Caribbean Facing Economic Uncertainty as a Result of Global Competition

Research shows region is dealing with its economic governance issues, but still faces many challenges

WATERLOO, Canada – The Caribbean region is facing continuous challenges to development – but, as new research released this month from the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) shows, there are substantive and relevant policy prescriptions to current economic governance problems.

CIGI’s most recent research on Caribbean Economic Governance examines three issues facing the region: migration, trade relations and the region’s reliance on tourism.

Beyond Tourism: The Future of the Services Industry in the Caribbean by Daniel P. Erikson and Joyce Lawrence argues that the services sector may serve as an important source of economic growth. This will be possible only if the region moves beyond tourism to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the areas of banking and financial services, call centres and information and communications technology, off-shore education, health services and transportation.

“Remote” in the Eastern Caribbean: The Antigua-US WTO Internet Gambling Case by CIGI Associate Director and Distinguished Fellow Andrew F. Cooper challenges standard assumptions about the workings of the international trading system by profiling the ‘David vs. Goliath’ case that Antigua has pursued against the United States in the World Trade Organization. The case exemplifies what a small country like Antigua can do to respond to dynamic changes imposed by globalization, confirming that Caribbean nations can sometimes punch above their weights in international relations.

First, Do No Harm: The Role and Responsibility of Canada as a Destination Country in South-North Migration by Laura Ritchie Dawson takes a look at the role that receiving countries’ policies, such as Canada’s, can play in reducing the negative effects of outward migration of permanent and temporary workers on the sending countries’ economic and social development. The paper outlines a set of policies for Canada that can help ensure a ‘triple win’ that benefits the sending countries, the wealthy receiving states and the migrants themselves.

The Caribbean Papers are a product of CIGI’s Project on Caribbean Economic Governance. The project convenes researchers and leaders within the private and public sectors to look at specific economic challenges facing the region and policy prescriptions that will help the Caribbean countries deal with lacklustre economic growth, poverty and continuing high rates of unemployment and government debt.

“The Caribbean region has liberal institutions, viable tourism, agricultural industries, proximity to large markets, and monetary stability,” said Daniel Schwanen, CIGI’s Acting Executive Director. “But the current global competition is posing significant problems. Policies, both in the Caribbean and in the countries that receive its citizens, could be altered to benefit all.”

Economic issues as well as the role of leadership and public sector reform will be examined in the series of research papers on directions needed to accelerate growth and foster the region’s ability to achieve its economic potential. The outcome of the project will include policy ideas to help the region carve a more profitable and sustainable niche in the global economy.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is a think tank that addresses international governance challenges and provides informed advice to decision-makers on multilateral governance issues.

CIGI supports research initiatives by recognized experts and promising academics; forms networks that link world-class minds across disciplines; informs and shapes dialogue among scholars, opinion leaders, key policy-makers and the concerned public; and builds capacity by supporting excellence in policy-related scholarship.

CIGI was founded in 2002 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

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