A New Caribbean Integration Paradigm?

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Above: Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran

By the Caribbean Journal tsaff

The Caribbean’s integration movement needs to adapt to the effects of the global financial crisis.

That’s the thesis put forward by Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran, who says integration needs to be based on a new development paradigm “that is better able to tackle such challenges.”

Dookeran offered his views in a lecture at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile last week.

“The external shocks that international financial institutions consider to be temporary have become permanent for small Caribbean economies,” he said. “The recent world crisis in 2008 and 2009 only cost the United States 1 percent of its GDP. In the Caribbean, estimates for the collapse suggest that it affected between 10 percent and 18 percent of GDP (depending on the country).”

Dookeran says there is a structural problem related to development, creating the need for a “new economic space” based on public-private partnerships aimed at “increasing production efficiency.”

That needs to be marked by four pillars, he said: inclusive and equitable development; transformative and endogenous growth; innovative and entrepreneurial competitiveness; and adaptive and realigned institutions.

“All of these areas are related to development and refer to the paradigm that we must change”, Dookeran said. “As with any integration process, there will be winners and losers. Some winners will not have been born yet. We need to take a leap of faith towards the future and change our development.”

 

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