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March 30, 2017 The Biltmore Hotel, Alhambra Room

While, for much of Latin America, the new millennium heralded a period of high growth, the same was not true for the small island developing states of the Caribbean. Fast forward to 2017 and many small economies in the Caribbean, such as the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Panama, are now growing faster than the region's giants. As part of The Americas Conference® Series, organized by the Miami Herald, we will bring together distinguished senior policy-makers, renowned economists, and businessmen to identify common opportunities and debate shared solutions for sustained growth across the region. Follow the discussion on #CaribbeanGrowth

9:00: Welcome by Rick Hirsch, Miami Herald Managing Editor

9:05: Opening Remarks by Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean

9:10: Keynote Speech by Michael Lee-Chin,  Chair of the Government of Jamaica Economic Growth Council

Session 1: Diagnostic of the Caribbean: Chronic Challenges, New Strategies to Revive Growth

9:30: Presentation of the report “Open and Nimble: Finding Stable growth in Small Economies” by Daniel Lederman, World Bank Deputy Chief Economist

9:50-10:50: High level panel discussion with questions from audience and online


  • Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, Government of Grenada (invited)
  • Prime Minister Chastanet, Government of St Lucia 
  • Brian Wynter, Governor of the Central Bank of Jamaica
  • Alberto Trejos, former Minister of foreign trade, Costa Rica
  • Co- Moderators: Maureen Whitefield and Nora Gamez-Torres

Coffee Break

Session 2: Eastern Caribbean: Healing Financial Woes

11:10: Presentation of the report “Taming volatility: Fiscal policy and financial development for growth in the Eastern Caribbean” by Francisco Carneiro, World Bank Lead Economist

11:30-12:30: Panel discussion with questions from audience and online


  • Timothy Antoine, ECCB Governor
  • Trevor Alleyne, IMF Division Chief
  • Colin Murdoch, OECS Commissioner
  • Bruce Bowen, Formerly Sr. VP of Scotiabank for the Caribbean
  • Moderator: Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald


Session 1: Diagnostic of the Caribbean: Chronic Challenges, New Strategies to Revive Growth

Small economies around the world are undoubtedly diverse. Yet their small economic size brings shared challenges and opportunities for long-term development. Latin America and the Caribbean currently includes fast growing small economies such as Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Panama, alongside slow-growing economies such as Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, and economies such as the OECS with growth rates somewhere in between. This session will take a long-term view on what are the key priorities and challenges shared by small economies such as integration with the global economy, high debt and volatility. The discussion will also focus on strategies to help boost long-term growth recognizing that small economies can be more nimble and are able to reorient their economies over time. 

Session 2: Eastern Caribbean: Healing Financial Woes

Why is growth in the Eastern Caribbean so volatile? Heavily dependent on tourism and specific commodities, the small island states of the Eastern Caribbean are economically vulnerable to swings in trade, interest rates and foreign direct investment. Since 2013, real GDP growth in the OECS recovered to an average of 2.6 percent through 2016, following a contraction of 2 percent in the preceding 4 years through 2012. This represents an opportunity for the region to strengthen its ability to manage the impacts of unexpected shocks. This session will take stock of efforts to strengthen fiscal and financial policies and financial development and look at challenges and opportunities for the region.

  • Dr. Keith Mitchell

    Prime Minister, Government of Grenada
    Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell. Keith Claudius Mitchell was born in Brizan, St. George. He received his primary education at the Happy Hill R.C. School and the J.W. Fletcher Memorial School. He went on to the Presentation Brothers College then to the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, where he gained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Chemistry (1971). He subsequently obtained a Masters Degree from Howard University (1975) and a Doctorate in Mathematics and Statistics from the American University in 1979. An avid cricketer, Dr. Mitchell was a member of the Grenada Cricket Team from 1964. In 1973, he was made Captain of the Grenada Cricket Team as well as the combined Windward and Leeward Youth Cricket Team. He taught at the Presentation Brothers College and was a Mathematics Professor at Howard University between 1977 and 1983. He also started his own consulting firm in Washington, D.C., and worked as a professional consultant to a number of Government departments and private corporations in the United States. After returning to Grenada, he was in 1984 elected Member of Parliament for St. George North West, and has held the seat in each subsequent election. Dr. Mitchell was elected Political Leader of the New National Party (NNP) in 1989. On June 20, 1995, Dr. Mitchell and the NNP won eight out of fifteen seats in the House of Representative and he became Prime Minister for the first time. Dr. Mitchell and the NNP also won the elections in 1999 and 2003, for a historic two and three consecutive terms in office. The New National Party was defeated in the general election held on July 8, 2008 by the National Democratic Congress, although Dr. Mitchell himself was re-elected to his seat for St. George North West. He was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition on July 16, 2008. In the February 19thth, 2013 elections, Dr. Mitchell and his New National Party won all 15 Seats to once again form the government. This marked the second time that his party achieved such a historic feat. On February 20th, 2013, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell was sworn in as Prime Minister for the fourth time. On a regional level, Dr. Mitchell is currently Chairman of the Regional Security System (RSS), and the Lead Head for Science and Technology under CARICOM. Prime Minister Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell is also the Minister of Finance and Energy, National Security, Information, Implementation, Disaster Management and Home Affairs.
  • PM Allen Chastanet

