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The University Collaborates with Local Business Community to Examine Caribbean Economies

For Release Upon Receipt - Tuesday, September 25, 2018

This month marks the tenth anniversary of a major collapse in the US financial system, spurred by the Lehman Brothers’ declaration of bankruptcy on September 15, 2008. The ripple effects of the economic downturn that ensued would be felt the world over for years to come.

Barbados and the wider Caribbean were not spared from the global meltdown. As Dr. Don Marshall director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at Cave Hill campus noted the region never recovered to the degree that North America did.

“For us [in the Caribbean], access to global finances became very difficult. As a country, we continue to experience poor credit ratings, whether as a result of the global financial climate or as a result of domestic policies,” he added.

So, what lessons have been learned? And what is our way out? These questions, and more, will be explored in a forthcoming economic symposium to be held under the banner: The Global Financial Crisis: Ten Years later - Implication for Barbados and the Wider Caribbean. The event slated for the Cave Hill School of Business on October 8, is a collaborative effort between The UWI Cave Hill and the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), and will analyse the impact of the Global Recession after a decade, and possible measures to mitigate against similar future occurrence. It will be held at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business.

“This [symposium] will be a good opportunity for academia and the private sector to knock heads and address issues that we are facing in Barbados and the Caribbean,” said event co-organiser Professor Winston Moore.

He also expressed pleasure at the partnership with the BCCI, stating that it indicated the commitment of the private sector to helping Barbados return to economic wellbeing. The symposium fits within the ambit of a memorandum of understanding signed between the University and the BCCI. Under the agreement, the two entities approved partnerships on: research on the business environment, seminars/workshops, internships, participation in The UWI’s annual job fair and the joint hosting of one policy-related event annually.

Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor Eudine Barriteau has stressed that The UWI is committed to public discourse on matters of social concern, including major developments in the local and global economies.

“Through civic engagement . . . we play a vital role in providing the conditions under which various ideas and opinions contend. It is true that a diversity of views often emerges within these scholarly environments, as they should. However, it is equally true, that those opinions which are best substantiated and which flourish can often help to form the basis of rational, evidence-based governance, thereby underscoring the critical role of scholarship in public discourse,” she said.

The UWI’s engagement with the public will continue through a number of upcoming public events. In January 2019, for example, SALISES in collaboration with the Confucius Institute at Cave Hill will mount the first Caribbean symposium to assess the major foreign policy plank of the People’s Republic of China, The Belt and Road Initiative.


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