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IDB Vice President Roberto Vellutini Speaks at the 2013 Caribbean Forum on Sustainable Growth

Discusses link between regions and fiscal challenges and its energy matrix

A high-level forum on "Building Growth into the Caribbean Sustainability Agenda" will be held on September 19-20 in Nassau, The Bahamas. The forum is hosted by the International Monetary Fund and the Government of The Bahamas, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the World Bank, and will bring together key Caribbean and global policymakers to discuss ways of addressing the Caribbean’s economic growth challenges while achieving fiscal and debt sustainability objectives.

The 2013 Caribbean Forum on Sustainable Growth will feature finance ministers, central bank governors, and other senior-level officials from the IDB’s member countries (The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago) as well as representatives of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Lucia. Delegations from the international financial institutions will be led by Nemat Shafik, the IMF’s Deputy Managing Director; Warren Smith, President of the CDB; Roberto Vellutini, Vice President for Countries of the IDB; Sir Dwight Venner from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank; Jean Philippe Prosper, Vice President of the IFC; and Hasan Tuluy, Vice President of the World Bank.

On September 19, IDB Vice President Roberto Vellutini will offer welcoming remarks on promoting the Caribbean’s economic growth while working closely with national governments to manage the region’s debt and fiscal sustainability challenges. “The Caribbean’s low economic growth is—in large part—the product of the high cost and volatility of its energy sources. The IDB is committed to helping the Caribbean to implement a less costly, environmentally friendly, and more sustainable energy matrix, including natural gas, renewables, and energy efficient technologies. Going forward, we have to think big in order to achieve higher economic growth rates for the Caribbean: plan regionally, but act nationally.”

The Right Honorable Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of The Bahamas, will open the conference on September 19. Dr. Kenny Anthony, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, IMF Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafik, and World Bank Vice President Hasan Tuluy will be keynote speakers during the conference.

The 2013 Caribbean Forum on Sustainable Growth agenda includes working groups to consider specific actionable solutions in four policy development areas, including: (1) Private Sector Development: Competitiveness, which will focus on the findings of the recent Caribbean Growth Forum, and the implications for the structural reform needs for the region; (2) Sustainability and Growth, which will focus on the main competitiveness challenges and policies to address them; (3) Mitigating Vulnerabilities, which will discuss strategies for restoring sustainability while minimizing the impact on growth and protecting vulnerable groups; and (4) Managing the Debt Overhang, to discuss options for high-debt countries with a view to securing debt sustainability. Inder Jit Ruprah, the IDB’s regional economic adviser, will make a working group presentation on steps to foster Caribbean economic growth and to address its significant debt overhang.

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