Caribbean financial sector urged to be more involved in regional development – President Ali

Financial players in the Caribbean region were on Thursday morning encouraged to be part of transformational development as capital is needed for continued growth.

This was the position of His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who delivered a virtual keynote address at the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) Regional Capital Market Conference 2023.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali delivering the virtual address to the conference

President Ali said this transformation, though the opportunities are present, can only come to fruition if access to finance is easily mobilised.

“The Caribbean financial sector needs to play a more instrumental role in mobilising capital to fill the region’s financial gap,” he posited.

Pointing out that the Caribbean’s financial need as far back as 2020 was more than US $10 billion, the president underscored the key role of partnership in fostering growth and development for Guyana and other Caribbean countries.

“We know that this cannot be done from the savings within the region, and therefore the challenge will have to involve partnership with others,” he explained.

To strike a balance, however, the head of state said the mobilisation of finance must be met by what he described as “strong regulation and oversight” for it to be a successful venture.

“Financial markets are not without risk. The deeper the region becomes integrated into the global financial markets, the higher the risk of global problems…securities and capital markets need strong regulation and oversight in order to protect investors,” the president asserted.

President Ali encouraged investors to come on board with Guyana’s development, as several improvements are being made to the technological, agricultural, infrastructural, and educational industries.

“Transformation is not only due to the discovery of oil alone, but also the use to which the oil revenues will be put and the trigger which the industry is already playing in boosting the economy. Guyana will become an economic powerhouse,” the head of state affirmed.

On July 22, President Ali supported the launch of the Guyanese-owned New Haven Merchant Bank.

The bank, which provides several services such as asset management, and investment banking, among others, has begun to play a crucial role in bringing the much-needed finance and capital to develop small businesses and advance infrastructural development in keeping with the government’s developmental agenda.