Corrected: News Brief: IMF to Coordinate New Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center

August 31, 2001

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced today that the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC)-a joint initiative of the IMF, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)1 and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-will begin operations in Bridgetown, Barbados, on September 10, 2001. The Center will provide technical assistance and training services to CARICOM members and the Dominican Republic. It will also foster cooperation between the region and several other bilateral and multilateral agencies.

The primary objective of CARTAC is to assist its members in improving their current practices in certain critical areas of economic and financial management, including budget and tax policy and administration; financial sector supervision and regulation, including of offshore centers; and the compilation of financial, economic and social statistics.

Assistance will be provided through a team of experts assigned to CARTAC, supplemented by short-term specialists, as well as through in-country workshops, training attachments and regional training courses. Technical supervision and back-stopping support from the IMF will ensure quality control and adherence to international standards and best practices.

CARTAC's work plan will be guided by the countries of the region themselves through a Steering Committee and two or three technical committees, to be established for this purpose. Donors will also participate in these committees.

CARTAC is organized as a UNDP regional program with the IMF as executing agency. Within this framework UNDP will provide administrative and logistical support while the IMF will be responsible for managing CARTAC, including the provision of the program coordinator and the recruitment and supervision of the advisors.

The Government of Canada has been a major moving force behind the creation of CARTAC, and has made a financial contribution of Can$8 million towards its costs.

Besides the IMF and UNDP, multilateral agencies involved in the financing of the Center include the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank and the World Bank. The participating countries will contribute to the running costs of the Center and Barbados, as the host country, has made available office space and facilities. The United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union have also signaled their intention to provide financing.

The Managing Director of the IMF, Horst Köhler, has appointed Nigel Bradshaw, currently an advisor in the Office of the Managing Director, as coordinator of CARTAC's operations. Mr. Bradshaw will take up his position in Barbados immediately.

1 Caricom's 14 member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. Anguila, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands are Associate Members.


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