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

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 study recommends strategies to promote regional innovation and productivity

Timothy Antoine, Governor, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, making a point during the panel discussion on May 24, 2017. (Photo via CDB)
Timothy Antoine, Governor, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, making a point during the panel discussion on May 24, 2017. (Photo via CDB)

May 25, 2017, PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands – If the Region is to enhance productivity and economic growth, new initiatives and strategies must be explored. A study by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), entitled “Enhancing Productivity and Growth in the Caribbean”, suggests ways of enhancing productivity and economic growth by focusing on four main areas: foreign direct investment (FDI); information and communications technology (ICT); research and development (R&D) and innovation; and the adoption of industrial clustering to promote innovation and productivity.

There is an urgency to find new ways of improving total factor productivity and propelling economic growth in the Caribbean, with the Region facing significant economic challenges associated with high levels of un- and under-employment and poverty; high fiscal deficits; high public debt; reliance on slow growing economic sectors; high levels of volatility; various economic and environmental threats; and the strain of maintaining adequate levels of foreign reserves,” said Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics, CDB.

Dr. Wm. Warren Smith, President, CDB, noted: “The study sets out a core set of productivity enhancement strategies which can propel economic growth onto a higher and more sustainable path, and improve the lives of ordinary Caribbean people over the medium to long term. The proposals set out in the study are intended to provide a practical set of policy measures to advance the growth agenda.”

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 to discuss regional productivity, tourism industry reform at 47th Annual Meeting

Dr Justin Ram
Dr. Justin Ram

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will release two major studies to support the Region’s economic growth agenda at the 47th Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors. The flagship event will be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands from May 24-25, 2017.

“The studies will analyse two issues that are key to advancing economic growth in the Caribbean –regional productivity and tourism industry reform. The findings of this research will provide countries in the Region with insights, data and information that could guide policymaking and action to facilitate sustainable growth,” said Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics, CDB.

One study is entitled, ‘Enhancing Productivity and Growth in the Caribbean’. It will seek to identify the causes of low productivity and growth in the Region, and put forward recommendations for initiatives that could reverse this trend. Findings will be discussed at a seminar on May 24 during the Annual Meeting. Panelists from the public and private sectors will discuss policy initiatives that could substantially strengthen regional growth performance over the medium to long term. (more…)