Country headed in the right direction! Plans announced for 2nd Caribbean Economic Policy Forum

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance the Hon. Michael Halkitis announces plans to host the second annual Caribbean Economic Policy Forum on Sustainable Growth on September 19 and 20, 2013 (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Nassau, The Bahamas – The Bahamas will be the venue for the Caribbean Economic Policy Forum to be held September 19 and 20 at the Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance the Hon. Michael Halkitis announced at a press briefing Thursday that the high level forum will allow ministers of finance and Central Bank governors and other officials from throughout the Caribbean to discuss ways that they can work together with international financial institutions to address pressing economic and financial matters which confront the region.

In attendance at the briefing held at the Ministry of Finance was John Rolle, financial secretary, and Simon Wilson, deputy financial secretary.

The conference is organised by the Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in conjunction with the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank and International Finance Corporation. The theme for the forum is “Building Growth into the Caribbean Sustainability Agenda – a Concerted Approach”.

Topics to be examined at the second annual forum include “How to Increase the Growth Potential of Economies in the Region including How to Stimulate and Harness the Private Sector’s Potential”, “How to Reduce and Mitigate Against the Region’s Vulnerability to Natural Disasters and Economic Shocks”, “How to Reduce High Public Sector Indebtedness” and “How to Enhance the Stability of our Domestic Financial Sectors”.

“The focus,” said Minister Halkitis, “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.”

On September 19, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie will give the welcome remarks and deputy managing director of IMF Dr. Min Zhu will give the keynote address.  Prior to the conference on September 18, Dr. Zhu will lead a discussion with students from College of The Bahamas and other tertiary institutions on the theme, “A Changing World”. Dr. Zhu will also speak to private sector and labour unions on the theme “Economic Sustainability and Growth in The Bahamas”.

Delegates are expected from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago. The first conference was held in Trinidad and Tobago and focused on rethinking policy priorities.

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