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World Bank touts more public-private partnerships

World Bank Vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar

San Juan, Oct 23 (EFE).- The World Bank is encouraging Caribbean governments to create more partnerships with the private sector and to “leverage young talents” as ways to stimulate economic growth.

“The global financial crisis exposed the fragility of the Caribbean region,” the bank’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Jorge Familiar, said Thursday at the 2014 High Level Caribbean Forum in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

He praised Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago for putting in place reforms to improve the business climate, but said that more needs to be done to fill in the infrastructure gap, reduce the high cost of electricity and ease dependence on oil.

“The private sector can play an important role in financing infrastructure through Public Private Partnership. At the same time such projects need to be carefully designed and structured from a financial point of view so that they are well suited for an environment of rising interest rates and increased volatility,” Familiar said.

The World Bank executive also encouraged Caribbean governments to focus more on young people.

“By leveraging young talents, Jamaica and other Caribbean countries are positioning themselves to become technology hubs,” he said.

The High Level Caribbean Forum brings together prime ministers, finance ministers, central bank governors and other high-ranking officials from Caribbean countries, as well as senior officials from the IMF, Caribbean Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank and the private sector.

The first edition of the Forum took place in theBahamasin 2013. EFE