Wednesday, 2 July 2014

CDB President: Countries lagging with recovery efforts

THE region’s progress has been hindered by inconsistent adherence to sound macro-economic management and to insufficient attention to the development of business-friendly conditions, says Dr. Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank.

Addressing the UK-Caribbean Business Conference recently on the “Economic Prospects for the Caribbean”, he acknowledged that coming out of the Great Recession, recovery in global tourism has been slow, also highlighting that many of the region’s tourism-dependent economies have been adversely affected and are lagging in their recovery efforts, with very low, or no economic growth.

“Several borrowing member countries (BMCs) in this category also face challenges with new developments in their off-shore financial sectors. For CDB’s BMCs, as a whole, fiscal deficits currently average around 4 per cent of GDP; and sovereign indebtedness is about 70 per cent of GDP and need to be addressed with greater urgency.”

Turning to the business climate, Dr. Smith indicated that all of credible sources confirm that Caribbean countries, in both the services and commodity categories, do not compare well with other countries.

He pointed out that inadequate transportation, telecommunications and logistics infrastructure; insufficient access to affordable credit; bureaucratic red-tape; low productivity; and high energy costs are the biggest constraints to our region’s competitiveness. (TL)

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