Next week, Caribbean heads of state and over 200 government officials, private sector representatives, civil society and development partners will be gathering in Saint Lucia to discuss a new agenda for sustainable growth in the Caribbean.
“This forum presents an opportunity to undertake what we have been entrusted to do. As long as this responsibility is left unfulfilled, such initiative will come ever knocking at our door with greater sense of urgency,” said the Honorable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia.
During this Third Regional Caribbean Growth Forum, participants will learn from experiences in the region and other small island developing states, propose new strategies and tools necessary to achieve growth, and examine prospects to promote innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the region.
“The World Bank is fully committed to support the sustainable development agenda that many Caribbean nations are pursuing, and their response to the changing economic environment,” said the World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar. “This forum is an opportunity to take stock of the progress made and to identify innovative solutions to ignite growth in the region.”
The Government of Saint Lucia, along with 14 Caribbean countries, has been leading the Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) initiative, which has engaged more than 2,500 government, private sector and civil society leaders, and has led to the implementation of over 100 reforms in improving business climate, boosting skills and productivity, and enhancing connectivity and logistics.
Some of the reforms are the establishment of a fund by the Grenada Development Bank which supports small businesses, creating six hundred jobs to date; and a single-stop shop for company registration which helped the Dominican Republic reduce the time for registering a business from 45 to 7 days. In Saint Lucia, the government recently completed an assessment of the competitiveness of the tourism industry, as well as an evaluation to provide tools for increasing productivity in the work place.