, partner with larger contractors, and build your team.

The procurement process is standardized and similar across Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank and the World Bank. Caribbean infrastructure projects, extensive in size, have stringent qualification standards which can unfortunately exclude many of the local firms. It is quite common that most local firms lack the track record, cash flow and experience, and generally have focused more on local projects rather than working on the international and regional stage. One of The Caribbean Development Bank’s roles is to develop capacity in the region, and they have been mindful about how to encourage local participation. Depending on the size and complexity of a project, particularly in regard to project management and quality control, efforts have been made recently to package projects so that local contractors can bid on and be awarded pieces of a larger contract. The CDB offers procurement training to help strengthen local contactor capacity which can be found here:

Local contractors and consultants, please rest assured that wants to help you too!  We offer a discounted rate for local companies to register in the directory so your business can be found by the international firms doing business in the Region. We often get the calls when international companies are looking for local partners. We can’t refer you if we don’t know you! We will help promote your business and help you make connections! Please reach out to us today to learn more!