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Jamaica to host high level regional forum

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) — Jamaica is to host the High Level Caribbean Forum that will focus on the unique issues facing the region and the opportunities that can be found within to cope with the changing global landscape.

The forum is being organised by the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) in partnership with the Jamaica government and will be held under the theme “Unleashing Growth and Strengthening Resilience in the Caribbean”.

The November 16th event will be attended by several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders as well as former prime ministers, the IMF managing director Christine Lagarde among other high level regional and international delegates.

Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Lagarde will address the opening ceremony following which there will be a series of panel discussions examining ways of boosting socio-economic performances in the Caribbean.

One of the panel discussions will focus on crime and youth unemployment with the IMF noting that growth in the Caribbean has remained weak in the last three decades.

It said that one of the most significant growth bottlenecks is the high crime, which, together with high unionisation and a rigid labour market have fostered a vicious cycle whereupon young people struggling with the lack of opportunities due to low growth turn to illegal activities and crime, which in turn further depress growth.

“The panel will explore the links between growth and crime, cases where structural reforms (business climate, lean public sector, resolve crime, labour market reforms, education, economic diversification) and strong macroeconomic policies have borne fruit, and multi-pronged policies to break the cycle between lack of opportunities, crime, and low growth,” according to the IMF.

Grenada's Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, his Trinidad and Tobago counterpart, Dr Keith Rowley as well as the St Lucia Prime Minister Allan Chastanet and Holness will discuss the findings of the forum including how key takeaways can be implemented by policymakers in the region.

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