I.M.F. Caribbean Forum Underway in St. Kitts

(ZIZ News) – The 2015 high level Caribbean Forum is centred on the theme of financing growth.

It commenced on Thursday morning with an opening ceremony at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

The forum, which is the fourth in a series, is being hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Government of St. Kitts-Nevis and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and brings together Caribbean finance ministers and Central Bank Governors, donors and representatives from international financial institutions. They will be exchanging views on solutions to key economic problems facing the region.

The I.M.F.’s Deputy Managing Director, Min Zhu, said regaining financial stability in the region will be an important area up for discussion over the next two days.

“In this region as a whole, the E.C.C.B. would have been working with the central bankers for two years for the banking financial sector restructuring. We try to clarify …adopting new standards, enhance the supervision framework and we are, after two years, our governors are here,” Zhu said.

“We’ve reached the critical points. We are going to try solve the few and try to bring financial stability back to the region and I think these are very important issues. We are going to discuss these issues in tomorrow’s (Friday 4th) sessions. I think that’s the key issue for the region as well,” he continued.

In officially declaring the forum open, Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris spoke of the necessity of the growth discussion.

“The series of dialogues which have been taking place under this rubric has become necessary because our region has been buffeted for too long by high debt, high unemployment particularly among the young people, fiscal imbalances and indeed, we have come to acknowledge that there is a need for fresh thinking as to how we can grow at a sufficiently high level to meet the commitments of the state and the reasonable expectations of our people for better quality of life,” the Prime Minister explained.

The meeting, which began on Wednesday evening and continues into Friday, will address three specific issues: reducing energy costs, financing infrastructure and improving access to credit for the productive sector.

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