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Conference on Economic Growth, Development and Macroeconomic Policy

Options for the Caribbean After the Global Financial Crisis

January 27–28, 2011

Organized by the University of the West Indies, the Central Bank of Barbados, and the International Monetary Fund
Hilton Hotel, Bridgetown, Barbados


The recent global financial and economic crisis has brought to the fore the significant challenges faced by Caribbean countries.

Growth has slowed significantly in most economies in the region and the financial sector has come under stress. The fiscal stance has eased and public debt levels, which were already high, continue to increase rapidly, reflecting the slowdown in growth and, in some cases, the authorities’ efforts to use countercyclical fiscal policy to mitigate the impact of the crisis.

The International Monetary Fund, the University of the West Indies, and the Central Bank of Barbados are organizing a conference in Bridgetown, Barbados to discuss issues related to Caribbean regional economic growth, debt, and their associated policy challenges. The three institutions invited economists and researchers to submit papers for consideration to be presented at the conference. The deadline to submit papers ended on December 1, 2010.

The Caribbean Policy Challenges after the Global Crisis Barbados
Preliminary Agenda
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
7:00–8:30 pm Reception (hosted by Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. DeLisle Worrell) Residence of the Central Bank Governor
Thursday, January 27, 2011
8:30–9:00 am
Open to Media
Opening Remarks
  • Dr. Delisle Worrell, Governor Central Bank of Barbados
  • Rodrigo Valdes, Senior Advisor, International Monetary Fund
  • Professor Hillary Beckles, Principal, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
9:00–12:10 pm Topic I: Economic Growth and Development Issues
  Moderator: Professor Andrew Downes, University of West Indies, Cave Hill
9:00–9:40 am A Cross-Country Perspective on Growth in the Caribbean The Role of Tourism and Debt
Presenter: Nita Thacker, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF
9:40–10:20 am The Caribbean Region Beyond the 2008–09 Global Financial Crisis
Presenter: Auguste Tano Kouame, World Bank
10:20–10:50 am Coffee break
10:50–11:30 am Changes in the Terms of Trade and Sectoral Reallocation of Labor: The Case of Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago
Presenter: Alessandro Rebucci, Regional Economic Advisor, IDB
11:30–12:10 pm The Caribbean: Challenges for Offshore Financial Centers
Presenter: Alfred Schipke, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF
12:15–1:45 pm Lunch with Keynote Address (Nicolás Eyzaguirre – Director, Western Hemisphere Department - IMF)
2:00–5:30 pm Topic II: Debt and Fiscal Policy Issues
  Moderator: Mr. Kevin Greenidge, Research Director, Central Bank of Barbados
1:30–2:40 pm Growth and Indebtedness in the Eastern Caribbean: Recovering from the Global Crisis
Presenters: Paul Hare, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland and Richard Stoneman, Independent Consultant
2:40–3:20 pm The Challenges of High Debt, addressing the Debt Overhang—Case of Jamaica and Antigua
Presenter: Trevor Alleyne, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF
3:20–3:45 pm Coffee Break
3:45–4:25 pm Fiscal Sustainability in an Open Economy with an Exchange Rate Peg
Presenters: Anton Belgrave, Jason LaCorbiniere, Delisle Worrell and Denisa Applewhaite, Central Bank of Barbados
4:25–5:15 pm Is Discretionary Fiscal Policy Effective? The Caribbean Experience
Presenter: Prosper Bangwayo-Skeete, International College of the Cayman Islands
7:00–8:30 pm Town Hall Meeting with Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Director, IMF—Caribbean Leaders of Tomorrow: Ask the IMF
WATCH the video

Presentation by External Relations Department, IMF and Reception
Errol Barrow Centre, UWI
Friday, January 28, 2011
8:00–1:00 pm Topic III: Policy Experiences and Future Options
  Moderator: Mr. Colin Bullock, University of the West Indies, Mona
8:00–8:40 am Productive Development Policies in the Caribbean
Presenters: Andrew Downes and Patrick Watson, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
8:40–9:30 am Case Studies:
SeychellesPresenter: Pierre Laporte, Governor of the Central Bank
Dominican RepublicPresenter: Olga Diaz, Economic Advisor, Central Bank of the Dominican Republic
9:30–10:10 am China's Growing Economic Presence in the Caribbean
Presenter: Richard Bernal, Executive Director, IDB
10:10–10:50 am A Proposal for an Insurance Program for Caribbean Countries to Protect Selected Public Spending During times of Distress
Presenter: Carlos Elias and Jennifer Sobotka, DHC Consulting, Virginia
10:50–11:20 am Coffee Break
11:00–1:00 pm Panel Discussion: Takeaways and Macroeconomic Policy in Caribbean Countries
Delisle Worrell, Central Bank of Barbados
Patrick Watson, University of West Indies
Denny Lewis Bynoe, Caribbean Development Bank
Rodrigo Valdes, Senior Advisor, IMF
1:00 pm Departures

Conference Program Committee: Rodrigo Valdes (Chair), Trevor Alleyne, Alfred Schipke, and Nita Thacker (all IMF), Andrew Downes (UWI, Cave Hill), Patrick Watson (UWI, St. Augustine), and Kevin Greenidge (Central Bank of Barbados).

For any questions e-mail 2011caribbeanconf@imf.org or call 202 623 7918.
Conference Coordinators: Nita Thacker and Therese Turner-Jones.