Grenada to chair World Bank’s Small States Forum

by Linda Straker

Grenada is taking over the chairmanship of the World Bank’s Small States Forum as of 6 October 2016, but Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell will not be there in person and the island will instead be represented by Oliver Joseph, Minister for Economic Affairs, Planning and Trade; and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Mike Sylvester.

This was disclosed by Sports Minister Roland Bhola at Tuesday’s post cabinet briefing. “The Prime Minister is unable to attend this and both persons will be representing him during the session, which will focus on funding for climate change project and financing opportunities for small states,” Bhola said.

“Towards a Resilient and Equitable Future: Opportunities for Financing and Partnerships,” is the theme for the session and there will be feature keynote opening addresses from World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, Minister Jean Paul Adam (Minister of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy of the Republic of Seychelles and outgoing Chair of SSF), and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.

According to a release on the World Bank website, the session will be bringing together Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from 50 member states, along with high level representatives from the UN, IMF, OECD, UNDP and the Commonwealth Secretariat, during the World Bank Group/IMF Annual Meetings, and “Representatives from Small States and the World Bank Group will meet to discuss challenges and solutions to the problems that affect the development of small states, especially related to financing options.”

3 topics will be discussed by the varying panels during the discussion. The first panel will focus on “Challenges and Opportunities for Equitable Growth.” It will focus on the growth drivers of small states and Opportunities for financial assistance to help small states address the nexus of low growth and high debt are of utmost importance.

“The Blue Economy offers opportunities for equitable growth and many small states are engaging in this domain. De-risking also has serious implications for many small states. De-risking threatens trade and financial integration, which has poverty and sustainable development implications,” said the explanatory notes to the topic.

The second panel will focus on: “Challenges and Opportunities for Resilience” while the third panel will focus on “Challenges and Opportunities for Financing and Partnership.”

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