A few weeks ago I had the honour and pleasure of presenting on the Foreign Trade Impact of De-Risking at the Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (ICAC) 34th Annual Conference in beautiful Belize as part of a panel discussion along with Dr. Trevor Brathwaite, Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and Mr. Filippo Alario, Chief Risk Officer of Belize Bank.
I wish to again express my gratitude to ICAC for the invitation and to all stakeholders and everyone who kindly provided me with information and assisted me in my research.
Some of the key points from the presentation were as follows:
- De-risking is a business decision but with serious implications for Caribbean foreign trade.
- As small open economies, Caribbean countries are highly dependent on foreign trade as evidenced by their high trade to GDP ratios which range between 70-130% of GDP, according to World Bank data.
- Several Caribbean countries are among the most dependent in the world on remittance-inflows.
- Bank de-risking threatens the region’s integration into the global trade and financial systems and has implications for economic growth, stability, employment.
- Disruptions to remittance and FDI flows by de-risking also have poverty alleviation and sustainable development implications.
- Cross-border payment for goods via wire transfer and remittance sending appear to be the most affected from a trade perspective.
Several persons have written me requesting a copy of the full presentation. It is available below:
Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B. is a trade and development consultant with a keen interest in sustainable development, international law and trade. You can also read more of her commentaries and follow her on Twitter @LicyLaw.