Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – 29th May 2023 – Movement of capital in the Caribbean has long faced challenges due to heavy reliance on foreign correspondent banks and limited USD liquidity. This dependence has resulted in expensive, slow, and de-risking-prone cross-border payments.
Consequently, the region’s financial disconnect hampers the development of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), contributing to significant barriers for intra-regional trade, which accounts for only 10% of CARICOM’s total trade. In contrast, the European Union sees intra-regional trade comprising a substantial 68%.
The Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), in collaboration with CaribCoin and Abed Ventures, will host a webinar to explore the potential of Complementary Currencies to address the region’s cross-border settlement challenges. The webinar, titled “Exploring the Potential of a Complementary Currency for the Caribbean,” will take place on 7th June from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Complementary Currencies are alternative forms of currency that operate alongside a country’s legal tender and are confined to specific regions, business networks, or sectors. These currencies can take various forms, including cash, digital, or hybrid mediums, and can be backed by different reserves. They create liquidity and foster sustainable development by incentivising the growth of regional business networks.
A proposed solution for the Caribbean is the introduction of the Carib$, an asset-backed Complementary Currency designed to maintain a stable value. The Carib$ would serve as a high-speed, low-cost cross-border payment medium, connecting the CSME and facilitating seamless transactions within the region.
The webinar’s purpose is to highlight the utility of a Complementary Currency in resolving the Caribbean’s cross-border settlement challenges. It aims to:
- Outline the financially disconnected landscape of the Caribbean, shedding light on the root causes and consequences of this problem at both macro and micro levels.
- Explore the relevance of complementary currencies, presenting their use cases, benefits, and utility for the Caribbean region.
- Present the Carib$ concept to the business community and political sphere as a viable and effective solution for conducting cross-border transactions within the Caribbean and fostering the growth of the CSME.
The webinar is expected to attract a diverse audience, including politicians responsible for CARICOM’s framework development, the CARICOM business community, business support organisations such as chambers of commerce and associations, and the financial community, including payment service providers, regulators, and central banks.
To secure your spot and join the conversation on Complementary Currencies in the Caribbean, click on this link to register.