A Joint CASHFI/UNIAPRAVI Seminar Commended:

The Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wesley Hughes, has commended the Caribbean Association of Housing Finance Institutions (CASHFI) and the Inter-American Housing Union (UNIAPRAVI) on the historic effort in jointly hosting a seminar dealing with issues of finance and housing.

Dr. Hughes comments were made as he delivered the keynote address at the opening of the seminar on Innovation and Growth in Housing Finance in Latin America and the Caribbean, at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Thursday, June 6, 2002. The PIOJ head expressed the hope that the collaboration represented the beginning of a deep and mutually beneficial relationship. Dr. Hughes charged members of both associations to have as part of their agenda, the determination to do more to encourage greater levels of savings across the region. This will be critical in the upcoming period as the world economy experience a weak recovery and Foreign Direct Investment into the region slows.

He noted that over the last decade, this region has experienced a number of financial shocks that have weakened the incentives for saving. In the financially globalized economy in which we operate, all countries, whether they participate directly in the world financial market or not, are vulnerable to financial contagion. A financial crisis anywhere acts as a signal, and this often sets off forms of herd behaviour in the markets.

Dr. Hughes suggested to the participants that they should seize the opportunity to come up with exciting and new innovafions to meet the brave new world that is likely to be far more hostile and uncertain and which will place a far greater premium on security.

He concluded: “As globalization transforms our lives, the benefits of that process will be enhanced by the quality of the people to-people relationships that are developed”. Development, he continued, can be measured by how people relate to their neighbours.