61st CARICOM Central Bank Governors Meeting Hosted by Bank of Jamaica

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61st CARICOM Central Bank Governors Meeting Hosted by Bank of Jamaica 2

The Bank of Jamaica recently hosted the 61st Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Committee of Central Bank Governors. This crucial gathering, spanning from November 2 to 3, 2023, brought together governors to discuss a wide range of topics pivotal to the region’s economic and financial stability.

During the meeting, the central bank governors conducted thorough reviews of the regional and global financial markets, macroeconomic environment, and the overall regional economic outlook. They focused on the post-pandemic recovery of the region, acknowledging the challenges posed by high imported inflation, geopolitical developments, and the inherent vulnerability to climate change.

A key development from the meeting was the endorsement of a proposal to establish a Regional Central Bank Group of Reserves Managers. This initiative is expected to facilitate the sharing of experiences and approaches in managing national reserves through virtual meetings. In an effort to enhance collaboration, the governors also agreed to improve communications among the regional central banks. The next meeting of the CARICOM central banks’ communications network is scheduled to be held in Jamaica.

Notably, the meeting featured a keynote address by Mr. Rodrigo Valdes, Director of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Western Hemisphere Department. The discussion with IMF representatives centered on enhancing access to multilateral financing for small states and the potential role of the IMF in aiding CARICOM’s development of a regional capital market, especially for climate change adaptation and resilience financing.

An important session of the meeting included a moderated discussion about the experiences of CARICOM countries in implementing polymer banknotes. The governors noted the successful introduction of these banknotes in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, and agreed to continue sharing operational experiences.

The governors received and deliberated on reports from various regional agencies and bodies, central bank committees, and working groups. These reports included updates on ongoing vigilance in anti-money laundering surveillance, compliance, and harmonization of bank supervisory practices through cooperation and training. Additionally, cybersecurity remains a significant focus, with increased collaboration and training in various related areas.

The meeting also supported the advancement of intraregional payments and endorsed a pilot for the CARICOM Payments and Settlements System (CAPSS), leveraging technology from the Pan-African Payments & Settlement System (PAPSS) of the African Export-Import Bank. The 61st Meeting coincided with the 54th Annual Monetary Studies (AMS) Conference, also hosted by the Bank of Jamaica. The conference featured discussions on digital banking, competition in the banking system, and a lecture on “Central Banking in the Age of Climate Change” by Professor Avinash Persaud.

Looking ahead, Dr. Kevin Greenidge, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, is set to assume the Chair of the Committee of Central Bank Governors in 2024. This meeting underscored the commitment of CARICOM’s central bank governors to work collaboratively on key financial and economic issues affecting the region.

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