Barbados PM calls for radical regional integration to spur economic growth

(PRESS RELEASE) — “The Caribbean should not be invisible for many and disposable for some,” said Prime Minister of Barbados and outgoing chair of CARICOM, Hon. Mia Mottley, at a recent online event hosted by the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS Commission).

In her discourse, she pointed out that: “The region should not be abandoned, as was clearly demonstrated by the criteria established to determine access to the UN Global Fund for purchase of in-vitro diagnostics, where 10 Caribbean countries did not qualify on the basis of maternal mortality rates.”

She went on to say: “The Caribbean has the capacity to be stronger, but it needs to use a united voice to shape and influence the challenges that confront the global community and its [own] future by promoting and embracing national and regional symbiotic tripartite relationships to strategically steer the areas of influence in the region.”

The webinar – Business Unusual: Recalibrating National and Business Strategies for Economic Growth and Investment Creation – welcomed over 4,000 viewers from 50 countries across the world, and is the second of a four-part series leading up to the Sustainable Development Movement Summit (SDM2020), being organized by the OECS Commission.

PM Mottley was joined by other panellists including Director-General of the OECS Commission Dr Didacsus Jules; Minister of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives for the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Denise Charles; Country Director for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Tahseen Sayed; Head of Jamaica Venture Capital Programme, Audrey Richards; Director of Economic Affairs and Regional Integration at the OECS Commission, Jacqueline Emanuel Flood; and General Counsel and Company Secretary at Bitt Inc., Sade Jemmott.

Within the context of the ninth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 9) – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – the webinar speakers each pointed out the raw facts, strategies and innovative frameworks that are critical to the rejuvenation and growth of economies from a national, regional and global perspective.

In his closing statements, Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules, echoed the sentiments of his fellow panelists, stating: “The current [economic and COVID-19] situation underscores the relevance of pursuing an integrated framework for sustainable development. The voice of the Caribbean region must become elevated to take leadership on critical resilience and sustainable development issues.

Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules

“Furthermore, digital opportunities emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with imagination [can] set pathways for rapid and transformative actions to [fast-track growth within the region].”

Come September, a line-up of the world’s best economic growth strategists including Managing Director of the best-performing stock market in the world (Jamaica
Stock Exchange), Marlene Street Forrest, and international serial entrepreneur, Chinedu Echeruo will deliver keynote addresses regarding investments, innovation, and transformation to help businesses and governments find new and profitable ways of working together to support the achievement of more sustainable and modern infrastructures across the region.

Head of the OECS Development Cooperation and Resource Mobilization Unit, Lisa
Taylor Stone, said the event – SDM2020 – “is an investors mecca”.

She explained: “So far we are on the cusp of signing a partnership with Internet Income Jamaica to provide 5,000 jobs in the Eastern Caribbean; 30 entrepreneurs from across the
Caribbean have already been selected to participate in the SDM2020 Business Model Competition, aimed at promoting innovation and connecting the region’s entrepreneurs to leading global investors. We are also In the process of signing partnership deals with global entrepreneurs to strengthen the business development ecosystem for the Member States.”

SDM2020 is slated to be held on September 23 and 24 in Saint Lucia. Caribbean governments, development partners, members of the private sector, academia, civil society, and all other interest groups can register for the Summit online at

– SOURCE: One Integrated Group Limited

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