Global financial markets demonstrated some fragility at the beginning of 2020, as frictions between the US and Iran continued to raise concerns and questions regarding the threat to global oil prices. The impact of GDP reduction in China on global trade was becoming more evident, while the US economy, which directly affects economic prospects in the Caribbean region, was severely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
On the downside, the region suffered some early cruise ship cancellations due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concurrently, challenges were experienced with insurance, with increased global premiums being forecasted on top of the adjustments resulting from the natural disaster events that had severely affected the region in 2017. Robust insurance management strategies and a well-regulated sector are required in the region to address this challenge, to ensure maintenance of the financial cushion that is so vital to business continuity especially in a post-COVID context. Indeed, the Caribbean’s susceptibility to climate change, volatile global economic conditions, and other shock events, place the region at risk continually, and are best mitigated by the strength of one cohesive regional body working to strengthen our collective capacity to adapt and build resilience.