KINGSTON — The Caribbean is expected to benefit significantly from financing provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), following a recent increase in the institution's funding resources, which have moved from US$7 billion to US$12 billion per annum.
Representative of the IDB in Jamaica, Ancile Brewster, said regional integration and private sector development in the Caribbean are among the areas expected to be earmarked for financing from the institution's Ninth Capital Replenishment.
Speaking at last week’s launch of Jamaica's Aid for Trade Strategy, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, Mr. Brewster said the "struggle for economic growth" has been "pronounced" in Jamaica and other Caribbean states within the last decade, particularly over the last four years.
The IDB Representative said it has been an "intense struggle" for Caribbean nations to "eke out" economic growth, pointing out that Latin America, which the institution represents, along with the former territories, “has fared quite well, in terms of the global perspective."
Mr. Brewster said factors militating against robust growth in the Caribbean, include: the small size of regional economies; the growing globalisation of the world economy; and the dismantling of many of the preferential trade regimes, "which many of our industries have grown up on."
In light of this, he said there is need for greater assessment of the role commercial co-operation can play in developing regional economies, markets and productive and production capacities.
"The IDB is cognizant of this and has made the issue of regional integration and private sector development, one of the cornerstones of its recent ninth capital replenishment. One of the key areas of focus of this new capital increase will, in fact, be promoting inter-regional trade,” Mr. Brewster said.
Jamaica's National Aid for Trade Strategy, developed by the Government in partnership with the IDB, and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), articulates the country's trade related priorities, and is designed to attract and ensure focused access to investment and aid resources.
By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter