Published On: Sat, Sep 26th, 2015

Caribbean banking and financial services sector comes into focus in Curacao and Barbados

WillemstadBRIDGETOWN, WILLEMSTAD -- Much needed focus will be brought to the Caribbean banking and financial services sector over the coming months with two important gatherings of the region’s most influential industry practitioners.

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) in conjunction with Caribbean-Central American Action (CCAA) will host a workshop on Caribbean Banking and the Caribbean International Financial Services Sector in Curacao, from September 30-October 1, 2015. The workshop will discuss in detail, the challenges facing the Caribbean Basin and acts as a precursor to the Global Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), scheduled to take place in Bridgetown, Barbados, late in October 2015.

“Caribbean financial institutions find themselves increasingly vulnerable to regulatory changes and new trends that threaten their very existence. Once seen as a growth industry for regional economies seeking to diversify from the dependency of the non-competitive agriculture base or the tourism-dependent economies; today the industry (traditional and offshore) is facing an ever increasing array of obstacles in this critical growth industry,” said Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency who will be in attendance and deliver remarks at the workshop on October 1.

The minister of industry, international business, commerce and small business development for Barbados, Donville Inniss, will also be attendance together with a number of other heavyweights in the region’s institutions, including central bank governors and private sector financial institutions to discuss three key topics: correspondent banking, remittances and the offshore industry.

In view of the significant impact to regional economies of de-risking and regulatory changes, it is hoped the group will identify possible solutions for regional institutions and economies, and generate specific recommendations for action. The ultimate aim of the workshop will be the submission of a white paper for consideration to be addressed at the OECD’s Global Forum, taking place in Barbados October, 2015.

Caribbean Export is currently leading the implementation of a multifaceted regional initiative aimed at supporting the sustainable development of the international financial services sector in CARIFORUM. To date Caribbean Export has supported the development of the sector within the scope of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme and has spent approximately $1.6m BBD in doing so.

Such support has included the facilitation of two conferences on international financial services, the establishment and operation of the Task Force for the Promotion and Protection of the Caribbean Financial Sector (TFP-CFS) and the commissioning of studies to support the implementation of priority actions agreed upon by CARIFORUM ministers.


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