MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, July 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding and International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn met today at the CARICOM summit at Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. On the agenda for the summit are matters of trade, economic and financial issues, the recovery of Haiti post earthquake, human and social development, climate change and the environment, and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The regional issues the leaders are addressing are inextricably tied to broader global concerns.
Director Strauss-Kahn said that while the global economic crisis is not over, there is a positive outlook, saying, “Caribbean countries have a chance to put an end to the negative cycles of high debt and low growth…This is an opportunity to put public finances on a sustainable path and take measures to raise productivity.” Strauss-Kahn stressed his confidence in Jamaica and commended Prime Minister Golding for the results achieved to date under the IMF program.
Prime Minister Golding acknowledged that the region faces significant challenges, and spoke of the vulnerabilities of Caribbean countries. “Our economies have been severely dislocated by the global recession.” The Prime Minister welcomed the additional resources provided by G20 countries through the IMF and other multilateral agencies, but pointed out that the conditions for accessing these funds require deflationary fiscal and monetary policies that leave beneficiary countries with no room to effectively address the development dimension of the fight against crime. Director Strauss-Kahn agreed that countries cannot be put on track without addressing the links between crime and the damage it does to their economies.
Prime Minister Golding urged the international community to help countries like Jamaica to find more creative ways to deal with these challenges and urged that more incentives be provided to countries that manage their debt, and keep fiscal deficits down, but can’t make the necessary investment in critical areas like education and infrastructure.
The 31st Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is taking place from July 4-7, 2010 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Heads of Government from CARICOM states and Associate Member states, and special guests are in attendance, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza.