January 21, 2005

OECS Heads to meet World Bank president

OECS Heads of Government are due to meet with World Bank President James Wolfensohn today in Grenada.

The round-table is a follow-up to an initial meeting between the two sides on November 27th, 2002 in St. Kitts/Nevis at which the World Bank president heard directly about challenges facing the small, open OECS economies and areas in which his Washington-based financial institution could offer assistance. {{more}}The Bank had expressed strong support for the OECS cooperation exercise, noting the success story of the OECS Monetary Union and the current moves to build an OECS Economic Union.

OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael will address today’s round-table on progress on the regional agenda including work being done to advance the economic union process.

World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean Caroline Anstey is down to make a presentation on the Bank’s partnership with OECS countries including lessons learned from its 2001-2005 Country Assistance Strategy and plans for the 2006-2009 edition.

It is also expected that Heads will engage Wolfenshon in wide-ranging discussions on macroeconomic and fiscal issues including international trade matters; enhancing skills through the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network (CKLN); disaster management and catastrophe risk; youth vulnerability; public sector reform; and regional utilities.

The discussions will also look at changing the way in which the World Bank does business in the OECS.

The meeting, which is being held at the St. Georges University, will hear welcome remarks from Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.