PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands, May 24, 2017 – It is time for the Caribbean Region to think big about its small economies, says Deputy Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean at the World Bank, Dr. Daniel Lederman. Further, small economies can be successful by being open and nimble. Lederman delivered the 18th William G. Demas Memorial Lecture, which took place in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands on May 23, 2017, ahead of the start of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
Lederman, joining a distinguished roster of speakers who have delivered the Lecture, spoke on the topic, ‘Thinking Big about Small Economies: From ‘Open and Nimble’ to Talented Workforce’.
The Deputy Chief Economist noted that the characteristic of being small helps ameliorate the volatility caused by fluctuations in global demand for specific goods and services.
The Head of State, who was at the time speaking on the side lines of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said that the majority of the states of the world can be described as small states and, as such, the world cannot be made secure without addressing the threats faced by those countries. “The international community, therefore, must be encouraged to work towards the establishment of a global security system, which would provide protection for small and large states,” the President said.
The Guyanese Leader added that small states like Guyana, lacking the means to combat transnational threats, such as terrorism, must be able to rely on the protection afforded through international cooperation, multilateralism and international law. Small states, he noted, lack the capability to effectively combat transnational security threats on their own and also face environmental threats, such as the adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters, which can have implications for their security. (more…)
The new chairman of the World Bank’s Small States Forum, Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, presented his vision for the Forum’s future at the ‘Small States Engagement Update 2017′ held on April 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Prime Minister Mitchell outlined the agility of Small States and the need for a change in narrative where small size is not seen as a disadvantage but as a distinct advantage.
The 2015 Paris Agreement (COP21) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have shifted the World’s trajectory as it relates to the importance of the role that Small States occupy. Dr. Mitchell noted that some islands have up to 1,000 times more space at sea than they do on land and, as a result, have been at the forefront of the SDG 14 on oceans.
The Grenadian Prime Minister also remarked on the potential for Small States in areas such as the Blue Economy, renewable energy and technology.
“In the Pacific they have created ‘the OPEC of Tuna Fisheries,’ and the ‘Pacific Possible’ initiative seeks new opportunities beyond fisheries.”
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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, has addressed the vulnerability of small states and the role of youth in building resilience. In an article published by the Commonwealth on 21 October, 2016, the Secretary-General spoke of the measures in place in the Community to ensure youths are strategically placed to play their role in building resilience and making the Region more competitive.
“Approximately sixty-three percent or nine million of the Caribbean Community’s population is under the age of 30. This implies that special policies should be developed to facilitate their involvement in the social and economic development of our Region, which is comprised of Small Island and Low-Lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS),” the Secretary-General said.
Please read the Secretary-General’s article: CARICOM SG speaks on role of youth in building resilient economies for small states