Roseau, Dominica – August 5, 2010……….. Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Alvin Bernard is of the view that the ongoing global economic and financial crisis has taught a country like Dominica a few important lessons.
Hon. Bernard made the observation in his address at the United Nations Development Assistance (UNDAF) In-Country consultation at the Fort Young Hotel in Roseau recently.
“The ongoing global economic and financial sector challenges have taught us a few lessons some of which we had already learnt from our past experiences. One of these is the need for regulation and supervision of the financial sector. As we attempt to grapple with this issue, this is one area where there can be collaboration with development partners. The ECCU States are looking not only to improve legislation and enhance the capacity of the staff of the Single Regulatory Units but there is need to have the capital and finance to address the issues in a more comprehensive way…” Hon. Alvin Bernard stated.
The Minister added that the establishment of a Resolution Trust is a one mechanism that has been identified to assist countries address the fall-out in the financial sector. Mr. Bernard noted that the contribution of development partners to such a facility “is an area of assistance that can be considered”.
Another lesson learnt from the global economic crisis, is the need for strong fiscal policy, Senator Alvin Bernard said.
“A second lesson learnt is the need for strong fiscal policy. Countries which had the fiscal space to introduce counter-cyclical policies have generally weathered the global crisis much better.”
The Minister reiterated a policy decision of the Government of Dominica as outlined in the Growth and Social Protection Strategy to “ continue with the fiscal stance it has adopted in the last few years anchored in the achievement of the primary surplus of 3% of GDP annually”.
Hon. Bernard emphasised the importance of the support of development partners in providing or assisting to leverage financing for projects in order for Government to realise its objectives.
“A third lesson is that our activities affect each other. By and large every state has been affected by a crisis that may have started in one state. The importance therefore, in working as partners in development cannot be overstated,” Hon. Bernard concluded.
The Minister also pointed out that apart from the challenges posed to Small Island Developing States by the global economic crisis, other critical challenges remain. These are poverty alleviation, HIV and AIDS response and disaster management.