Wednesday, 14 August 2013

PM, OAS official discuss debt challenges

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell was among regional decision-makers with whom Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, held discussions while on a recent tour to the Caribbean in which the region’s debt was once again thrown into the spotlight.

Ramdin, according to the news release from the OAS, says the hemispheric body will support discussions on the debt situation in the Caribbean, given the gravity of the challenge facing member states in the region.

Restructuring of Grenada’s debt was among the immediate and open discussions commenced by the Mitchell administration after it won the February 19 General Elections, in which the New National Party won all 15 seats in the House of Representatives.

Speaking with the Prime Minister, in St. George’s, Ramdin agreed that the debt issue cannot be ignored by any institution or country, given its direct link to and impact on economic development, stability, security and other key areas.

“We can’t address these issues in isolation. Growing debt is a critical matter as it has a serious impact on everything else. We support the discussions and the review of economic and financial fundamentals. We will continue to work with member states to assist in whatever way we can, so that an integrated Caribbean-led strategy on debt management can be formulated,” said Ramdin.

During his brief visit to the Caribbean, besides meeting with PM Mitchell, Ramdin also met with Foreign Affairs Minister, Nicholas Steele; and Governor General, Dame Cecile La Grenade. In Barbados, he met with Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Maxine McClean; President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Warren Smith; Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus, Sir Hilary Beckles; and private sector representatives. He also engaged briefly with the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. (LS)

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