Dominica commends Commonwealth Secretariat’s leadership on finance and the economy

27 May 2022
Press release
Secretary-General with the Prime Minister of Dominica

The Prime Minister of Dominica, the Hon Roosevelt Skerrit has praised the role of the Commonwealth Secretariat in enabling more public-private partnerships as well as building the digital economy in his country.

During a meeting the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland at his offices in the capital city Roseau, Hon. Skerrit commended her stewardship, under which the government was able to tap into the vast networks and technical expertise available through the Commonwealth.

“Here in Dominica, we have certainly benefitted tremendously from your efforts on the finance side, including through support for debt management and resource mobilisation,” he told the Secretary-General.

“The Commonwealth Secretariat has really helped our business agenda as well. Something very new I’ve seen at the Commonwealth is connecting countries with the private sector, through which we have been able to benefit from the expertise and resources.”

Dominica is one of 32 small states – including 25 small island developing states - in the Commonwealth. It is highly vulnerable to external shocks caused by climate change and global economic crises.

The nation suffered tremendously from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erika in 2015, which incurred losses equivalent to 90 per cent of its annual GDP. This was followed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, in which damages amounted to 226 per cent of the annual GDP.

More recently, the country has been severely affected by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on its tourism industry, which accounted for more than a third (36.9 per cent) of GDP in 2019. Borders were closed and the imposition of lockdown measures to contain the virus led to a 10 per cent decline in the economy in 2020, according to the Caribbean Bank. 

Prime Minister Skerrit said Commonwealth support is vital in ensuring the nation’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Certainly, we want to advance the digital economy and we are looking to share expertise and knowledge, particularly among the Eastern Caribbean states, to refine our march towards a digital economy,” he said.

Upon her arrival in Dominica, Secretary-General Scotland said:

“Dominica has shown incredible fortitude in the face of external shocks, especially Storm Erica, Hurricane Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic. The story of Dominica’s recovery from these shocks is one of resilience, determination, regeneration and innovation.

"Under my leadership, the Commonwealth Secretariat will never waver in its determination to support Dominica, the wider Caribbean and the whole Commonwealth. I am proud of the work we do in partnership, and I am confident that ever-deeper ties and collaboration can deliver even better results.

I am grateful to the Prime Minister for his leadership and friendship. I look forward to our continued work together and look forward to seeing him again at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali next month.”

Secretary-General Scotland highlighted a range of useful initiatives offered by the Secretariat, such as the Commonwealth Fintech Toolkit, the Innovation Hub and the Connectivity Agenda on Trade and Investment, particularly the work under its Digital Connectivity cluster.

She conveyed her deep appreciation for the Prime Minister’s confidence in the Commonwealth Secretariat, including her capacity to continue delivering results for the 2.5 billion people of the Commonwealth.

Dominica has also benefitted from the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, which has managed to mobilise nearly US$50 million in climate finance for member countries, with around US$762 million of concrete projects in the pipeline. This includes a grant of US$22 million from the GCF to support three countries – Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada - to advance climate adaptation and build resilience.

Media contact

  • Josephine Latu-Sanft  Senior Communications Officer, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • +44 20 7747 6476  |  E-mail