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How did the OECS countries face challenges for greater welfare?

Together for Prosperity is a macro-fiscal and social overview of how OECS member countries jointly faced challenges and achieved greater welfare over the past decade. By operating as group, including a single currency union, countries achieved per capita GDP growth three times higher than the Latin American average (1980-2016).  Growth was volatile and testament to the vulnerability of small island developing states to external shocks. Monetary policy was conducive to growth and maintained price and exchange rate stability. Despite the deterioration of public finances after 2009, which resulted from a combination of loose fiscal policy and the impact of natural disasters, the OECS countries could meet their public debt target of 60% of GDP by 2030 with additional fiscal consolidation efforts.  In health, the OECS made remarkable progress in maternal and childcare and in education outcomes at the primary and secondary levels.  Private sector performance was mixed despite having an investment-friendly environment.

The six independent member countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

How did the OECS member countries jointly face challenges and achieve greater welfare over the past decade?

To find out, watch the replay of our webinar, held on Friday November 10 at 12:00 p.m. EST, and moderated by Moisés Schwartz, economic advisor for the Caribbean at the Inter-American Development Bank. You will learn from the authors Camilo Gomez Osorio, Kimberly Waithe, and Shamar Blenman and get important insights from Ronald James, economist at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). 

This webinar has concluded…

 

 

Panelists’ biography:

Moisés Schwartz

Moisés Schwartz is the Regional Economic Advisor for the Caribbean at the Inter-American Development Bank. Prior to that, he assumed the position of Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) at the International Monetary Fund in February 2010. Before IEO, Dr. Schwartz was President of the National Commission for Retirement Savings in Mexico. Previously he served as an Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund, representing Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain and Venezuela. Prior to that, Mr. Schwartz held several senior positions in Mexico’s public administration, including as the Finance Minister’s Chief of Staff and Director General of International Financial Affairs within the Ministry of Finance. He has also served as Director of Macroeconomic Analysis and Director of Economic Studies in Mexico’s Central Bank. Mr. Schwartz earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autonómo de México and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Camilo Gomez Osorio

Camilo Gomez Osorio is an economist specializing in macro-fiscal analysis and public finance. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Currently, he is the Resident Macro-fiscal Advisor for Mozambique at the International Monetary Fund (August 2017). Prior to his post at the IMF, Mr. Gomez-Osorio was the Senior Country Economist for Barbados and the OECS at the Inter-American Development Bank, from August 2014 until May 2017. It was in this capacity that he was the principal author of Together for Prosperity in the OECS.  Prior to joining the IDB’s Caribbean Department, he was the Country Economist for The Maldives and Sri Lanka at the World Bank based in Colombo, and for Afghanistan based in Kabul. He was also the Fiscal Economist for the World Bank’s Indonesia program in Jakarta.  His specialties include: public expenditure management, debt sustainability analysis, public financial management, and public finance and regulation for private sector development.

Kimberly Waithe

Kimberly Waithe, a citizen of Barbados, is an economics consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank, Barbados country office since July 2014. Her responsibilities include monitoring and reporting on economic performances and prospects in Barbados and the OECS.

Previously, she was a senior economist in the Ministry of Finance and Economics Affairs in the government of Barbados, from 2011 to 2014. She started her career there in 2008 as an economist. There she monitored and evaluated key planning and strategic documents for Barbados and reported on specific aspects of the economy. In addition, she assisted in the preparation of the annual Barbados economic and social reports along with the journal of public sector policy analysis. She has also published several research papers in international and local journals. Her research interest includes public finance and public policy, economic development, and energy economics.

Ms. Waithe holds a Master’s degree in Financial and Business Economics and a Bachelor degree in Economics and Management (First Class Honors) from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

Shamar Blenman

Shamar Blenman, a citizen of Barbados, is an operations and economics consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank, Barbados country office since October 2014 when he began his professional career. His responsibilities include monitoring and reporting on the performance of IDB’s development portfolio in Barbados as well as economic performances in the OECS. He had previously been an intern at the Inter-American Development Bank in the summer of 2013.

Mr. Blenman holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Accounting (First Class Honors) from the University of West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, from which he graduated in October 2014. He desires to pursue a career in economics with a focus on macro-fiscal analysis.

Ronald James

Ronald James, a citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is an economist at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Barbados. His responsibilities include monitoring and reporting on economic performances and prospects in Montserrat; St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. He is also responsible for coordinating CDB’s efforts in the Caribbean Growth Forum initiative.

Prior to joining CDB, Ronald worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union’s Regional Economist from 2014 to 2016, where his duties included monitoring socioeconomic and political developments in the ECCU.  From 2008-2014, he was an Economist at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), with the specific responsibility of Country Economist for Grenada. This included monitoring economic developments in the country and providing policy advice. He also was responsible for monitoring the tourism and transport sectors and conducted research in these areas. Ronald’s research interests include the areas of public finance and public policy, economic growth and development, institutions and governance and, climate change and natural disasters.

Ronald holds a Master’s degree in Economics and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.

 

Download the complete publication here

 

Read related blogs:

Together for Prosperity? by Camilo Gomez Osorio

 

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