Positive economic growth expected for Caribbean in 2018, but resilience-building measures needed

Dr. Justin Ram

February 7, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is projecting regional economic growth of 2% in 2018. This follows a return to positive figures last year, during which the Region experienced overall growth of 0.6%–despite the devastation caused by the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Director of Economics at CDB, Dr. Justin Ram, says that all of CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) are expected to contribute to the positive movement.

 “This is mainly driven by the return to growth in Trinidad and Tobago and a 2.3% uptick in Jamaica, which accounts for about a fifth of regional GDP. The highest growth rates are anticipated for Anguilla and Dominica as they rebuild from the damage caused by the 2017 hurricanes. Antigua and Barbuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands are also expected to have strong growth.”

Dr. Ram was speaking during CDB’s Annual News Conference on February 7, 2018. He noted, however, that although a return to growth is encouraging, the Caribbean still lags behind other small developing states. In the Region, growth has averaged 0.8% since 2009, compared to an average of 4.8% in other country groups.

Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is a regional financial institution which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, in Kingston, Jamaica, and entered into force on January 26, 1970. The Bank came into existence for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them, having special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the region (Article 1 of the Agreement establishing CDB). In the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the CDB is recognised as and Associate Institution of CARICOM.
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CDB President announces up to US$800M for disaster recovery, amid strong Bank performance in 2017

Dr. Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)

February 7, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, today announced that the institution is making USD700 to 800 million (mn) available to help Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) recover from the impact of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The funding, which the Bank is providing over the next five years, complements its ongoing work to build resilience in the Caribbean Region.

 “Disaster risk management and resilience building took centre-stage again in CDB’s strategic responses to the challenges facing our BMCs,” said Smith while outlining the Bank’s 2017 performance during his Annual News Conference on February 7, 2018.

“To incentivise BMCs to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure, CDB must be able to also offer grant and other attractively priced financial resources. But the challenges our Region faces are bigger than what CDB can handle on its own. We have, therefore, been drawing on a combination of our own resources as well as funds intermediated through CDB by other development partners to meet this challenge,” he added.

In 2017, the Bank mobilised concessionary resources from development partners to support more resilient infrastructure projects throughout the Region.

Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is a regional financial institution which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, in Kingston, Jamaica, and entered into force on January 26, 1970. The Bank came into existence for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them, having special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the region (Article 1 of the Agreement establishing CDB). In the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the CDB is recognised as and Associate Institution of CARICOM.
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In Guyana, a golden opportunity to reduce poverty through agriculture

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January 25, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – There’s a new buzz in Guyana, which could help the government attain its development goals, and may boost entrepreneurship.

Known in the agricultural sector for its sugar and rice, the Government of Guyana, with support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is aiming to add honey to the list, and in the process, provide a sustainable pathway out of poverty for Guyanese.

Having wrapped up five days of training at the end of 2017, 25 new beekeepers have charged into the New Year eager about their prospects-some of them youth, launching businesses for the first time, some women, excited about the financial independence the industry can bring.

 “I’ve always wanted to pursue an avenue that can help to supplement my family income, but was constrained by the lack of jobs in the area, having children to look after, and not having a skill I can utilise at home to earn,” said Sharon Butts, an unemployed, stay-at-home mother who participated in the workshop.

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Grenada to host CDB’s 48th Annual Meeting

cdb logoGrenada will host the 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), which is scheduled to take place on May 30 and 31, 2018. The programme for this year’s Meeting will focus on resilience, against the backdrop of one of the most devastating hurricane seasons the Caribbean Region has experienced in recent history.

Approximately 400 delegates, including Government Ministers and officials, private sector representatives, members of civil society, academia, and media are expected to attend the Meeting. The event will highlight the impact of the Bank’s investments in its 19 borrowing member countries (BMCs). In addition, participants will take part in strategic discussions on resolving some of the Caribbean Region’s most pressing economic and social development issues.

“CDB thanks the Government of Grenada for agreeing to host the Bank’s 48th Annual Meeting. We look forward to working hand in hand with local officials on this flagship event. I am optimistic about the outcomes the Meeting will realise as our partners gather with a common goal to help this Region achieve resilience in all its forms,” said Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President, CDB.

Read more at: Caribbean Development Bank