Caribbean Growth Forum - another talk shop?
The Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) is a regional initiative supported by the Compete Caribbean/Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank (WB), and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in collaboration with the United Kingdom Agency for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Yes, some high powered institutions, indeed! Their aim is to facilitate a platform for public private dialogue around the growth challenge, with a view to identifying practical and implementable solutions that inspire action in each of the 15 Caribbean countries.
The CGF engages a broad group of stakeholders, reaching (they say, even beyond the usual gang – of consultants? …) to other critical players in the action-oriented discussions on economic growth. This specifically includes the private sector (both small and large enterprise), the youth, civil society, the media and the Caribbean Diaspora. Preparation started in 2011 and led to the launch of the initiative in June 2012 in Jamaica followed other workshops (including one in Dominica.) to a broad audience of policy makers from private sector and civil society across the region. What has happened since?
Well, three areas for dialogues have been identified during the preparatory phase and "validated" since the formal launch event: namely, Investment Climate, Logistics and Connectivity; Skills and Productivity. Within the three areas, both economy-wide and sector specific discussions take place. The CGF is organized in two phases: the first phase focuses on identification and prioritization of the concrete actions through a quick mobilization of actors and resources, during which the CGF facilitates the process. The second phase focuses on the implementation by the government, with the CGF facilitating the public accountability reporting on the progresses in the implementation of the prioritize actions.
As far as I know, nothing serious has as yet materialized, apart from much talking and much reporting. Clearly, the private sector (in Dominic and elsewhere) has to demand more results. Unfortunately, it would seem that it is our private sector itself that has failed to do its part in pushing the implementation part of CGF agenda!