The Caribbean region has not been as robust in its engagement on the international business sector within CARICOM meetings. Minister of International Business Donville Inniss raised this concern yesterday during a Press conference at the Radisson Aquatica Resort, Aquatic Gap, St Michael.
He said: “The financial services sector is a very dynamic area; the goalposts keep being moved all the time. CARICOM needs to have a voice at the various international fora where the issues pertaining to this issue are being discussed. We need to be very much part of the discussion to help shape the issues.
“We at the meeting want to get the international business sector firmly planted in the regional agenda. I am concerned as minister that this sector has not been given the attention and detail that is necessary for the region to build and maintain an international business sector in the region. The financial services sector is the second most important industry in terms of its contribution to the economies in the region,” Inniss added.
The St James South MP explained that the many challenges which confronted the sector in the region originated from actions in the G20, the G8 and the OECD.
“We in the region think that this situation merited the coming together of regional governments before February next year to understand what is going on and to start strategizing. Today’s meeting was a success in terms of our succinctly addressing the issues which confront the region. We took a look at the status of the international services sector and started to craft a strategy to address the challenges as well as pursuing the opportunities.
“We recognize that the sector is under-resourced in relation to its contribution to the economies in the region. We feel that it is critical that the governments and the private sector form a coherent alliance that will provide the advocacy required for long-term sustainability and growth, Inniss,” added.