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At Caribbean Association of Banks Conference, A Push to Make Tourism More Competitive

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — The Caribbean Association of Banks (CAB) successfully completed its 41st conference and annual general meeting held in Grenada from 12-15 November. As a primary objective, CAB provides a forum that enables members to solve their common challenges through understanding, education and co-operation.

The conference, held under the theme “The Changing Face of Caribbean Banking,” was officially opened by Dame Cecile La Grenade, governor general of Grenada.

Featured speaker and industry veteran Ronald F. deC. Harford, chairman of Republic Bank Limited, cited the main cause of the region’s struggle as its unsustainable economic model and the uncompetitive nature of its key sector: tourism. The global financial crisis, he said, merely exposed the broken model on which the region’s economy is based.

On the first day of the conference, the keynote speaker, Ryan Pinder, Bahamas’ minister of financial services, acknowledged an increasingly complex and regulated banking environment. He referred to some of the main challenges being faced now: global transparency, the impact of mandates from external multilateral institutions and the current state of volatility in Caribbean banking institutions.

Pinder called for the industry to be creative when developing solutions and to be actively supportive of necessary public/private partnerships. He also emphasised the need to support collective human capacity development as “the Caribbean banking industry requires a platform where its employees and executives are able to refine their skills and knowledge to be able to react to a changing industry.”

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