JIS News

Former Prime Minister, P. J. Patterson, has called for the creation of a Diaspora Development Bond to provide the resources that the Caribbean region needs to fund its development initiatives.
Mr. Patterson, who was delivering the fourth annual Caribbean Lecture organized by the Caribbean International Network (CIN) recently in New York, said that the region is “desperately in need of development capital” beyond the current inflows from remittances.
“I propose that a Diaspora Development Bond be introduced with appropriate incentives to attract investment from our nationals in the Diaspora. That (instrument) would not compete with traditional remittances as this special bond would be an investment vehicle,” he pointed out.
Mr. Patterson told the capacity audience that a similar idea was approved last June at the Washington Conference on the Caribbean and the time has come to move to the next step, that is, implementation. Stating that there are no legal impediments to implementing such a bond, he said the only concern is the rate of interest that investors will seek as compared to the LIBOR rate (London Interbank Offered Rate), which the Caribbean Development Bank offers for its private placements.
Such a bond, he noted further, will provide the springboard needed for financing some of the most critical sectors of the region’s economy.
Noting the net worth of the Caribbean Diaspora, Mr. Patterson said: “They are already saving with financial institutions in the region and investing in the building of personal homes, charitable contributions and the remittances to relatives are key elements in the national economic development of the entire region.”
Previous lecturers in the CIN-organized series are: noted Garvey Scholar, Robert Hill; Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies, Professor Rex Nettleford; and former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga.

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