News Brief: Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC) To Be Officially Inaugurated

November 2, 2001

The Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC) will be officially inaugurated on November 5, 2001 in Bridgetown, Barbados, by regional heads of government, finance ministers, central bank governors, and other senior officials. Mr. Horst Köhler, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will deliver the keynote address. Senior officials from donor and regional agencies providing support to CARTAC are also expected to attend, including Mr. Robert Anderson, Vice President of the Canadian International Development Agency, Mr. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of CARICOM, and Dr. Compton Bourne, President of the Caribbean Development Bank.

CARTAC is a joint initiative of the CARICOM, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Development Program, Canada (which is financing more than half the cost of the program), and five other governments and agencies-the Caribbean Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, USAID, and the World Bank. The European Union is actively considering its support. The participating countries1will contribute to the running costs of the Center, and Barbados, as the host country, has made available office space and facilities.

CARTAC is being established to help countries in the region build capacity to deliver improvements in certain critical areas of economic and financial management, including onshore and offshore financial sector supervision and regulation, tax policy and administration, public expenditure management, and economic and financial statistics. Assistance will be provided through a team of experts, supplemented by short-term specialists, as well as through in-country workshops, professional training attachments and regional training courses. Guidance and support on technical issues will be available from the IMF to help ensure access to latest information on international standards and best practices.

CARTAC's work will be guided by a steering committee composed of representatives from the participating countries, and from the agencies and donors which are providing financing. The first plenary meeting of the committee will also be held on November 5 under the chairmanship of Dr. Marion Williams, Governor, Central Bank of Barbados.

1 Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos and the Dominican Republic.


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