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Bahamas to host regional economic forum

The Bahamas is set to host the Caribbean Economic Policy Forum on Sustainable Growth September 19-20 at Atlantis Paradise Island. Pictured: Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Michael Halkitis announces plans to host the second annual Caribbean Economic Policy Forum on Sustainable Growth on September 19-20, 2013. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson) 

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TheBahamasInvestor.com
Friday, September 13, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013

The Bahamas will host the Caribbean Economic Policy Forum on Sustainable Growth September 19-20 at Atlantis Paradise Island.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance Michael Halkitis announced at a press briefing September 12 that the high level forum will allow Ministers of Finance and Central Bank governors and other officials from throughout the Caribbean to discuss ways that they can work together with international financial institutions to address pressing economic and financial matters, which confront the region.


In attendance at the briefing held at the Ministry of Finance was John Rolle, financial secretary, and Simon Wilson, deputy financial secretary.

The conference is organized by the Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in conjunction with the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank and International Finance Corporation.

The theme for the forum is “Building Growth into the Caribbean Sustainability Agenda – a Concerted Approach.”

Topics to be examined at the second annual forum include: How to Increase the Growth Potential of Economies in the Region including How to Stimulate and Harness the Private Sector’s Potential; How to Reduce and Mitigate Against the Region’s Vulnerability to Natural Disasters and Economic Shocks; How to Reduce High Public Sector Indebtedness; and How to Enhance the Stability of our Domestic Financial Sectors.

“The focus continues to be on how the international financial institutions can enhance support they provide in particular to small and highly vulnerable income countries both in terms of tailoring policy advice as well as how they intervene with direct assistance when small middle income countries encounter economic crises,” said Minister Halkitis.

On September 19, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Perry Christie will give the welcome remarks and deputy managing director of the IMF Dr Min Zhu will give the keynote address.

Prior to the conference on September 18, Dr Zhu will lead a discussion with students from College of The Bahamas and other tertiary institutions on the theme, “A Changing World.”

Dr Zhu will also speak to private sector and labour unions on the theme “Economic Sustainability and Growth in The Bahamas.”

Delegates are expected to attend from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago.

The first conference was held in Trinidad and Tobago and focused on rethinking policy priorities.

Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder announced September 11, 2013, the establishment of the National Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Unit to provide technical support and education resources to intergovernmental agencies and the private sector to facilitate trade under the EPA. Pictured: Minister of Financial Services Ryan Pinder (centre) announces September 11, 2013, the establishment of the National Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Unit. Also pictured are unit members from his Ministry Karla Wells (left) and Rita Kauffman. Not pictured are the head of the unit, acting director of trade and industry Keva Bain, and Tia Hanna. (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

Domestic economic conditions remained challenging during the review month, reflecting continued weakness in the major tourism sector, which offset steady gains in capital formation provided by various foreign investment-led construction activities, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas' Monthly Economic and Financial Developments, July 2013, report. However, with the spill-over effects remaining narrowly based, the impact on employment conditions was minimal.

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