    Prime Minister, Government of St Lucia
    The Honourable Prime Minister Allen M. Chastanet was sworn in as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia on 7 June 2016. A Saint Lucian businessman, Allen Chastanet opened and launched a new luxury resort in 1989-1991. He served as Saint Lucia's Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation and a member of the Saint Lucian Senate from 2006 to 2011. Chastanet also held the position of Vice President of marketing and sales for Air Jamaica and managing director of the Coco Palm Hotel. Allen Chastanet was elected as the Political Leader of the United Workers’ Party at the Party’s convention in 2013. He has retained this position at each annual convention held since 2013. Allen Chastanet holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics with a minor in Political Science as well as a Master’s Degree in Development Banking. He obtained these from Bishop’s University in Quebec and American University in Washington D.C. respectively. He is married to Raquel Du Boulay-Chastanet and has two beautiful children, daughter Rhyan, aged 13 and son Braden, aged 10.
  • Brian Wynter

    Governor of the Central Bank of Jamaica
    Brian Wynter, was appointed Governor of the Bank of Jamaica as of 23 November 2009. As Governor, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank. Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1959, Mr. Wynter graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 1981 with a BSc (Economics) honours degree. He received the Graduate Diploma in Law from The City University, London and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1983 after completing the professional qualifying examinations at the Inns of Court School of Law, London. He was enrolled as an attorney in the Supreme Court of Judicature, Jamaica in 1990. Mr. Wynter is also the holder of a masters degree specialising in international economics from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, New York, which he received in 1985. Before returning to Jamaica in 1988, Mr. Wynter worked with Chase Investment Bank and Schroder Wertheim International Company, both in New York. In Jamaica, he first worked with National investment Bank of Jamaica (NIBJ) as Director of Investment, next with Mutual Security Merchant Bank as Senior General Manager before moving in 1991 to Citibank, NA, where he spent the next four years as Vice President. Mr. Wynter was Deputy Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, with responsibility for Banking and Market Operations, from September 1995 until his appointment as Technical Advisor to the Minister of Finance in November 1999. In August 2001, Mr. Wynter was appointed the first Executive Director of the then newly-established Financial Services Commission and served in that capacity until December 2007 when he left to join the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) in Barbados as Capital Markets/Financial Sector Advisor.
  • Alberto Trejos

    Former Minister of Trade, Costa Rica
    Alberto Trejos has been a professor at INCAE since 1997, where he is currently Dean and served as director of the Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development. Before he was in the faculty of Northwestern University, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and the Institut d'Anàlisi Economica de Barcelona. In the public sector, Trejos was the minister of foreign trade in Costa Rica, a capacity in which he led the negotiation of CAFTA-DR. He was president of CINDE (the Costa Rican investment board), helped design the pension reform of 1999, and was member of the supervisory board for the financial system. Trejos is a director of the Brenthurst Foundation of South Africa, and the president of the board of the Arias Foundation for Peace and Democracy. He headed the International Council on Economics for the president of Malawi and belonged to the Board of International Advisers to the president of Mozambique. He has worked for governments, companies and international organizations in 50 countries, mostly in Africa and Latin America. In the private sector, he is a partner of two economics consulting firms (CEFSA and DRP) and a board member of several companies in Costa Rica, including Banco BAC San José and Corporación Cuestamoras. He graduated from the University of Costa Rica and earned his Ph.D. in economics with honors from the University of Pennsylvania. He has published extensively both for practitioner audiences and at top academic journals.
  • Trevor Alleyne

