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2013: A year of lost opportunities for Caribbean countries

2013: A year of lost opportunities for Caribbean countries

By Sir Ronald Sanders
Sir Ronald Sanders

Thursday December 26, 2013 – 2013 was not a good year for any of the 14 independent member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – not even for three of the four commodity-exporting nations Belize, Guyana and Suriname, despite their economic growth. The fourth commodity-exporting country, Trinidad and Tobago, had no growth to speak-of.

All the countries were beset by high unemployment; there was high debt in 10 of them; decline in inclusive economic growth in 11 of them; unsustainable fiscal deficits and widening trade deficits in goods and services in all of them; and foreign exchange losses in many of them. Additionally, bank lending and private spending tightened in 11 of them causing a contraction in the private sector to which all countries had been looking to lead economic recovery in the wake of cash-strapped governments being compelled to retreat as both investor and employer. Continue reading

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