The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) says it will host a regional forum on March 25 to discuss the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) has on Caribbean economies.
It said that the 90 minute forum will be attended by Timothy Antoine, the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank; Dr. Richard Byles of Bank of Jamaica; as well as Dr. Gobind Ganga of Bank of Guyana and the host Central Bank Governor Cleviston Haynes.
The forum, which will be moderated by veteran Caribbean journalist, Julian Rogers, will tackle issues related to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The public forum, dubbed “COVID and Economic Policy: Protecting Jobs, Businesses, and the Economy”, will be broadcast and livestreamed across the Caribbean.
“COVID-19 has been a truly disruptive event,” said Governor Haynes, the host of the event. “Even as we continue to deal with the public health issues, we have to address the economic impact, which affects us all,” said Haynes.
“We’re being faced with major unemployment, curfews and shutdowns that have brought business activity to a halt, and increased Government spending on healthcare. In this forum, we want to discuss the way forward for jobs, businesses and the overall economy. I am truly delighted that my regional counterparts are sharing the platform with me for these critical discussions.”
Haynes said that the event will not just be for policymakers and academics.
“This crisis has affected us all. The discussion about how we recover from it has to include us all. We are inviting Caribbean people from all walks of life to not only tune in, but also to participate.”
He said viewers from across the region will be able to pose their questions to him and his colleagues via telephone, email, social media, and WhatsApp.
“We want to hear from our citizens, their issues and their ideas. We encourage Caribbean people from Georgetown in Guyana to Kingston, Jamaica to join us.”
The CBB said that the “COVID and Economic Policy: Protecting Jobs, Businesses, and the Economy” is the first of several online Caribbean Economic Forums it will be hosting this year, adding the event is the virtual spinoff of the in-person event the Bank hosts annually.