CARICOM establishes new task force

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago: Following the conclusion of a one-day caucus of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads on Sunday, CARICOM has agreed to establish a task force to guide the region’s response to the global economic crisis.

CARICOM Chairman and Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, said the task force, headed by Barbadian economist, Dr. Delisle Worrell, will attempt to determine how the region could access funds agreed to by the G20 group of nations at their meeting earlier this year.

“One of the immediate mandates of the task force is to ascertain exactly what the position is there and, based on the information that would be forthcoming, help us design the modalities for access,” Barrow said.

Guyana President, Bharrat Jagdeo, who was present at the caucus, said it was vital for the region to have a definitive position before meeting with leaders of various financial institutions to obtain the funds.

“What form do we need the funds to flow in? Will it come in as a balance of payment support? Will some come as fiscal support?

“We also have to determine and make a case that we are different than the large countries, we are different from other countries in the world. Most of our countries are middle income countries, highly indebted (and) very vulnerable.

“We have to show our vulnerabilities; show that a single event could have a systemic impact on our societies. So we need special attention, a special facility, special instruments,” he said.

The meeting was convened at the request of Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, and was aimed at giving regional heads an opportunity to review the measures taken to combat the global economic crisis. 

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