Press Release: IMF Invites Economists and Researchers to Discuss Caribbean's Economic Challenges

November 16, 2010

Press Release No. 10/440
November 16, 2010

The recent global financial and economic crisis has brought to the forefront the significant challenges faced by Caribbean countries. Growth has slowed significantly in most economies in the region. At the same time, 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 University of the West Indies, the Central Bank of Barbados, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are organizing a joint conference in Bridgetown, Barbados on January 27-28, 2011 to discuss issues related to Caribbean regional economic growth, debt, and their associated policy challenges. The three institutions are inviting academics with research work on the above mentioned themes to submit papers for consideration to be presented at the conference.

“We want to bring together academics, researchers, and policymakers to share their knowledge and experience on the most important economic and financial issues on the Caribbean,” said Alfred Schipke, chief of the Caribbean 1 division of the IMF, which oversees six countries in the region. “The aim is to help the Caribbean countries seize the opportunities and meet the challenges of high and sustained growth as the global economy recovers from the Great Recession.”

“The IMF has been expanding its work and involvement with the Caribbean countries,” said Dr. Andrew Downes, director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies of the University of the West Indies in Barbados, and a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for the Western Hemisphere. “This conference will be an excellent opportunity to broaden the discussion and for the academic community to influence the formulation of IMF programs,” he added.

The conference organizers are calling for interested authors to submit papers for discussion. Authors should send a summary of their papers for consideration by the Program Committee to Full papers should be submitted (in Word or pdf format) for consideration by December 1, 2010 to the same email address along with a copy of the author’s short resume. Papers should list the author’s name, affiliation, telephone/fax number, address, and e-mail. The decision whether the paper has been accepted for presentation will be conveyed by December 30, 2010. All presenters will be reimbursed for travel expenses and accommodation.

The Program Committee will evaluate all submissions in terms of originality, analytical rigor, and policy relevance and will contact the authors whose papers have been selected.

Members of the Program Committee:


Rodrigo Valdes, Chair – Senior Advisor, Western Hemisphere Department
Trevor Alleyne, Chief of the Caribbean 2 division and head of the IMF mission to Jamaica
Alfred Schipke, Chief of the Caribbean 1 division
Nita Thacker, Deputy Chief of the Caribbean 1 division

University of the West Indies

Andrew Downes, Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, Cave Hill, Barbados
Patrick Watson, Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, St Augustine, Trinidad
Central Bank of Barbados
Kevin Greenidge, director of Research


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