CDB President wants faster transformation for a prosperous, socially just, globally competitive Region

CDB President, Warren Smith (Photo via CDB)
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(CDB Press Release) The President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Wm Warren Smith, highlighted at the opening ceremony of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Bank’s Board of Governors that the Caribbean Region was running out of time to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

“We are moving too slowly in doing those things, which will ensure that, by the year 2030, our Region will have delivered on our promise to eliminate poverty and to reduce inequality,” said Smith on Wednesday.

In his statement, the President noted that a combination of factors, such as the volatility of petroleum markets and depressed commodity prices, increased frequency and intensity of natural disaster, business environment reforms that lag behind other regions, and inadequate fiscal and debt management contributed to growth slowing to less than 1% in the past decade. At the same time, there was a rapid build-up of debt, with 10 Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) exceeding the international benchmark of 60% of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of 2018. Concurrently, the attractiveness of Caribbean countries for investment has declined noticeably, according to data published by the World Bank.

Despite the fact that the Caribbean Region is off track in delivering on the promise of prosperity and social justice for the people, the President expressed his conviction that the 2030 Agenda was still achievable.

Many BMCs, such as Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago, have already begun to implement some difficult reforms in response to the fiscal and debt challenges and to improve the business environment.

In line with the Annual Meeting’s theme of “Transformation!” President Smith said: “One exciting opportunity for our BMCs to leapfrog to the 2030 Agenda is to harness the power of digital technologies that are now part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Read more at: Caribbean Development Bank 

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