The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has asked the region to fully support jurisdictions that are diversifing their economies through the financial services sector.
CDB president Warren Smith called for regional coordination in the international business sector, stating that a private sector-led, regionally-coordinated approach can help the Caribbean reap the full benefits.
"We should embrace a regional approach that supports regulatory convergence and the adoption of common principles among Caricom countries," he said during the Barbados' International Business Week 2019 conference.
In this business, what we trade on is our good name"
The CDB head also called for the private sector to be more involved in shaping the direction of the IBFS, advising that the private sector had a role to play in policy and strategy development.
"There is untapped potential in the Caribbean for sustainable and inclusive growth through greater private sector involvement. The engagement of the various private sector actors is not limited to the provision of financing," Tcweeklynews reports.
The CDB president stated that countries which failed to make changes to their regulatory frameworks faced the real threats of the loss of correspondent banking relationships and of ‘blacklisting'.
"Since the recent threats of ‘blacklisting' Barbados, many Caribbean countries are even more aware of the pressures that the international community can exert on the international business and financial services sector."
Smith advised stakeholders to adopt a regional approach to protecting this valuable sector and establish the region as a "zone of excellence" for financial services. He added that a threat to the reputation of one Caribbean country is a threat to all.
"In this business, what we trade on is our good name. The blacklisting of any one Caribbean country will have an immediate negative effect on the reputation of the entire region."