Inaugural Regional Dialogue held between Caribbean Countries and the G20

Upon the initiative by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Turkish G20 Presidency and other members of the G20 Development Working Group held an inaugural regional consultation with the member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on the 13th of April on the margins of the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC. Jointly chaired by Turkey’s G20 Sherpa Ambassador Ayse Sinirlioglu, and Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambaran of Trinidad and Tobago, the dialogue brought together Caribbean Ministers, Central Bank Governors and senior officials of Caribbean countries with the G20 DWG. Regional and international organisations also attended.

During the meeting, Ambassador Sinirlioğlu, provided an update on the G20 DWG’s development policy agenda, including infrastructure, domestic resource mobilization, human resource development, financial inclusion and remittances as well as food security and nutrition.

Participants exchanged views on how Caribbean countries can more directly benefit from the 2015 DWG policy priorities, each of which could potentially help policy makers in Caribbean countries to develop practical solutions to some of their most acute development challenges. There is scope for the DWG’s work in these areas to be made more widely accessible to Caribbean countries.

Participants discussed the opportunities and challenges arising from the development of the Caribbean Blue Economy, highlighting that this can help boost growth, exports, employment and government revenue in the region.

Participants also discussed the opportunities and challenges in strengthening domestic resource mobilization (DRM) in Caribbean countries. With good progress made in strengthening tax performance in recent years, several sources of DRM, including tax revenue, bond revenue and domestic private financing were underlined, together with new and innovative sources of financing such as Diaspora Bonds and Blue Bonds, which have strong potential to scale up domestic resource mobilization flows. Participants considered how the DRM programmes of the G20 DWG and other international organisations can help Caribbean efforts to strengthen tax administration, tax policy and international tax compliance.

Building on this successful inaugural Caribbean Region Dialogue, G20 Presidency will consider opportunities to take forward the insights and suggestions shared during the meeting. In this context, Ambassador Sinirlioglu said: “As the G20 we have come away with a stronger understanding of the challenges facing Caribbean countries and the policy measures being taken to address these. The G20 will explore ways to build on this first engagement in the period ahead.”

Governor Rambarran concluded the meeting by saying: “This was a successful initial dialogue between Caribbean countries and the G20 DWG. We learned from each other, shared development perspectives, and identified some important areas for potential collaboration for the benefit of the Caribbean. Exploring together the steps needed to develop the Caribbean blue economy is one such opportunity and looking ahead we will examine how best to take this forward”.

An Outcome Statement was agreed by the participants at the end of the meeting.

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