The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is projecting regional economic growth to increase to 4.1% in 2020 from 1% in 2019, powered largely by stratospheric growth in Guyana where oil production begins this year.
President of the Bank, Dr Wm. Warren Smith noted that this growth will be uneven, and urged the borrowing member countries (BMCs) of the Bank to pursue policy reforms conducive to sustainable rates of growth.
Speaking at the Bank’s annual news conference on Tuesday in Barbados, Dr. Smith was quoted as saying that economic growth will remain lopsided and below the sustainable rates needed for long-term resilience. BMCs like Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Kitts and Nevis must stay on course with their home grown socio-economic reform programmes.
He urged others should join the bandwagon and commence, with alacrity, implementation of their own adjustment programmes.
The Bank’s President reported on the progress that several BMCs implementing economic adjustment programmes, noting improved fiscal performance and debt ratios in several states in 2019.
He pointed to Barbados’ progress in bringing its debt ratio down from 127% of gross domestic product in 2018 to under 120% last year.
The Bank President confirmed that the Bank was determined to assist the BMCs reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. He cited the work which CDB did in 2019 to assist its BMCS in meeting these goals through modernising infrastructure and economic reform.