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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Poor outlook for doing business across the Caribbean, says CDB president

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Compton Bourne believes the outlook for doing business in the Caribbean is a very poor one as it takes “forever” to get the paperwork and regulations to set up a business in the region.

Addressing the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (GCCI) annual awards and dinner presentation on Wednesday, Bourne says another challenge is the slothfulness of the court system in resolving business disputes.

He has called for authorities across the Caribbean to address these shortcomings, so that the environment for doing business can be more conducive and attractive.

Turing his attention to the global financial crisis and its impact on the Caribbean, Bourne said several sectors in the Caribbean have been severely hit by the crisis, including tourism trade and bauxite.

He also cited the decrease in foreign investment in the Caribbean as another effect of the crisis.

However, Bourne said the CDB will not sit idly by and allow the crisis to shrivel the regional economies as already it is responding to the challenges facing the region.

“We at the CDB have been doing our best to modify policies and provide assistance... we have reduced the counterpart funding required for countries seeking to borrow money from the CDB, we are currently making fuller use of our policy based loans which provide strategy support to countries." Bourne explained.

He added that the bank has also reduced the interest rates continuously to the clients of the bank.

The CDB president added that two major initiatives are on stream to assist indigenous banks and hotels affected by low visitor arrivals.

The CDB will provide liquidity support to some banks, particularly indigenous banks that are in some difficulty, and liquidity support to some hotels in the region that would normally be viable but whose vulnerability is threatened by fall in visitor arrivals.

December 5, 2009