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CDB: No strong growth path

shadiasimpson, [email protected]

CDB: No strong growth path

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THE CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK’s acting director of economics, Dr Juliette Melville, has indicated that although economies in the region have overcome the worst of the global financial crisis, they are not yet on a strong growth path.
Speaking during a recent Press conference at CDB’s Wildey headquarters, she said some nations were still experiencing very subdued or negative growth.
“We do not expect a number of them to grow beyond one to two per cent for the next year or so mainly because they are dependent on the tourist industry and, to some extent, the offshore financial sector and the global economy is not as favourable as one would hope,” she said.
Melville identified “the bright areas” – in terms of economic expansion – as Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and Guyana.
“They have weathered the storm and we expect them to continue to do so,” she said.
“With respect to our other members who have not recovered to the pre-2008/2009 level we are continuing to provide support to them through our technical assistance and through our capital projects in the hope that they would be better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that would arise as the global economy improves.”  
Melville noted that borrowing member countries were “doing things within limited capacity” to improve their economic situations.
“A number of the countries have had to undertake expansionary fiscal policies in an attempt to stimulate economic activity to supplement their performance in the wake of the collapse of the global economy but now they are at a stage where they need to stabilise and strengthen their fiscal position.
“They also need to pay attention to their debt situation. They are also undertaking measures to do some institutional strengthening and capacity building in key areas which will serve them in good stead when the recovery does come,” the acting director added.
She also noted that a number of countries were undertaking measures to diversify their main markets for their key products and said this should bring significant benefits in long term.
Melville said the crisis found many CDB member countries in weak fiscal positions or debt positions and it had simply aggravated the situation.
 “Countercyclical (stimulus) policies have in a way prevented the worst effects of the crisis from being felt by the majority of the people but it has also resulted in a deterioration of the fiscal and the debt situation,” she said. (NB)