Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 27th 2014 Contents A17
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TRINIDAD & TOBAGO INTERNATIONAL OIL,
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OGTT 2014 WILL BE CENTERED AROUND THE THEME OF "TECHNOLOGICAL UTI-
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OGTT 2014 WILL HERALD A NEW ERA IN TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS IN
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MONTEGO BAY---President of the
Barbados-based Caribbean Develop-
ment Bank (CDB), Dr Warren Smith,
has warned that high debt poses an
inherent risk to the success of struc-
tural adjustment programmes being
undertaken by some Caribbean coun-
tries in their bid to turn around their
Addressing the International Mon-
etary Fund s (IMF) 2014 High Level
Caribbean Forum, Smith said large debt
overhangs represent a drag on economic
growth, and "failure to tackle this prob-
lem in a substantive way, early in the
adjustment process, is likely to heighten
the risk of premature abandonment of
the adjustment programme.
"In short, the slow burn approach
to whittling down large debt overhangs
is fraught with danger and cries out
for an urgent solution. This is especially
so for countries which have demon-
strated great resolve in adopting most
of the appropriate adjustment meas-
ures," Smith told delegates.
He noted however, that the bank,
the region s premier financial institu-
tion, has been providing some assis-
tance to countries in that area.
"The Caribbean Development Bank,
working with some of the small island
states of the Eastern Caribbean, has
deployed its balance sheet creatively to
assist St Kitts/Nevis and is now work-
ing with Grenada to reduce their debt
"In both instances these initiatives
were pursued under the cover of home-
grown IMF supported adjustment pro-
grammes; if the substantially stronger
and larger balance sheets of the inter-
national financial institutions are also
deployed creatively, similar outcomes
are possible for the larger Caribbean
countries with sizeable debt overhangs
and somewhat different circumstances,"
The two-day event, which has
brought together regional finance min-
isters, central bank governors and var-
ious stakeholders in the financial sector,
was held under the theme Unlocking
Economic Growth, and focused on
energy costs, tax competition and
financial sector vulnerabilities.
In his address, the CDB president
said another section of the region s
economy that needs urgent attention
is the high cost of energy as "a fun-
damental root cause of the Caribbean s
"The Caribbean is not energy poor.
We might not have an abundance of
fossil fuels all across our region but we
have enough alternatives to be able to
make a reasonable dent into the cost
of our import bill," he said.
Smith also called on Caribbean gov-
ernment officials to address the problem
of youth unemployment, which,
according to him, stands at upwards
of 35 per cent in many countries.
"Our young people are very creative
and dynamic. They demonstrate these
characteristics across the Caribbean
mainly in the field of the arts, music,
dance and sports. But that s not all they
have a capacity for," Smith said.
"A recent initiative by the World
Bank to take advantage of the aptitude
of our youth in the field of animation
is only one illustration of the possibilities
for unleashing the dynamism of our
young people in a sector where they
can build small businesses, earn foreign
exchange, and integrate themselves
meaningfully into the international
value chain," he added.
Smith said the private sector must
be part of programmes to improve the
region s economy. (CMC)
High debt a risk
to the region
Dr Warren Smith, president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) was the guest of Dean of the Caricom
Consular Corps, Seth George Ramocan at the Jamaican Canadian Association's headquarters on Tuesday. Dr
Smith addressed Caribbean diplomats, civic groups and community leaders and gave an update on the work
of the CDB; Canada's support of the region through the CDB and critical development challenges to be
addressed, with particular focus on the cost of energy and its impact on international competitiveness.
In photo, from left, are Michael Willius, Consul General of Saint Lucia, CJ Augustine-Kanu Honourary, Consul
General of Grenada, Ann Marie Layne, Consul General of Antigua and Barbuda, Seth George Ramocan, Consul
General of Jamaica, Dr Warren Smith; Frances Delsol, Trade & Investment Commissioner of Dominica, Dr
Vidhya Gyan Tota-Maharaj, Consul General of T&T, and Haynesley Benn, Consul General of Barbados.
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