CDB Predicts 5.7% Growth for Caribbean

According to the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Vice President of Operations, Isaac Solomon, the Caribbean region is expected to see growth of 5.7% in 2023 due to the ongoing resurgence of tourism and investments in the energy sector. However, this forecast is subject to the potential risks posed by advanced economies that are predicted to have lower growth in comparison to 2022.

At the CDB’s Annual News Conference in January, Solomon discussed the economic performance of the bank’s BMCs in 2022, noting that increased economic activity led to an average regional growth of 10.3%. This was largely due to increased energy production in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, higher international oil prices in commodity-exporting countries, and economic growth of 4.6% in tourism-dependent countries.

Solomon acknowledged that the region is currently facing significant challenges due to past economic performance and global conditions, but emphasized that the CDB is providing support to its 19 BMCs through a diverse portfolio of loans and grants. In 2022, the bank disbursed $292.5 million across the region and approved 15% more grants and loans totaling $158.1 million.

There are currently over 65 CDB-financed projects under implementation regionally, focusing on areas such as youth, agriculture, water, education, infrastructure, renewable energy, gender, trade, transportation, climate change, MSME development, and the creative sector.

In addition to providing direct financial support, Solomon also shared recommendations for ways to aid in growth and development and increase the resilience of Caribbean economies and societies. These include supporting comprehensive debt management strategies, public financial management, and promoting access to adequate and affordable financing, promoting gender equality and women’s reintegration into the workforce, promoting a private sector ecosystem that prioritizes innovation and diversification, and key priority actions to strengthen governance capacity and deliver cross-sectoral policies and programs.

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