Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, highlights the unique macro-economic challenges facing the small middle-income states of the Caribbean – 10 of which are members of the Commonwealth – and considers prospects for the region.
As small states go, the Caribbean is a unique region. There is wide variation in the per capita incomes of the countries in the region – ranging from US$4,090 for Guyana to US$21,130 for the Bahamas. Largely because of this, analysts once divided the region between less developed and more developed states. Thankfully this classification is no longer frequently used, presumably because of the realisation that ‘we are all in the same boat’.
There are both differences and similarities among us as a group. Three of the regional economies (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname) are commodity exporters while the others are largely dependent on tourism and remittances. However, we are all relatively undiversified economies and all highly vulnerable to developments in the US and UK. Above all we are all convinced that our economic prospects are enhanced by close collaboration and involving intensified dialogue and coordinated policies…
Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago