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Nov 8, 2017

Central Bank Hosts Regional Economists

They are the moving hands, rarely seen, in control of national economies and finance structures. Their word can determine how much a country receives for projects, chart investment and growth, and combat problems both expected and unexpected.  They are the bankers…and under the regional Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance (CCMF) and Belize’s Central Bank, this week, they gather in Belize for the annual regional Monetary Studies Conference. While much of the discussion over the next two days at the Radisson will be dry for some, out of the research papers to be presented by economists of the region’s central banks as well as collaborators from the University of the West Indies, Galen University, the University of Belize and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre will come some solutions to prevailing regional economic problems. News Five’s Aaron Humes has more.

 

Joseph Waight

Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“I don’t think that anyone would disagree when I say that we are all currently experiencing some very difficult economic circumstances. Globally, while there has been some signs of recovery from the Great Recession, this expansion is at best anemic and spotty, so that any positive external stimulus to our economies will likewise be weak, except for those that serve very narrow niche markets. The decline in sugar prices, the ending of preferential trading arrangements are now being felt fully by us. The performance of our agricultural exports continues to be weak, mainly because of disease. And, as the Governor mentioned earlier, the correspondent banking issue continues to be a major source of challenge and difficulty for our small economies in the Caribbean.”

 

Joy Grant

Joy Grant, Governor, Central Bank of Belize

“There are no simple answers to these questions. We must continue, in earnest, the discussion, and include as many stakeholders as possible. More importantly, we must then execute the recommendations with some haste. This conference, and others like it, is important for finding solutions to these escalating regional challenges. While theoretical research is indispensable to expanding our knowledge, we are in dire need of applied scholarship that can inform our decision-making and provide near-term policy recommendations that, collectively, can allow us to improve the quality of life and living conditions of all our people.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

For the next two days, the best and brightest minds in Caribbean economics and finance will be studying the question of repositioning small states for new global realities, and analyzing the prospects and challenges. The forty-ninth annual Monetary Studies Conference is, according to the Bank’s Research Director Azucena Quan-Novelo, both an opportunity to learn best practices across the region and to begin the training of the future crop of economists and financial experts.

 

Azucena Quan-Novelo

Azucena Quan-Novelo, Research Director, Central Bank of Belize

“For this conference, we are looking at those fiscal issues such as the management of debt: how do you manage debt and yet be able to get growth? Clearly, for growth you have to invest in order to grow but sometimes that investment requires net borrowing. There is also the issue of financial sector interconnectedness, and how that affects the region – for example, in the region there were some major happenings, the CLICO collapse and how that affected countries, more than one countries. We also have to look at ourselves and look at the interconnectedness within our financial system, to see how we manage those and monitor and track increasing vulnerabilities arising from those interconnectedness.”

 

And closer to home, the question of excess liquidity in the banking system and challenges for sustainable investment will be an important topic to be discussed by a Belizean presenter. But at the end of the day, Quan-Novelo says solutions to much of our problems may be formulated from this week’s discussions.

 

Azucena Quan-Novelo

“The key takeaways would be the main lessons learned, because you are looking at experiences of other countries in the region, what works, what doesn’t work; you’re looking at studies that will be looking at issues that affect the country and what would be recommendations to address and mitigate those vulnerabilities or policies, how to formulate policies that are more beneficial for the country.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Central Bank Hosts Regional Economists”

  1. Jason says:

    Excellent- al the brains in one room trying to figure out how next to slow down business and ask for useless shit before anyone can do a transaction – then they ask for it again after you had sent it

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