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Owen Arthur to explore 'New Directions for a New Relationship' with IMF in Lecture

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The opportunities and possibilities for Barbados’ relationship with the International Monetary Fund will be explored during a public lecture to be delivered by former Prime Minister and noted regional economist, Owen Arthur.

Titled The IMF and the Caribbean: New Directions for a New Relationship, the event will be held next Monday, September 10, 2018 in Lecture Theatre 1 of the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex, at 7 p.m.

Arthur, who is also a Fellow in Residence at The UWI Cave Hill, said the topic was inspired by Barbados’ impending entry into an IMF programme and the need for a public discussion about what it would mean for the country.

“It is appropriate that The University of the West Indies – that has no political axe to grind – should be in the vanguard of public enlightenment,” he said in a recent interview.

Emphasising the lecture will not speculate about the measures the IMF programme will entail, the former Prime Minister said that there were two significant considerations worthy of discussion ahead of implementation: “one is that the International Monetary Fund itself has changed overtime in relation to changes in the global environment in which they operate and responses to these changes, and it is important that we approach the International Monetary Fund understanding that it’s an institution that is not insensitive to changing circumstances,” he said.

“Perhaps the most important consideration is that there are a number of Caribbean countries that have entered programmes with the International Monetary Fund: Jamaica, Grenada, [and] others – and as peculiar as it might sound – the countries in the Caribbean that are doing the best at this stage, or seemed to have stabilized, are those that have recent experiences with the International Monetary Fund.”

Therefore, Arthur said he wished to use the lecture to speak to how the International Monetary Fund has transformed, as well as how it has changed its relationship with Caribbean countries and the nature of that experience.

Arthur said he plans to use his tenure as a Fellow in Residence to provide mentoring as well as continue delivering public lectures of matters of national and regional importance.

The Residence posting is in alignment with The UWI’s policy to provide facilities and offices for former Prime Ministers.


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