Minister Singh chairs the CARICOM Council on Finance and Planning

– progress made on key long-standing issues

A SENIOR MINISTER recently attended the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Ashni K. Singh, Eighth Special Meeting of the CARICOM Finance and Planning Council (COFAP)

The meeting was almost in accordance with the resolution of the 32nd Inter-Sessional meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government Conference held in February 2021, which examined the supporting macroeconomic environment for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Thursday’s meeting involved Finance Ministers exchanging views on joint advocacy positions they might want to adopt during the upcoming International Monetary Fund (IMF) – World Bank Spring Meetings 2021. The meeting was also going to addressed a number of long-standing issues relating to the CSME, including CARICOM’s Credit Reporting Policies, Deposit Insurance, Regional Securities Market Development and Regulation, as well as the CARICOM Financial Services Agreement and Double Taxation Agreement within CARICOM.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Minister Singh highlighted that the meeting was taking place at a time when the region was facing unprecedented economic challenges, stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought a sharp focus on the importance of speaking with one unified voice on issues of shared interest at the forthcoming IMF / World Bank Spring Meetings.

He also highlighted the urgency in which progress is needed on many of the long outstanding issues that need to be addressed to promote the supporting architecture for the CSME, and urged that ‘ These matters are final and timely.

Subsequently, significant progress was made at the meeting on many of the issues, and agreement was reached on the way forward with many of the forthcoming policies, while there was also consensus on the way forward with other items that needed to be addressed. further discussed and consulted among Member States. . It involved participation from several Prime Ministers, Finance Ministers, Central Bank Governors, and senior finance officials from across the region.