World Bank to approach private sector for ferry services in the Eastern Caribbean

World Bank to approach private sector for ferry services in the Eastern Caribbean

Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Trevor Brathwaite, in a recent interview with OBSERVER media, said that a study conducted by the World Bank shows that a regional ferry service is feasible. In May 2017, MTBS was selected by the World Bank to support the execution and preparation of this study.

“The World Bank study shows that a regional ferry service is viable and it is not cost prohibitive. They have just completed their study and are now making a pitch to bring in private sector players in developing this ferry service. The ferry will be able to move goods, people and vehicles from north to south throughout the region,” Brathwaite explained.

The deputy governor stated that the ferry system that is being looked at could facilitate individuals across the region who may travel from one island to another for whatever reason, to do so with ease. He gave the example of a person vacationing in Dominica but not wanting to rent a vehicle when they get to Dominica, he said that this person would be able to put their vehicle on the ferry and take it with them.

He acknowledged that this kind of service is the norm in European and Asian countries. He said that the vessels that are being considered are fast ferries that will be able to travel from port to another in reasonable time.

Brathwaite said that this ferry system will boost the economies of the islands that it services. He said that tourism would be an area that will likely see an increase. According to him, a lot of tourists like to explore the islands and they would be able to come to Antigua, rent a vehicle then take that vehicle to St. Lucia. He posited that the islands will “share the spoils.”

The ECCB deputy governor said that he will personally be pushing for continued dialogue regarding this project because he thinks it is an excellent idea that could reap massive benefits for Caribbean states.

Source: Antigua Observer

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