CDB seminars to focus on resilience, air transport and the blue economy

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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will bring together government officials, experts and thought leaders for three interactive seminars during the 48th annual meeting of its board of governors in Grenada. Discussants will address three topics: building resilient cities; the blue economy; and regional air transport during the events, which are scheduled to take place on May 30 and 31, 2018.

After a devastating 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, the bank designed the meeting to include a forum for discussing “Building Resilient Cities”. The seminar will provide a preview of the bank’s urban sector policy and discuss solutions to, and progress made in addressing the region’s urban sector challenges.

Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica, will deliver an opening keynote address, which will be followed by a panel discussion. The discussion will be chaired by Gabby Crane, team lead, regional development banks, United Kingdom Department for International Development. She will be joined by panellists Sharlene Cartwright Robinson, premier, Turks and Caicos Islands; Dr Janice Cumberbatch, lecturer, University of the West Indies; Leonard Francis, director, Spatial Planning Division, National Environment and Planning Agency, Jamaica; and Cavon White, operations officer, CDB.

“Throughout the region, our cities host many of the primary economic, environmental, social and institutional activities. This seminar will explore how CDB’s borrowing member countries can build resilience, especially in the context of increasing climate change activities. The discussion will seek to explore opportunities for knowledge sharing and behaviour change,” said Daniel Best, director of projects, CDB.

At the meeting, CDB will also present recent research, which will be the focus of presentations and discussions for the other two seminars.

“Aviation Competitiveness and Connectivity”, a working paper, examines the importance of air transport connectivity to the region.

“Connectivity is vital for increased competitiveness – it boosts tourism, contributes to growth in the wider economy, facilitates trade, and helps to improve efficiency. Through this paper, we hope to examine the factors inhibiting connectivity and competitiveness in the regional aviation industry,” said Dr Justin Ram, director of economics, CDB.

The seminar will feature a keynote address by Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda. It will take place on May 30, 2018. Panellists will discuss opportunities for overcoming connectivity deficits, and improving performance. The discussion will be chaired by Ian Bertrand, principal, El Perial Management Services, joined by panellists Peter Cerdá, vice-president, International Air Transport Authority; Julie Reifer-Jones, chief executive officer, LIAT; and Ram, who will also deliver a presentation.

The second research paper, “Financing the Blue Economy: A Caribbean Development Opportunity”, will examine the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health in the Caribbean.

“Although the Caribbean is limited in land size, we have vast maritime resources at our disposal. In this study, CDB will explore the potential of ocean-based industries and their potential financing to increase economic growth and improve livelihoods in the region. We look forward to the discussants advancing the regional conversation around this very important topic,” Ram said.

The seminar discussing the study will take place on May 31, and will begin with a presentation by Dr Roger McLeod, economist, CDB. Gail Hurley, development finance policy specialist, United Nations Development Programme will chair the conversation; the panel will include Dr Eric Deans, chief executive officer, Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, and Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative Task Force; Tahseen Sayed, director for the Caribbean, World Bank; and Robert Weary, senior director, NatureVest, the Nature Conservancy.

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