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IDB hosts 2014 Regional Ministerial Meeting on Transparency and Integrity in the Caribbean

MIAMI, Florida – In commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day, the Inter-American Development Bank hosted a regional Ministerial meeting on December 5, 2014 to contribute to the Caribbean’s dialogue on transparency and integrity in enhancing development and unlocking growth.

Ministerial delegates of six Caribbean countries gathered in Miami for a landmark discussion on the positive impact of more transparent governance on the equity and competitiveness of the Caribbean economies. Various ministers of justice, legal affairs, commerce, and finance of IDB-Member Caribbean countries attended the Miami meeting, including senior officials from The Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The event explored opportunities to promote transparency and integrity and the positive impact this has on growth, competitiveness and investment. Participants discussed key trends, challenges and opportunities for improving governance and areas of potential collaboration with the IDB. The discussions underscored not only the costs of corruption, but also the benefits of transparent government in improving public services to citizens.

Dr. Sanjeev Khagram, John Parke Young Professor of Political Economy at Occidental College and senior advisor to the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency, highlighted the need to further fiscal transparency and financial integrity. Dr. Robert Klitgaard, University Professor at Claremont Graduate University, illustrated recent innovation in transparent governance and open government. Professor Trevor Munroe, Executive Director of Jamaica’s National Integrity Action, moderated a panel of regional officials which discussed the challenges and positive actions being taken by the countries to address transparency issues.

Gerard Johnson, the General Manager of the IDB’s Caribbean Department stated: “A small economy has to be handled carefully. But the Caribbean’s growth is falling behind other small economies. To catch up, transparency will probably be put under pressure. Showing that governance is transparent and fair will be key to social cohesion and growth. We have to set strict priorities for new investments; focusing on projects that get the biggest bang for the buck. The IDB appreciates its relationship of trust with regional authorities that makes it possible to collaborate on projects that make government more effective, efficient and open so as to deliver better services to their citizens.” 

Several Caribbean ministers reaffirmed the region’s commitment to fight corruption and strengthen governance by signing a statement on transparency and integrity at the conclusion of the event.

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