Small vulnerable Caribbean economies face special challenges: Guyana

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Donald Rabindranauth Ramotar, President of the Republic of Guyana addresses the general debate of the sixty-seventh session of the General Assembly.

NARRATOR: Recovery from the global financial crisis is at best incipient and sluggish.

That assessment comes from Guyana's President Donald Ramotar.

In his address to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, President Ramotar said several of the major contributors to global output are grappling with unsustainable fiscal balances, which hinder their ability to stimulate lasting recovery.

TAPE: The problems in these economies continue to place a drag on global growth. Compounding these difficulties is the slowdown in output in major emerging economies. Naturally, these events have had serious negative impacts on developing countries.

Although more resilient than in earlier times, developing countries have paid a heavy price as a result of the present difficulties experienced in the world economy. This is reflected in growth that is generally tower than pre-crisis revels. Already grappling with adverse trading arrangements, and the consequences of an inconclusive and disappointing Doha Development Round, the plight of developing countries has been made worse by the prolonged global slump. Much of the gains that were made in the pre – 2008 period have been erased by the continuing difficulties in the world economy.

NARRATOR: President Ramotar explained that the small vulnerable economies of the Caribbean face special challenges, compounded by generally high levels of indebtedness and failing export revenues. He said it was within that unfavourable international climate that regional states had to judge their own performance.

TAPE: Guyana has had to face many serious challenges. However, we have worked steadfastly in an effort to build a more resilient economy. We have managed to forestall the worst effects of the international economic crises. Over the past six years, we have achieved an economic growth rate of approximately five percent per annum. This growth rate I believe is the result of the investments that we have been making in our people. More than thirty per cent (30 %) of our budget is dedicated to Education, Health, Housing, Water and Social Programmes to help the most vulnerable. Today Guyana has achieved universal primary education and we have come a long way towards attaining universal secondary education. However, significant challenges remain in reaching people in the remote areas of our country.

NARRATOR: President Ramotar said that if the youth are to be encouraged to become responsible citizens and to prepare to become responsible citizens, governments must ensure that their education systems allow for the development of their full potential. This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 3’10″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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