World Bank Group launches Caribbean Growth Forum

-to stimulate economic growth, job creation

The World Bank Group last Thursday launched the Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF), a platform for dialogue aimed at promoting policies and partnerships for increased economic growth.

According to a World Bank press release, the scheme is a one-year partnership among the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) that will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas on policies to stimulate sustainable and inclusive growth and job creation. The IDB, World Bank and the CDB singed an agreement formalising their collaboration during the CDB Board Meeting in the Cayman Islands.

The CGF will build on existing partnerships and invoke stakeholders from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society as well as in the Caribbean Diaspora, the release said. “We want to facilitate a Caribbean-led transformational dialogue generating fresh thinking on innovation-based growth-oriented policies,” Francoise Clottes, World Bank Director for the Caribbean, explained.

The Forum will draw from practical development initiatives and research to address cross-cutting regional challenges, such as studies on how to enhance the business environment for existing and new investors in the Caribbean; proposals to unleash stronger competition; policy options to reduce public debt and analyses to improve transportation logistics in the region.

CDB President Warren Smith also noted that accelerating and sustaining inclusive growth is arguably one of the most pressing development challenges preoccupying the region’s leadership and CGF offers an exciting and innovative platform for networking and open exchange of ideas on constructive ways to address the challenge.

According to the Bank, Caribbean countries face many common challenges, such as frequent natural disasters, a small size and lack of economies of scale as well as vulnerability to external shocks. “Economic growth has been structurally low in the region, and most countries experienced a significant economic contraction due to the 2008 global financial crisis,” it said.

In contrast to Latin America, which grew by six percent in 2011, Caribbean countries only grew by an average of 2.3 percent. Caribbean economies also face serious debt challenges. Public debt-to-GDP ratios have reached 100% in a number of countries over the past few years.

“Caribbean countries need to reposition their economies to face emerging challenges in an increasingly integrated global economy,” said Kurt Focke, Division Chief of the Capital Markets and Financial Institutions Division and Chairman of the Compete Caribbean Programme, IDB. The region has done well in capitalising on its natural endowment and geographic location to generate growth, he said, adding that it needs to transition from natural resource-based growth to innovation-based growth.

The first regional conference of the CGF will be held from June 18-19 in Jamaica, followed by Digital Jam 2.0 from June 28 to 30 that will focus on youth and jobs in the Information and Communication Technologies sector.

More in Local News


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning:

Most Read This Week

  1. Ramesh Manbodh

    Man beaten with bat passes away

  2. Bibi Shareema (left) and her mother Bibi Shameela in
happier times

    Greenwich Park woman died 44 days after brutally stabbed by ex-partner

  3. Bharrat Jagdeo

    Meeting of Cabinet at GDF HQ pilloried by Jagdeo

  4. Fast food lovers inside KFC yesterday

    KFC back in business

  5. Workers from the Mayor and City Council removing the pools (Photo by Keno George)

    City Hall removes pools after Sheriff St stand-off

  6. The building housing the home and grocery

    Bandits invade Alness businessman’s house, shots fired

  7. Alimudeen Gobin’s demolished house

    Violent storm lashes No. 19 Village

  8. The ganja found in Prashad Nagar (Police photo)

    Police find 52 lbs of ganja in Prashad Nagar house

  9. tensions

    Player tensions with WICB reaching breaking point: Sir Viv

Recommended For You