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Finance Ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to meet in Santiago, Chile this summer, to deliberate on a Western Hemispheric response to the global financial crisis.
Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, made the announcement at a press conference at the Norman Manley International Airport on Sunday night (April 19), shortly after his arrival from the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.
He informed that the meeting of Finance Ministers, which was recommended by Brazilian President Luiz Lula da Silva, will look at the assistance that may be rendered to countries of the region, which are severely affected by the global crisis.
Also to be considered at the meeting is a proposal put forward by Mr. Golding at the Summit for the formulation of a development agenda for the Western Hemisphere, which will provide a framework to chart the way forward for the region.
“I thought it was important to design a development programme for the Western Hemisphere and, particularly, looking not just at getting through this (economic) crisis but looking at the future,” he stated.
Such a programme, he argued, will help countries strategise on how to benefit from the recent US$1.1 trillion commitment from members of the Group of 20 developed countries to assist developing states through the recession and, importantly, how to use the financial aid to strengthen development goals.
“It has been agreed that that (development agenda) will be part of the remit of the finance ministers when they meet in Santiago in June or July. It is something that we will have to follow assiduously because it is important,” Mr. Golding stated.
Mr. Golding and Canada’s Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper travelled on the same flight to Jamaica from the Summit of the Americas, which ended Sunday afternoon in Port-of-Spain. Mr. Harper was on an official visit to the country (April 19-21).