Why is Grenada similar to and different from the Seychelles or other small economies?

Grenada (Photo via the World Bank)
Grenada (Photo via the World Bank)

A dreamy holiday destination for sun lovers and beach goers, Grenada, also called the “Spice Island,” is home to over 100,000 people. With an ocean area 80 times larger than its land space, a rich and pristine coastline and colorful coral reefs driving its tourism industry, and a real understanding of climate risks, this Eastern Caribbean Island has recently positioned itself as a real blue economy champion in the region. Over 13,000 kilometers west, another small island developing state in the Western Indian Ocean with similar challenges and opportunities—the Seychelles—is also leading on the blue agenda.

What common challenges and opportunities are facing small economies? What can the World Bank contribute to generate stable growth in small economies? These are key questions raised in recent conversations in the Caribbean and Washington.

Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, recently appointed as chair of the World Bank Group Small States Forum taking over from Seychelles Minister of Finance Jean-Paul Adam, called for the need to change the narrative from big to small, and in doing so, address opportunities for small states.

Read more at: The World Bank

Agriculture stakeholders discuss regional food safety

Fruits and vegetables (OECS website)

May 2, 2017 — In an effort to enhance the quality of agricultural produce in the Region, food safety stakeholders convened in Barbados from April 25-26, 2017 to discuss the improvement of plant health in the Region.

The two-day consultations, conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services Services (APHIS), and the Greater Caribbean Safeguarding Initiative (GCIS), discussed the implementation of programmes to safeguard the region from the introduction and spread of pests and invasive species.

A primary objective of the gathering was to foster synergies among partners and formulate plans for the upcoming year. The meeting also sought to develop the draft agenda for 10th Annual Caribbean Plant Health Directors’ (CPHD) Forum Meeting, scheduled to be held in the Dominican Republic in July, 2017.

The meeting in progress (Photo via OECS)
The meeting in progress (Photos via OECS)

Read more at: OECS 

CDB funds project to prevent loss of correspondent banking relationships

March 17, 2017, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding of US$250,000 to strengthen financial transparency, and assist in preventing the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) in the Region.

In the Caribbean, CBRs facilitate a number of payment systems, including international trade, cross-border payments and receiving of remittances. Recently, some large international banks have started terminating or severely limiting their CBRs with smaller local and regional banks, in an effort to reduce exposure to risks associated with money-laundering and financing of terrorism. This process, known as de-risking, has negative implications for the Caribbean, potentially resulting the loss of trade relationships and negative economic impacts.

CBRs are fundamental to the efficient operation and resilience of the global financial system. This project will contribute to a more stable financial system in the Caribbean, which will in turn allow more banks to access CBRs, so that they can continue to carry out international transactions. This is critical if the Caribbean is to reduce poverty and spur economic development,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects at the CDB. (more…)

Sir K. Dwight Venner memoralised at ECCB Headquarters

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MARCH 2ND, 2017 (PRESS SEC) — The late Honourable Sir K. Dwight Venner, the second Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the longest-serving one, was honoured today, Thursday, 2 March, 2017, during a naming and unveiling ceremony at the Bank’s headquarters in St. Kitts.

The Phase 1 building, which was officially opened on 29 October, 1994, is now named in honour of Sir K. Dwight Venner who served as Governor from December 1989 to November 2015.  Sir Venner passed away in Saint Lucia on Thursday, 22 December, 2016, at the age of 70.

The late Honourable Sir K. Dwight Venner’s widow, Lady Lynda Arnolde Winville Venner, and other family members attended this morning’s ceremony.  His Excellency Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton GCMG, CVO, QC, JP was also in attendance.  Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, current ECCB Governor Mr. Timothy Antoine, and other representatives of the governing bodies of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank – namely its Monetary Council and Board of Directors – were present, too, along with members of the Bank’s Management and current and retired staff.

Speaking at the naming and unveiling ceremony, Ms. Zinga Venner, said that, “On behalf of my mom Lady Lynda Venner, all of my siblings and myself, I would like to thank the Monetary Council of the ECCB for showing such great appreciation and recognition for our father’s work through bestowing this honour of naming this building after him.  While he is not physically here with us today, he is with us in spirit.”

Ms. Zinga Venner divulged that, “Thankfully, he was also aware of this great acknowledgment before he transitioned to the next life, and he was very pleased and touched when he was updating us on this development.”  She added: “I can assure you that he is looking down at us at this very moment with a large smile.”   (more…)

OECS taking steps to fully embrace digital economy

From R-L: Mr. Simon Alexander, Ambassador Patrick Antoine, Mr. Embert Charles, Dr. Didacus Jules, Hon. Melford Nicholas, Ms. Rhea Yaw Ching, Mr. Bennet Thomas and Mr. Bevil Wooding. (Photo via OECS)
From right: Mr. Simon Alexander, Ambassador Patrick Antoine, Mr. Embert Charles, Dr. Didacus Jules, Hon. Melford Nicholas, Ms. Rhea Yaw Ching, Mr. Bennet Thomas and Mr. Bevil Wooding. (Photo via OECS)

Friday, February 24, 2017 — OECS Member States are taking steps to fully embrace the digital economy. The OECS Commission has formed a special ICT Strategy Group to consider the region’s options for using technology more effectively to facilitate its integration agenda. The group is being chaired by the OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules.

The OECS ICT Strategy Group has been established to ensure that the region is positioned to take full advantage of the digital revolution by removing obstacles and creating new digital opportunities for people and businesses. The Group is comprised of government ministers, telecom regulators, ICT experts and senior policy makers and builds on work already underway in the Eastern Caribbean to address some of the barriers to greater adoption of technology-based services.

“The future prosperity of our region is hinged to how well we leverage information and communications technology to enable the seamless movement of people, goods and capital in the sub-region. The OECS has already made significant strides in this regard. However, there is still more to be done. We must now take steps to ensure our institutions and industries adapt, and that our citizens are able to make full use of the potential of digital services and goods.

Read more at: Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)