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Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has accepted the Chairmanship of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), urging the creation of resilient economies in member states and a focus on youth economic development.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the CDB’s 52nd meeting in the Turks and Caicos Islands, he observed that the region faces crises created by external forces.
“These crises are due to the lingering negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the raging Russia-Ukraine War, imported inflation and structural deficiencies in our economies,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister expressed.
In this regard, Pierre spoke of the need to measure, target, and eventually eliminate the deficiencies.
He warned that if there’s no halt to the crises, they can increase poverty and despair among the region’s people.
And the Saint Lucia Prime Minister told his audience that this would further erode the quality of life of the people.
” It is important that we create avenues and opportunities to build resilient economies for the benefit of our people,” he stated.
Pierre also urged CDB members to focus on the economic well-being of young people.
He noted that the government of Saint Lucia had created a special place in the economy for youth entrepreneurship and business growth within the general economic system to be the subject of future pursuit.
Pierre, responsible for finance, explained that the youth economic initiative would provide young people with state resources to help them convert hobbies into entrepreneurship and skills into businesses through finance and marketing support, training, and mentorship.
He said this would create sustainable livelihoods and a new cadre of indigenous business people.
In addition, the Saint Lucia Prime Minister pointed to creating a dedicated agency that is agile, flexible, and responsive to drive that policy.
He observed that the CDB has estimated that building resilient economies will require substantial financial resources of at least US$1 billion annually to help the region achieve its developmental targets.
“Let me suggest that these figures may increase if the present global situation further deteriorates,” Pierre stated.
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