Grenada makes some advances

The Government of Grenada, joined by private sector, civil society and donor representatives reviewed today their growth strategies and highlighted  specific advances in investment protection, small business development and agricultural production to improve competitiveness and job creation.

The Second Accountability Workshop of the Caribbean Growth Forum (CGF) organized by the Ministry of Finance and Energy in collaboration with the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Compete Caribbean, and the Caribbean Development Bank, concluded today that Grenada is on track to address its most pressing economic challenges.

Over the last decade, Grenada has been trapped in a spiral of low growth, high debt and limited fiscal space. In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, unemployment has risen in most Eastern Caribbean countries, with youth unemployment becoming a source of particular concern, ranging from 34 percent in St Lucia to 42 percent in Grenada.

“Building on our experiences with the CGF process, the Government has decided to incorporate these reforms in the development of its National Strategic Plan 2030,” said Oliver Joseph, Grenada Minister of Economic Development, Planning, Trade, Cooperatives and International Business.

The Government of Grenada reported concrete advances in three main areas:

*Improving business climate: with the support of the World Bank Group a new Investment Promotion Act was approved by Parliament in November 2014 to promote and protect investments in Grenada by providing investors with a clear and predictable legal framework.

In addition last year, the Government of Grenada in collaboration with the Grenada Development Bank provided more than 200 loans to small businesses for the total of EC$ 2.4 million to create 600 jobs.

*Boosting agriculture: in the past months, the commercialization of the two estates in Grand Bras and Belle Vue was completed to stimulate economic growth by enhancing the agricultural production through Public-Private Partnerships.

*Promoting renewable energy: In the area of Logistics and Connectivity, through the ECERA Project. A draft Electricity Supply Bill and Public Utilities Regulatory Bill, have been drafted, for the promotion of renewable energy and regulation of the energy sector is now under preparation.

Grenada CGF national chapter prioritized 44 recommendations to unleash competitiveness and growth in the country.  25 were completed and 19 remain in progress or delayed – a completion rate of 57%, the second highest in the Caribbean (Dominican Republic recorded 62%).

(Submitted by the Ministry of Finance)

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