NASSAU: Prime Minister Perry Christie will address a high-level International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference today that will examine sustainable growth in the Caribbean.
The two-day meeting is a follow up to last year’s conference held in Trinidad & Tobago on rethinking policy priorities and will be attended by finance ministers, central bank governors and senior public and private sector officials from Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and the Bahamas, which will host the event.
The conference will also be attended by the IMF’s deputy managing director, Min Zhu; president of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Warren Smith; president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Luis Moreno; vice president of the World Bank, Hasan Tuluy and Jean Phillippe Prosper of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The theme of the conference is “Building Growth into the Caribbean Sustainability Agenda – a Concerted Approach” and is being held in collaboration with the CDB, IDB, the IFC and the World Bank.
“The goal is to discuss how to restore growth in the Caribbean while addressing fiscal and debt sustainability objectives,” said Adrienne Cheasty, deputy director in the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department.
He said the conference would “bring to the table all of the major stakeholders with a view to developing a shared, comprehensive vision for growth in the region”.
Among the topics to be discussed during the conference include “how to increase the growth potential of economies in the region; how to stimulate and harness the private sector’s potential as well as how to reduce and mitigate against the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters and economic shocks”.
Bahamas Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Michael Halkitis, said the focus “continues to be on how the international financial institutions can enhance support they provide in particular to small and highly vulnerable income countries both in terms of tailoring policy advice as well as how they intervene with direct assistance when small middle-income countries encounter economic crises”.