MIAMI, United States (CMC) — Two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders are expected to participate in a World Bank conference examining the socio-economic situation in the Caribbean.The March 30 conference, titled ‘The Caribbean Dilemma’ is part of the Americas Conference Series being put on in collaboration with the Miami Herald.
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell of Grenada and St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet are among Caribbean delegates that will participate in the conference.
Chairman of the Economic Growth Council in Jamaica, Michael Lee-Chin, the Governor of the Central Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter and the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine are also schedule to participate in the one-day event.
Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart, on Wednesday stressed that private sector development in the Caribbean remained pivotal and suggested that exporters must continue to be empowered to penetrate global markets. According to him, enabling and strengthening the private sector was the most effective way of ensuring continued economic growth in this Region.
He urged the regional private sector to be proactive and creative and seek to increase the number of projects that could be assisted to the next stage by the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
“Countries like Barbados need foreign exchange for almost every stage of our production in the various sectors. But if we do not earn it, we cannot spend it without serious effects on our entire economy and society. For example, companies in the retail sector – which use a large proportion of foreign reserves in providing the goods that we both need and want – must be creative and explore how they can assist in producing more foreign exchange, through contributing in some way to our export thrust,” he insisted.
The Prime Minister made the remarks at the launch of the 11th European Development Fund’s (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
This was underscored recently by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he met with Jamaica’s CARICOM Single Market and Economy Focal Point representative, Symone Betton-Nayo. Mrs. Betton-Nayo is in Barbados on a five-day official visit as part of an internship exchange programme which is organised by the CARICOM Secretariat in association with the Prime Minister’s Office.
The meeting, which took place at Government Headquarters, was chaired by Minister Boyce, and included Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch; Permanent Secretary (Defence and Security), Timothy Maynard; and Chief Research Officer, Paula Byer.
In his remarks, Senator Boyce said: “I am one of the people who believe that the [CARICOM] Community is developing very nicely from the background of the number of people we process through our airport who go in and out without difficulties. From the number of CSN’s (CARICOM Skilled Nationals) that we issue and the very few that we reject.”