Conference to explore economic options for Caribbean

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Central Bank of Barbados are organizing a conference to discuss issues related to Caribbean regional economic growth, debt and their associated policy challenges.

The conference, titled “Options for the Caribbean after the Global Financial Crisis,” is scheduled for January 27-28, 2011 in Bridgetown.

“We want to bring together academics, researchers and policymakers to share their knowledge and experience on the most important economic and financial issues on the Caribbean,” said Alfred Schipke, chief of the Caribbean Division of the IMF, which oversees six countries in the region.

“The aim is to help the Caribbean countries seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of high and sustained growth as the global economy recovers from the Great Recession.”

Dr. Andrew Downes, director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies of the UWI campus in Barbados and a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for the Western Hemisphere, said the conference will be an excellent opportunity to broaden the discussion and for the academic community to influence the formulation of IMF programs.

In addition to the technical presentations, the conference will feature a town hall meeting on the evening before the conference at which the “Ask the IMF” program will be launched.

That program will give tertiary students in the Caribbean an opportunity to give their perspectives on key economic issues and policy measures, engaging senior IMF officials in the process.


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