Remittances to Caribbean Increased By 3 Percent in 2013

Go Lean Commentary

Participation in Caribbean national elections seems to have an additional candidate to vote for: None of the Above.

This is the assertion of the book Go Lean…Caribbean, and many aligned blog submissions, that Caribbean citizens are voting with their “feet and wallet” and leaving their tropical homelands for life in foreign countries. In fact, the book posits that the Caribbean Diaspora amount to 10 million people, compared to 42 million residents in the homeland. A great measurement of the economic activity of this diasporic population is their remittance activity. (Though not all migrants remit back to their homelands).

This book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The CU will assume the role and responsibility of empowering the regional economy and measuring trade/financial/remittance activity. The following 3 prime directives are explored in full details in the roadmap:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

A mission of the CU is to minimize the need for Caribbean labor force to migrate to foreign lands for work; and also to invite the Diaspora to repatriate. We need to expand the labor pool at home. But the reality of the Go Lean roadmap is the methodical implementation over a 5 year period, so in the interim, there may still be more prosperous opportunities abroad.

It is what it is! The CU/Go Lean plan then is to optimize the remittance process where possible: lowering the costs of transfers and managing the accompanying foreign currency and economic crime risks.

The reference source for the foregoing article came from the MIF (Multilateral Investment Fund), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group; the MIF is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor –-their businesses, their farms, and their households. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory in order to build and support successful micro and SME (Small-Medium-sized Enterprises) business models. [a]

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Table 1Remittances to the Caribbean region increased by 3 percent in 2013, according to a new report from the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund.

Remittances to the region totaled $8.519 billion, a 3 percent improvement in US dollar terms, an 8.9 percent increase in local currency and a 3.3 percent improvement in local currency and adjusted for inflation.

“Remittance flows to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) remain an important source of income for millions of poor and vulnerable families,” said MIF General Manager Nancy Lee. “Remittance recipients need more access to financial tools that will help them use remittances to save and make investments for their future in areas like education, housing, and starting and growing businesses.”

The Dominican Republic received $3.333 billion USD in 2013, a 5.5 percent improvement, followed by Jamaica, which received $2.065 billion and Haiti, which received $2.017 billion.

Trinidad and Tobago was next with $131 million in remittances.

Of the group, the Dominican Republic saw the largest increase.

The Latin America and Caribbean region received a total of $61.251 billion last year, with the United States the source of about 75 percent of remittances to the region.

See the Table 1 (photo on this page) from the IDB for full details.

Caribbean Journal – Regional News Source (Retrieved 06/11/2014) –

The reference source for the foregoing article came from the MIF (Multilateral Investment Fund), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group; the MIF is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor –-their businesses, their farms, and their households. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory in order to build and support successful micro and SME (Small-Medium-sized Enterprises) business models. [a]

Another mission of the CU/Go Lean roadmap is to apply lessons from the 2008 Great Recession financial crisis.

The MIF reports that in the years before the financial crisis of 2008-2009, remittances to the region as a whole experienced average annual growth of 17 percent. After a record high in 2008 of $64.9 billion, there was a sharp drop in 2009 of over 10 percent, followed by an increase in 2011 of 6 percent, and subsequent stagnation that continued up to 2013.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 5

Figure 14

For 2014, macroeconomic projections show an encouraging landscape at the global level; it is predicted that the US economy will continue its path to recovery, as will EU countries, although at a slower pace. Employment data on LAC migrants, in both the United States and Spain, also show a recovery process enabling the prediction of growth in remittances sent from both countries. (See the accompanying charts, figures and tables on this page; sourced from the MIF/IDB report [b]).

This issue of continued fallout from the Great Recession has been a consistent theme of the Go Lean blogs entries as sampled here:

a. – Post 2008: Having Less Babies is Bad for the Economy

b. – Open the Time Capsule: The Great Recession of 2008

c. – Post 2008 Student Debt Holds Back Many Would-be Home Buyers

d. – Facebook plans to provide mobile payment services and remittances

e. – US Federal Reserve Releases Transcripts from 2008 Meetings

f. – Book Review: ‘Wrong – Nine Economic Policy Disasters and What We Can Learn…’

g. – Post 2008 Tourism’s changing profile

All in all, the roadmap commences with the recognition that all the Caribbean is in crisis, exacerbated after 2008, with defective business models, underemployment, globalization, and aging demographics. These acknowledgements are pronounced in the Declaration of Interdependence, (Page 13 & 14). The statements are included as follows:

xix.   Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.  

xx.   Whereas the results of our decades of migration created a vibrant Diaspora in foreign lands, the Federation must organize interactions with this population into structured markets. Thus allowing foreign consumption of domestic products, services and media, which is a positive trade impact. These economic activities must not be exploited by others’ profiteering but rather harnessed by Federation resources for efficient repatriations.

xxi.   Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

 xxiv.   Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxv.   Whereas the legacy of international democracies had been imperiled due to a global financial crisis, the structure of the Federation must allow for financial stability and assurance of the Federation’s institutions. To mandate the economic vibrancy of the region, monetary and fiscal controls and policies must be incorporated as proactive and reactive measures. These measures must address threats against the financial integrity of the Federation and of the member-states.

xxvi.   Whereas the Caribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries… In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing … – impacting the region with more jobs.

The vision of the CU is a confederation of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean into an integrated “single market”, thereby fostering economic growth to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion (from the 2010 base of $378 Billion). This growth would be the cause-and-effect of 2.2 million new jobs. No more migrant culture! Tactically, the CU allows for a separation-of-powers between the member-state governments and the new federal agencies, so as to allow a technocratic management approach to simply “deliver” on the Go Lean roadmap, devoid of partisan politics! The following list details the series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies necessary to effectuate the change in the region to graduate from this migrant culture, described in the foregoing article and accompanying charts:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Job Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Strategic – Vision – Integrated Region in a Single Market Page 45
Strategic – Vision – Agents of Change Page 57
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing to $800 Billion Regional Economy Page 67
Tactical – Separation of Powers Page 71
Tactical – Interstate Commerce Admin – Econometrics Data Analysis Page 79
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – Big Ideas for the Caribbean Region Page 127
Planning – Lessons Learned from 2008 Page 136
Planning – Ways to Measure Progress Page 147
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Foreign Exchange Page 154
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora Page 217
Appendix – Job Multipliers Page 259
Appendix – Trade SHIELD – “Harvest“ Comprehensive Data Analysis Page 264
Appendix – Alternate (Cheaper & More Efficient) Remittance Modes Page 270

The Go Lean roadmap for the CU stresses the importance of a solid data foundation to analyze and measure progress. Since this is a 5-year roadmap, there must be milestones along the way, opportunities to plan-do-review. This approach allows for the proper adjustments to strategies, tactics and operations. The people of the Caribbean deserve every opportunity to deliver success. We need to be able to capture the traffic/data of remittances to all CU countries – only the large member-states were measured in these accompanying charts – and glean intelligence from the analysis. This approach reflects a true technocracy; this reflects the change that is coming to the region. Figure 15

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people and governing institutions, to lean-in for the change that is the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. Now is the time for a viable plan for the millions abroad, and the next generation of young people, to work here at home … to make this region a better place to live, work and play.

Referenced Citations:



Download the Book- Go Lean…Caribbean Now!!!


Share this post:
, ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *