Caribbean Growth Forum Launched
19 June 2012: The Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) was launched as a platform for dialogue about increasing growth and opportunities for all in the Caribbean. CGF is a one-year initiative aimed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas on policies to stimulate sustainable and inclusive growth, and to create jobs.
The Forum was launched at a two-day conference hosted in Kingston, Jamaica, by the University of the West Indies (UWI), which brought together over 150 participants from governments, private sector, academia, youth and civil society. conference participants discussed, inter alia: enhancing competitiveness; building a skilled labor market; promoting innovation and entrepreneurship; improving energy services; and helping micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) get access to financing.
CGF is sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank (CBD), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The CGF will be guided by a Steering Committee consisting of the CDB President, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General and the UWI Vice Chancellor.
The concept behind the CGF is that Caribbean countries face common challenges not shared by the rest of the hemisphere, including small market size, lack of economies of scale, vulnerability to external economic shocks, frequent natural disasters, high poverty rates, and high public debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratios. The CGF will seek to develop projects that address these specific challenges. For example, the conference will be followed by a "Digital Jam" focusing on promoting jobs for Caribbean youth in the information and communications technologies (ICT) sector. [World Bank Press Release]