    Division Chief, Caribbean I, International Monetary Fund
    Trevor Alleyne is an Assistant Director/Division Chief of the Caribbean I Division at the International Monetary Fund since September 2013, where he is responsible for the OECS countries. His previous Caribbean experience at the Fund was as Division Chief of the Caribbean II Division during 2008-2012, serving also as mission chief for Jamaica, Barbados, The Bahamas, and Suriname. Mr. Alleyne has been at the IMF since 1992, with assignments mainly in the African and Western Hemisphere Departments. Most recently, he served as mission chief for Nigeria and Zambia (2012-2013). Prior to joining the Fund, he was a principal analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office from 1986 to 1992. He is a professional economist with over 25 years of experience; was educated at the University of the West Indies (B.Sc.), University of Pennsylvania (M.A.), and the University of Maryland (Ph.D.)
  • Colin Murdoch

    OECS Commissioner
    Ambassador Colin Murdoch is a senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and he represents Antigua and Barbuda on the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission. Ambassador Murdoch trained at post-graduate level the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston, where he graduated first in his class. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Antigua and Barbuda in 1982 as a foreign service officer and rose to be permanent secretary in the Ministry for many years. Colin Murdoch, in addition to his regular duties as permanent secretary, was appointed as non-resident ambassador to Cuba in 1997, a position he held until 2004. He also served as permanent secretary in the Ministry of Trade Industry and Commerce between 2009 - 2014; and is the Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In that capacity he has been a member of the negotiating team from Antigua and Barbuda now seeking a settlement with the US after successfully bringing a case against the US on internet gaming.
  • Timothy Antoine

    Governor, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank
    Mr. Timothy N. J. Antoine, a national of Grenada, assumed duties as the third Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) on 1 February 2016. He is an economist and development practitioner by training, experience and passion. Before taking up the position of Governor, Mr. Antoine served as Director for Grenada on the ECCB Board of Directors for the periods: 2002 to October 2005 and January 2008 to January 2016. Mr. Antoine’s 22-year tenure with the Government of Grenada was spent in the Ministry of Finance where he began as a Planning Officer in 1993 and rapidly moved up the ranks to Senior Economist before being appointed Permanent Secretary, serving in that position for the periods August 1999 to October 2005 and January 2008 to January 2016. From November 2005 to November 2007, he served as Advisor to the Executive Director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean in the World Bank Group and was based in Washington D.C. In that role, he offered analysis and advice on various development policies and projects and was a strong advocate for the interests of the Caribbean and small States. He was a Part-Time Lecturer in Economics and Development at St George’s University from 1999-2000. Mr. Antoine has also contributed to the development of the OECS and wider Caribbean in various ways including serving on several local, regional and international boards and committees. Mr. Antoine, holds an MSc Degree in Social Policy and Planning in Development Countries from the London School of Economics
  • Bruce Bowen

    Founder & CEO, BCD Capital Partners
    Over a 25 year career with Scotiabank, during which he lived in Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico and Jamaica Bruce led Scotiabank’s operations across 20 countries in the Caribbean. Scotiabank’s Caribbean franchise combines retail & commercial banking, insurance and wealth management with 3 publicly listed companies and a U.S. licensed bank. As Senior Vice President, Caribbean he was responsible for operations with total assets in excess of $14Bn and over 5,500 staff across more than 150 branches & offices serving 1.5 million customers. During the period 2012/13 Bruce played a leading role in Jamaica’s successful National Debt Exchange (NDX), a precondition to Jamaica’s Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund. He was a founding member of Jamaica’s Economic Programme Oversight Committee charged with monitoring the country’s progress under its IMF agreements on behalf of the private sector and civil society. In April 2016 Bruce left Scotiabank to establish BCD Capital Partners, a boutique investment bank and fund management business that seeks to expand access to financing for Caribbean business and bring non-traditional asset class opportunities to Caribbean investors.
  • The Miami Herald

    Americas Conference Series: The Americas Conference® Series, organized by The Miami Herald, is the region’s largest and most acclaimed annual forum of international executives and top government leaders, who gather to discuss a wide spectrum of relevant business and political issues of crucial importance for Latin America and the Caribbean.