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Thursday, July 13, 2006 


International experts to address economic symposium
Thursday July 13 2006

In an effort to engage key stakeholders and the general public on issues that are critical to the economic and social transformation of Antigua & Barbuda, the Ministry of Finance and the Economy will convene a one-day National Economic Symposium next Monday.

This symposium is being held at the Multipurpose Cultural and Exhibition Centre and will run from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The event will focus on the fiscal and debt challenges facing Antigua & Barbuda, social security and pension reform, economic competitiveness and investment, and economic prospects for Antigua & Barbuda.

A wide cross-section of the society has been invited to participate in the discussions that will feature national, regional and international experts on the various subjects.

The Ministry of Finance and the Economy has called it an historic event since it will seek to encourage healthy discussions among all quarters of the society.

Participants in the symposium will include officials from national, regional and international agencies including the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Antigua Chamber of Commerce, The Antigua & Barbuda Employers Federation, and the Antigua &Barbuda Bankers Association.

Programme

9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. - Opening Remarks – Dr. Errol Cort Minister of Finance and the Economy

9:15 a.m. – 9:35 a.m. - Feature Address – Baldwin Spencer - Prime Minister

9:35 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. - Antigua & Barbuda – Fiscal Overview and Prospects Presentation by the Ministry of Finance and the Economy SATAP Team and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Fiscal Imbalances and Programmes to enhance Fiscal Performance

Discussants/Panel: International Monetary Fund (IMF), Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), National Economic and Social Council (NESC), Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC)

10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. - Diagnostic Review of Public Sector Debt - Presentation by Debt Consultants Houlihan Lokey Howard and Zukin (HLHZ) on the Public Debt of Antigua and Barbuda

Discussants/Panel: HLHZ, IMF, ECCB, CDB, Antigua & Barbuda Bankers’ Association, Member – National Debt Coordinating Committee (NDCC)

11:45am – 12:45pm - Social Security Sustainability and Pension Reform Presentation by Antigua & Barbuda Social Security Board (ABSSB) and the IMF
Discussants/Panel: ABSSB, IMF, ECCB, Antigua & Barbuda Employers’ Federation, Trade Union Congress, World Bank.

Lunch break

2:30 p.m. -3:30 p.m. -Promoting Economic Competitiveness and Private Sector Development - Presentation by Antigua & Barbuda Chamber of Commerce on Government’s role in facilitating Private Sector Development and presentation by the World Bank on enhancing competitiveness
Discussants/Panel: USAID Caribbean Open Trade Support (COTS), Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, ECCB, IMF, NESC, CDB

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. - Facilitating Investment in Antigua & Barbuda - Presentation by the Ministry of Tourism
Discussants/Panel: Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA), Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce, World Bank, NESC, Leader of the Opposition, Antigua & Barbuda Development Bank (ABDB)

4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. - Economic Prospects for Antigua and Barbuda -Presentation by the ECCB Discussants/Panel: NESC, Chamber of Commerce, IMF, CDB, World Bank, Leader of the Opposition

5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Wrap-Up - Minister of Finance and the Economy.

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