JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Honourable Audley Shaw, on Thursday, May 28, 2009 called on the Caribbean Development Bank to play a leading role in securing the economic transformation of the Caribbean Region.
Speaking at the 39th Annual Conference of the CDB in the Turks & Caicos Islands, Mr. Shaw said, “The global economic crisis does not only pose severe challenges to member countries, but it also creates opportunities for doing things in new, innovative and better ways, and the CDB is well positioned to anchor these new and necessary initiatives.” Mr. Shaw cited the fresh and processed foods sectors as an area that offers vast potential for expansion as the markets in tourism and the Caribbean Diaspora offer many opportunities through linkages and demand for ethnic foods.
The Finance Minister noted that the CDB and other multilateral agencies’ support for this transformation would help foster replacement industries for others affected by the global crisis, such as Bauxite and Alumina.
Mr. Shaw expressed the full support of the Government of Jamaica for a General Capital Increase in the resources of the CDB, to enable the organization to play a more significant role in the economic transformation of countries in the region, including Jamaica. Mr. Shaw suggested that the Conference establish a Committee of Governors to monitor the General Capital Increase which he said was urgent and should be implemented before the end of this calendar year.
Mr. Shaw also repeated his call for the establishment of creative mechanisms to assist Small, Vulnerable and Heavily-Indebted Middle Income Countries (SVHIMIC), 10 of which are in the region. “These should include concessionary loans from the multilaterals as well as multilateral/private sector partnerships in strategic liability management initiatives,” he said.
Minister Shaw also expressed satisfaction with the recent enhancement of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) against natural disasters and requested a further enhancement to include drainage control and river training as well as coverage for agricultural damage.
Meanwhile, in a meeting of the Board of Governors on Monday, the CDB approved a US$600,000 grant (J$53.0 million) to Jamaica for technical assistance in physical planning, complementary to the Government of Jamaica 2030 Vision, as outlined in the National Development Plan.
Accompanying Minister Shaw at the Conference are Sen. The Hon. Don Wehby, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, and Dr. Wesley Hughes, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica. The Finance Minister returns to the island on Monday, June 1, 2009.