The year 2016 was generally marked by subdued global growth and towards the end by uncertainty in the global economy, brought on in particular by the outcome of the US elections and the United Kingdom’s decision to exit the European Union. While it was largely felt that the risks of global recession had receded as the year ended, growth was tepid in emerging markets and there was a slowing volume of world trade growth in relation to output.
At the regional level, CARICOM Member States were grappling with the issues of de-risking in the form of loss of correspondent banking services, depressed commodity prices, as well as the seemingly perennial challenges of anemic growth, persistently high unemployment levels, and debt and scal sustainability issues. Overall, the prospect for the region’s bene cial insertion in the global economy appeared unfavourable. Against this backdrop the purpose of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), of assisting its member countries to optimise the growth and development bene ts of regional integration, more speci cally the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), acquired heightened relevance.