State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Fayval Williams, who also headed the Delegation for CARICOM at the G20 Meeting of Finance and Central Bank Deputies held in Bariloche, Argentina on November 30th to December 2nd, has welcomed the G20’s focus on infrastructure financing and efforts to begin building standardized, liquid and tradeable assets in the infrastructure sector.
“As finance and deputy finance ministers, one of the major factors occupying our minds is the worsening effect of climate change as evidenced by recent hurricanes, Maria and Irma. These hurricanes devastated countries such as Dominica. The worsening effects of climate change, destroys our physical infrastructure, our budgets and undermines economic growth.” Williams said.
“As a result, the CARICOM region is experiencing much slower economic growth than the rest of the world,” the State Minister highlighted. Williams told the gathering that the region has begun to build resilience in its infrastructure, for example, through more robust building codes in order to mitigate the risks.
Williams also noted that the challenges faced by the CARICOM region are compounded by ‘de-risking’ in which correspondent banks in developed countries have been closing the accounts of local banks.
“De-risking is putting more pressure on economic growth,” she said.
She highlighted the regions move to deepen its financial markets while making the necessary structural changes to ensure macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability.
“However, the factors that face us make it impossible for the region to cope with these large issues through its efforts alone, particularly when we remain doubly vulnerable given our tourism intensive economies,” the CARICOM head of delegation said.
She noted that while the rest of the world has been able to sprint along, the impact of climate change on the infrastructure of CARICOM territories as well as decisions that negatively impact our financial architecture “are real everyday issues for CARICOM countries.”
“We wish for these issues to be brought to the forefront and placed on the agenda of the G20 working groups,” Williams said.
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