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.
(more…)