High Level Conference

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Unlocking Economic Growth

The 2014 High Level Caribbean Forum
Venue: Montego Bay, Jamaica

October 23-24, 2014

The 2014 High Level Caribbean Forum on “Unlocking Economic Growth” will be held October 23-24 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The forum, third in the series, is hosted by the International Monetary Fund and the Government of Jamaica, and will bring together finance ministers and central bank governors from across the Caribbean to exchange views on tackling some key obstacles to growth in the region. Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business at New York University will deliver the keynote address. IMF Deputy Managing Director Min Zhu, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, Prime Minister of Jamaica, and the Honourable Dr. Peter Phillips, Minister of Finance and Planning, will also address the conference.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014: Evening

7:00 – 10:00 pm

Registration and Opening Reception

Thursday, October 23: Morning

9:00 – 10:15 am

Welcome Remarks: Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Official Opening: The Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, ON, MP, Prime Minister of Jamaica

Remarks: Dr. the Honourable Peter Phillips, MP, Minister of Finance and Planning

Remarks: Dr. Warren Smith, President, Caribbean Development Bank

Remarks: Jorge Familiar, Vice President, World Bank

10:15 – 10:30 am


10:30 – 10:45 am


10:45am – 1:00pm

SESSION I: Energy—Reliability and Costs

Session Moderator: Warren Smith, President CDB

  • Improving energy efficiency and lowering costs in the Caribbean Ramon Espinasa, IDB  PDF Version Presentation
  • Leveraging Caribbean oil and gas resources for regional benefit Michael John, PetroTrin  PDF Version Presentation
  • Renewable energy in the Caribbean: opportunities and challenges Karl Nassief, CEO, Energy Management Systems Limited  PDF Version Presentation
  • Commentary: Hon. Ashni Singh, Minister of Finance, Guyana; Honorable Dr. Vin Lawrence, Chairman of the Electricity Sector Enterprise Team, Jamaica

Plenary discussion


Thursday, October 23: Afternoon



1:15 – 2:45 pm

Hosted by Min Zhu; Speaker: Taking Stock and Setting a Course for the Way Ahead: Alejandro Werner, Director, Western Hemisphere Department, IMF  PDF Version Presentation

3:00 – 5:00 pm

SESSION II: A Tax Regime for Investment

Session Moderator: Inder Jit Ruprah, Regional Economic Adviser, IDB

  • A tax system for investment: The Case of Mauritius Ali Mansoor, former Mauritius Financial Secretary  PDF Version Presentation
  • Do investors need tax incentives?: Sebastian James, Senior Tax Policy and Tax Administration Specialist, IFC  PDF Version Presentation
  • Strategies for regional tax incentive reform: cross-country lessons and experiences Russell Krelove, IMF  PDF Version Presentation
  • Commentary: Rosamund Edwards (Dominica), John Rolle (Bahamas)

Plenary discussion


Thursday, October 23: Evening

7:30 - 10:30 pm

Reception at Rose Hall

Hosted by Dr. the Honourable Peter Phillips, MP, Minister of Finance and Planning

Friday, October 24: Morning

8:15 – 9:00 am


Keynote Speaker: “The Global Economic Environment: Opportunities and Constraints for Caribbean Growth”, Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, NYU

9:00 – 11:00 am

SESSION III: Building Financial Sector Resilience

Session Moderator: Sophie Sirtaine, Caribbean Regional Director, World Bank

  • Challenges for financial stability: risks and rewards: Ewart Williams, University of the West Indies  PDF Version Presentation
  • Financial Interconnectedness in the Caribbean: Elie Canetti, IMF  PDF Version Presentation
  • Strong banks: a Canadian perspective: Bruce Bowen, Senior VP, Caribbean, Scotiabank  PDF Version Presentation
  • International Financial Centers in the Global Economy Angelo Nikolakakis, Ernst & Young LLP  PDF Version Presentation
  • Commentary: Patrick Hylton, CEO National Commercial Bank of Jamaica

Plenary discussion


11:00 - 11:30 am


11:30am – 1:00pm

CLOSING SESSION: Reflections and Looking Ahead

Session Moderator: [Serge Dupont, Executive Director, IMF]

  • Panel Discussion on Main Takeaways and Agenda Going Forward
    Min Zhu, Deputy managing Director, IMF
    Dr. the Honourable Minister Peter Phillips, Jamaica
    Dr. Warren Smith, President, Caribbean Development Bank
    Gerard Johnson, Caribbean Country Director, IDB

1:00 – 1:15 pm

Closing Remarks: IMF and Government of Jamaica