Commonwealth, World Bank convene expert meeting on Small States

15 November 2011

The Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Bank have organised a high level expert meeting to discuss the current challenges facing small states and identify remedies to address them.

The meeting, “Growth and Development in Small States”, will take place in Malta from 17 to 18 November 2011.

It will focus on issues related to growth with resilience to enable countries deal with external shocks to their economies, as well as improving competitiveness through innovation, diversification and investment.

Discussions will also focus on macroeconomic stability, debt and development financing, fostering  green and sustainable development, as well as issues within the international political economy that have bearings on trade, regional integration and supply value chains.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Dr Cyrus Rustomjee, the director of Economic Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat said that the Commonwealth and the World Bank have a long track record of collaboration on small states issues.

“Both institutions have worked on analytical and policy issues in small states, and are collaborating once again to build further research especially in the areas of inclusive growth, growth with resilience, debt sustainability, and public sector effectiveness,” Dr Rustomjee said.
He said that the contributions to the meeting are expected to influence the ways in which the Commonwealth, World Bank and other international organisations assist small states in their growth and development endeavours.

“The challenging economic environment we are in is placing particularly sharp pressures on small and open economies. Experts at this meeting will start to map-out innovative growth strategies suitable for small states,” Dr Rustomjee said.