Local and regional officials in the financial services sector are being urged to be more proactive when it comes to addressing issues affecting the sector.
“We usually sit and wait for others to make the decision for us,” said Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss. “We only answer when we are asked a question; and even then we answer late,” he added.
Inniss made the comments at the recent Caribbean Banking and Caribbean International Financial Services Sector Workshop in Curaçao.
The workshop was a precursor to the Global Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) scheduled for Bridgetown tomorrow and Friday.
Likening the rules set by international establishments to a form of neocolonialism, Inniss said: “Each of these institutions has its own set of rules, and we are constantly trying to play by them so that we don’t lose our correspondent banking relationships
or don’t get blacklisted. We need to change this.
“We have to build regional partnerships and identify issues and solutions long before international entities ask us any questions. We must start sending the message that we are knowledgeable, responsible and engaged,” said Inniss.
During the seminar, participants were encouraged to push for a regional secretariat to be established that would advocate and formulate policies for the region.
In his contribution, board member of Florida International Banker’s Association (FIBA), Wayne Shah, agreed that the Caribbean should be more engaged and present at various discussions while ensuring it played by the rules.
“The Caribbean needs to work on a coordinated response. The Caribbean financial services sector should partner with countries in Latin America and other regions to get the mainstream media in the US to cover their plight in its true light,” said Shah. (PR/MM)