Haiti & Guyana above Barbados in Development – Dr Warren Smith’s Assessment of 2012
In 1978, 1988, 1998 or 2008 if you said Guyana or Haiti are considered above Barbados in any area, you may have been laughed out of CARICOM… Unfortunately in 2013 it’s not only a possibility but a grim reality!
This stark news was part of a detailed and no-holds-barred review of the previous year by the Caribbean Development Bank’s Dr Warren Smith at their Wildey headquarters where for the first time they included regional media at their presentation.
The corps of regional media learned the CDB had no defaulters on loans, only very late payments being made.
There were 7 members borrowing from the CDB in 2012 – primarily Dominica & Barbados; overall growth in the West Indies slid from 1.2% to 1 per cent. The threat of Global Warming and Climate Change for the rest of the world, is considered a bit of a boon for Caribbean Agriculture since tropical areas would be seen as levelling out for greater cultivation and harvesting of crops.
The CDB President noted how England has a triple dip Recession as opposed to the United States fragile surge, the odd mixture leaves the executive with Cautious Optimism as to the future for the rest of 2013 in the region as a whole.
In looking at the CARICOM members who are also in the CDB, Dr Smith does not list Barbados for the high end of recovery growth (less than 1%) while Georgetown and Port-Au-Prince are seen as making major strides this year.
It is of extreme interest to note how the President sees Youth as a way Forward for the region to make strides in growth once again, he sees their role as embracing Technology to make progress.
Both Selwin Hart and Calvin Howell, part Dr Smith’s team, believe that not only Barbados but all of the West Indies will have to make harsh decisions bordering on austerity measures if the Caribbean is to truly make a difference in regaining former glories.
Trinidadian journalist Tony Frasier tried asking Dr Smith in different ways if Political Change is a means of helping the Caribbean’s doldrums? He was bearing in mind how territories like Bermuda, Nevis and St Lucia had changes in Government, some with and others without, much effect… Ever the consummate fiscal envoy, Dr Smith indicated such a view can only be effectively answered by each territory which made the change.