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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PMs Mitchell, Chastanet for World Bank conference on Caribbean’s socio-economic situation

 

PM Allen Chastanet
PM Allen Chastanet
The Action Plan was piloted by the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell, who has lead responsibility for Science and Technology in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet
PM Keith Mitchell

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.

Read more at: Jamaica Observer

Resilience of Caribbean people will determine success or failure- former PM Arthur

Former Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur (Photo via Barbados Today)
Former Prime Minister of Barbados, Owen Arthur (Photo via Barbados Today)

There are no quick fix solutions to the Caribbean’s economic troubles with or without the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The new type IMF programmes will not in and of themselves solve the problems of the Caribbean. At best, they will function as catalysts which can trigger access to additional resources, and help to generate new policy responses from others that all together may help to make a situation which started as being unsustainable, come into the realm of being manageable.” Mr. Owen Arthur, economist and former Prime Minister of Barbados

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur issued this advice as he delivered the Sir Archibald Need Memorial Lecture in Grenada today entitled ‘Can the prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund solve the economic problems of the Caribbean?’

Clearly listing the severe challenges confronting regional economies, which include high debt, low or no growth, and unsound fiscal positions, he made it clear that “countries facing such a brutal reality must draw therefore upon more than what the IMF provides for”.

Read more at: Barbados Today