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Regional Prosperity Attainable in numbers says Presidents of Multi-Lateral Development Banks during CDB’s 52nd Board of Governor’s Meeting

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

June 17, 2022 – Private sector partnerships are going to be the Caribbean’s saving grace as governments try to make the region the home of choice. This was the perspective of the heads of three major banks at the Caribbean Development Bank’s 2022 staging of their ‘Presidents Chat’, an event bringing together the presidents of multilateral development banks worldwide.

This year the meeting featured: Dr. Gene Leon president of the Caribbean Development Bank; Dr. Werner Hoyer president of the European Investment Bank and Mauricio Claver-Carone President of the Inter-American Development Bank along with past president of the CDB Dr. Warren Smith.

The Moderator of the event Dr. Marion Williams explained why the chat was so important.

“The series is designed to discuss issues in a non-technical manner that is readily accessible to citizens on all our continents,” she said

This year’s focus was on how multilateral development banks could play a catalytic role in finding innovative financing to push the development goals of their member countries, especially from the private sector; basically how to make companies want to invest within their member countries futures.

Most of the goals held by countries around the world stem from the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals including the elimination of poverty, enhancing food security, good health, quality education, climate action, etc. Leon explained the needs of the developing Caribbean states were huge and all of them needed to be tackled because,

“If we don’t do it all we simply cannot achieve the development goals.”

To make the Caribbean region a place of choice Leon said we must achieve four things; water, energy, food and quality of life security.

To meet these goals, the Caribbean had to have three key facilitators:

  • embracing a digital transformation

  • Solving our implementation capacity deficit

  • Strong evidence-based governance

Financing to hit all of these targets was the region’s biggest problem Leon said and ‘Access to Adequate and Affordable Finance’ (#AAAF) was the goal.

“There is no way we can fix a trillion-dollar problem with a million dollars…there is no way we can get there without crowding in [and] partnerships in all areas.”

Hoyer of the EIB lauded the CDB citing its unparalleled experience with development challenges noting that by working together they could “achieve so much more”, especially in climate action.

He stressed that the time for investing in issues like climate change was now or the most vulnerable would suffer.

“The provision of grants and loans is not enough. New financial instruments need to be deployed in order to bring private capital to fund climate action.”

Claver-Carone of the IDB, who is from Miami, describes himself as the closest president to the Caribbean (geographically) in years.

“It was on my agenda to raise the profile of the Caribbean with the bank.” He maintained

Allocations to the six Caribbean countries that the IDB serves have tripled to about $1.2 billion across 16 different projects. He described his relationship with the Caribbean Development Bank as his most important relationship of all as it enabled support to Caribbean countries which are not a part of the IDB.

Claver-Carone reiterated that the financing gaps in the Caribbean and Latin America are too large for taxpayers to handle.

“The recovery of Latin America and the Caribbean will be private sector led… We’re gonna make this the biggest public-private push in the history of the bank.”

Creating a good investment climate is key to achieving more privately-funded financing that the governments in the Caribbean desperately need.

To do this Claver-Carone said stricter regulations, digitized government to promote transparency and more aggressive moves towards garnering private sector investments are the needs for the region.

The IDB President said the Caribbean is viewed globally as a ‘sea of peace’ in comparison to the current state of the rest of the world, maintaining that “We’re gonna turn that peace and tranquility into prosperity.”

Caribbean News

Deputy Premier Spot on, TCI TODAY Removed from EU Blacklist

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Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 20, 2024Sixteen months after being added to the European Union’s Black List for non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, the Turks and Caicos Islands is now off that list.

“Today,the Council removed The Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles and Turks and Caicos Islands from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.”

The release explicitly states that in the case of the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, “ever since October 2022, deficiencies in the enforcement of economic substance requirements had been identified in both of these jurisdictions by the OECD Forum of Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP).”

It was recommended for remedy to the deficiencies has now been “converted from hard to soft recommendations,” said the statement.

That pivot was fundamental in the de-listing of the two countries said the information from the Council.

“…which allowed the Code of Conduct Group to consider these jurisdictions with no or only a nominal corporate income tax.”

When Magnetic Media spoke to E. Jay Saunders, Turks and Caicos Deputy Premier and Finance Minister in March 2023 he had full confidence that it was only a matter of time before the TCI was given a more favourable position with the EU. 

“There is no question about it. I’m confident that by February 2024, we will be off the list– I’m completely confident and there are no lasting repercussions.”   

 It had been sub-par computer systems that landed the TCI on the list.  The Deputy Premier, at the time offered that the EU was being too dramatic and its language, disproportionate surrounding the issue. 

That black listing and gray listing is often viewed as a black eye in the financial services sector, therefore this announcement today is vindication for the TCI and a huge plus for the Fintech ambitions of the Misick-led government.

 Twelve others remain with the unsavory categorization including Caribbean neighbours: Trinidad and Tobago; US Virgin Islands; Anguilla and Antigua and Barbuda.

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Caribbean News

Jamaica hosts 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#GlobalTourism#Jamaica, February 19th, 2024 – Strengthening the future of global tourism against growing climate challenges, Jamaica hosted the 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Montego Bay from February 17th to the 18th, featuring high level delegates from the around the world, such as the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and spearheaded by its co-founder, Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica. The conference was under the theme “Navigating the Future of Tourism Resilience,” and addressed the swift need for more innovative strategies to combat the growing challenges that threaten Tourism. Sustainable tourism practices, crisis management, digital transformation, and the importance of promoting global partnerships, were among the topics discussed. 

 

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Caribbean News

Dengue in Peru-Over 12 Thousand Cases

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Dengue#Peru, February 19th, 2024 – Since the start of the year, there have been more than thirteen thousand cases of dengue in Peru, with over three thousand in the fifth week alone, according to the Peruvian Ministry of Health. The northern region reportedly has the highest number of cases. Revealed in a February 16th report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, this represents a 53.4 percent increase in cases compared to 2023. This massive increase is linked to prolonged heat waves caused by the El Nino effect, the ministry reporting over 100 consecutive unusually hot days and more than 200 warm nights. Higher temperatures create favorable conditions for dengue transmission.

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