Region urged to invest for growth

The executive secretary of the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, has urged Caribbean economic growth be based on investment, integration and innovation.

“We propose a strategy for economic growth that prioritizes structural change, based on investment, integration and innovation, as well as strengthening public action for redistributing resources and promoting equality,” said Bárcena in a message sent to participants in the second Caribbean Development Round Table, celebrated in Georgetown, Guyana, on May 31

Organized by the ECLAC sub-regional headquarters for the Caribbean in collaboration with the Office of the President of the Republic of Guyana, the event’s central topic is “Macroeconomic Policies for a Structural Transformation and the Social Protection of Small States.”

ECLAC said government, private sector, international organizations and civil society representatives will discuss how small states can increase economic diversification, improve their access to financing sources and strengthen social protection systems despite their fiscal limitations.

Bárcena said the drop in revenues from tourism and remote financial services, as a result of the recent world economic crisis, has revealed structural deficiencies among Caribbean economies, such as a lack of export diversification and the dependence on a reduced number of markets.

“The search for new markets and trade relations that are consistent with the emerging innovative trade dynamics is an important factor to be included in new multilateral cooperation agendas,” she said.

“In fact, South-South cooperation is an essential strategy for small states to pursue sustainable development,” she added.

Bárcena said considering the on-going challenges to global economy, the role of integration has become even more urgent.

She, therefore, called for the doubling of efforts to implement regional agreements.

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