“The CDB has had some great leaders, who have left an indelible mark on this institution,” Mr. Holness said.
“Their leadership and vision have made the CDB a crucible for the advancement of Caribbean economic ideas and thinking,” he added, while addressing a session of the recent Board of Governors meeting at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.
The Prime Minister hailed Nobel Laureate and founding president of the CDB, Sir Arthur Lewis, who served from 1970-1973 as a man of “towering intellect, who had a profound impact on the region and the rest of the world.”
“There could hardly have been a greater son of the Caribbean than this St. Lucian-born giant. He was a scholar, a patriot and a great economist,” Mr. Holness said.
He noted that William Demas, who succeeded Sir Arthur as president, serving from 1974 to 1988, was a distinguished economic scholar and Caribbean leader.
“Sir Neville Nichols (1988-2001) was an eminent servant of the Caribbean people and leader in Caribbean public policy. Dr. Compton Bourne (2001-2011) was an accomplished academic and regional economic leader and now we have Dr. Warren Smith. By any stretch of the imagination any reasonable mind would agree that this is indeed an eminent line of Caribbean economic thought leaders,” he said.
Prime Minister Holness noted that after nearly 50 years of independence as a region, the Caribbean has recorded impressive achievements in social and economic development.
“However, while we can take pride in this progress, the region finds itself in challenging and uncertain times where it is even more critical now where we do not repeat mistakes of the past,” Mr. Holness added.
In the meantime, the Federative Republic of Brazil is the newest member country of the CDB, joining Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia as non-borrowing States.
“Brazil is pleased to join the CDB in support of its important role within the Caribbean region,” said Brazil’s Alternate Director to the bank, Rafael Ranieri.
“We expect that our membership will contribute to strengthen relations between Brazil and the Caribbean and lead to greater collaboration in building a better future for the people of both our countries,” he said.
Mr. Ranieri is Brazil’s General Coordinator of Relations with International Organizations in the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management and Secretariat of International Affairs.
Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion and a population of more than 200 million. It shares many geographical, historical and demographic similarities with the Caribbean.
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