By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The region’s major hindrance to faster economic growth is its lack of competitiveness; this is according to President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. William Warren Smith.
Dr. Smith was speaking at the opening of CDB’s 44th annual meeting Board of Governors at the International conference center in Liliendaal, Georgetown.
The CDB President said that in order for the region to sustain its economies and ensure faster growth, cheaper electricity is key. He noted that this will in turn greatly reduce its dependency on exorbitant imported fossil fuel.
Dr Smith said Guyana and other countries of the region have the capacity to produce its own fuel that can significantly boost its economy and improve the quality of life of its people.
He noted that it is not an impossible dream for the region to compete fairly on the international scene, by starting to do what is needed.
He pointed out that the high electricity cost and its impact to the region’s competitiveness and economic sustainability is something that has been known to regional leaders for over forty years.
In this regard the CDB has developed a number of strategies that will help the region to reduce its dependency and act now to develop its economies.
Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar called on the CDB to facilitate concessional arrangements to ensure steady progress of developing countries, which is threatening economic gains.
He also called for economic broadening of the region to look at new areas that can accelerate its growth. Chairman of the Board of Governors of the CDB and Guyana’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh said despite the enormous work that has been done in the region, it remains under threat from climate change and sustaining its economy.
The two day meeting was officially opened today (Wednesday, May 28) and will conclude tomorrow. Leaders will be working on a number of strategies that the Bank can use to help its borrowing members face the economic challenges to grown and sustain its people.