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Development Strategy Assessment of the Eastern Caribbean

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Eastern Caribbean countries enjoy rich natural endowments and have achieved significant economic development. Throughout the last decades, they have also been confronted with a number of rising economic, social and environmental challenges. To help them tackle these, and accelerate their development, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the OECD have jointly designed a regional strategy scorecard, which is at the heart of the Development Strategy Assessment of the Eastern Caribbean.

The scorecard will help policy makers set priorities for the implementation of the OECS Development Strategy. Stronger resilience and capacity are the major guideposts towards both economic growth and social progress. The region can make much more of its green potential, with power generation topping the list. Improving regulation and reducing red tape can foster new, homegrown economic dynamism. Tourism, digital services and the sustainable ocean economy also offer untapped potential. Closing the skills gap, enhancing the quality of education and improving social protection are essential. Finally, as a red thread throughout, deeper regional integration would make it easier for OECS countries to pool resources in a range of areas, radically increasing the region’s potential for efficient governance, and accelerating the development of its human resources.

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The sustainable use of natural endowments

This chapter discusses key opportunities and constraints falling into the third pillar of the OECS Development Strategy: the sustainable use of natural endowments. The development of renewable energies constitutes a key opportunity and could reduce the cost of energy in the region. This requires strong political will and a strategic vision. Furthermore, there is a need to secure sufficient financial resources and for reform to regulatory frameworks in the energy sector in OECS countries to facilitate private investment in renewable energies. OECS countries’ location and rich ocean biodiversity open opportunities in the sustainable ocean economy. There could be potential opportunity in establishing a regional sustainable ocean economy hub, both for academic research and education. Given OECS countries’ vulnerability to climate disasters, improving their resilience to such disasters should be a key policy priority for the region. Finally, waste management in the OECS region could be improved through increased recycling and better plastic regulations.

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