News Release

Private Sector as Driver of Caribbean Economic Development in Focus at 2024 William G. Demas Memorial Lecture Series

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Image of Paul B Scott with information related to the William G Demas Lecture

The conditions necessary for the private sector to reach its potential in driving development in the Caribbean is the focus of the 2024 William G. Demas Memorial Lecture to be delivered under the theme “Economic Therapy for A Frustrated Regionalist” by Chief Executive Officer, Chair, and Principal Shareholder of the Musson Group in Jamaica, Mr. Paul Barnaby (PB) Scott. The Lecture will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at 7:00 pm (EDT) during the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB/the Bank) 54th Annual Meeting at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Canada.

The Lecture will be live streamed on CDB’s YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages.

Mr. Scott, who draws from his management experiences at the Musson Group, will compare regional business ecosystems with other countries in which the Group operates, to demonstrate where additional focus needs to be placed in key policy areas, such as the labour market. 

CDB Acting President, Mr. Isaac Solomon, noted that the Bank supports private sector institution capacity-building and public-private sector networking.

“Development has to be a shared responsibility and a resilient private sector is indispensable to sustainable development in the Region. That’s why we look at the wider eco-system - standards, diversification and market expansion, logistics, appropriate and affordable finance, and policy measures, as some critical components. This involves innovative activities among different tiers of private sector actors, and partnerships,” Mr. Solomon said.

Mr. Scott is a leader across the Caribbean in food, pharmaceuticals, information technology, and insurance.  In addition to his private sector contributions, he has committed a significant amount of time to public service.  In 2016, he was awarded Jamaica’s Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for service to business in the Caribbean.  In 2023, he was awarded the Order of Jamaica for his exceptional contribution to the Business Industry, Investment, and Philanthropy in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

The prestigious William G. Demas Memorial Lecture is among the most anticipated events of CDB’s Annual Meetings.  Last year’s keynote speaker was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr. Simon Stiell. In 2022, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, gave the keynote address.

The William G. Demas Memorial Lecture Series seeks to honour the thought leadership of CDB’s second President, by bringing into focus, the issues and initiatives of significance to the economic development of the Bank’s member countries.  Mr. Demas was a Trinidadian and Tobagonian politician, banker, and the first Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), from 1973 to 1974.  He was also Secretary-General of the Caribbean Free Trade Agreement (CARIFTA) from 1969 to 1973.