Regional Development Strategy (Caribbean)

International Development written statement – made on 14th October 2008.

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Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander The Secretary of State for International Development

I have placed in the Libraries of both Houses a communications booklet outlining the UK's regional development strategy for the Caribbean 2008-13.

Achieving a higher rate of growth is vital for the Caribbean's development. Whilst the Caribbean has the natural resources and talent to be a global player, economic growth has been slow in recent decades. The region must diversify and become more competitive in order to prosper and achieve its significant potential.

Preferential trade agreements are coming to an end under international law, but new trade agreements, such as the European Partnership Agreement with the EU, provide significant opportunities for the region to grow and diversify.

The UK's new regional development strategy for the Caribbean focuses on:

growth, including seizing opportunities arising from the new trade agreements such as the EPA; and mitigating the risks to growth posed by climate change, which exacerbates natural disasters and affects communities dependent on tourism and fishing, and violent crime which costs lives and discourages investment.