ARE SERVICES A VIABLE AVENUE FOR DEVELOPMENT IN CARICOM COUNTRIES?

Author(s): LORDE,TROY; ALLEYNE, ANTONIO; FRANCIS,BRIAN; (2010)

Created 26 Jul, 2010
Categories Working Papers
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The aim of this paper was to determine if services can serve as a viable avenue of development for the region. To do this, we addressed the following questions: Which services exports in CARICOM countries are globally competitive; what is the degree of diversification in services exports; and what is the extent of overlap in the export of services in CARICOM. On a whole, other than Travel Services, and to a much lesser extent, Insurance Services, very few services exports in CARICOM countries are globally competitive. Most notably, Financial Services in the region, a sector touted as one which several CARICOM countries are looking to for future economic growth and development, are not competitive. Critically, St. Lucia is the only country to exhibit any advantage in Computer and Information Services. Somewhat surprisingly, only Jamaica is competitive in Personal, Cultural, and Recreational Services. Further, there is little diversification in services exports. Compounding these findings, there is a high degree of services exports similarity; that is, CARICOM countries are competing with each other. Therefore, despite the contribution of services to CARICOM economies, the evidence suggests that the sector is not currently a viable avenue for future development. If countries in the region wish to stake their future on the performance of services, regional Governments will need to put in place strategies to enhance the sector’s competitiveness.

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