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By Alvin G. Wint

Explores the demanding situations and possibilities linked to expanding competitiveness in small, constructing economies. in accordance with learn performed within the Caribbean.

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Competitiveness in Small Developing Economies: Insights from the Caribbean

Explores the demanding situations and possibilities linked to expanding competitiveness in small, constructing economies. in line with learn performed within the Caribbean.

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That is, both the flexible and fixed exchange regime options imply “open windows” for foreign exchange, in which the formal banking system will supply the foreign exchange demanded. In situations where fixed exchange regimes are adopted with closed windows for foreign exchange, these regimes take on some of the characteristics of a flexible regime. This is because a fixed regime, with a closed window, does not place the same constraint on the monetary policy options of governments. 32 Caribbean Experiences In general, the advantage of flexible regimes is that they make it easier for a country to avoid exchange rate misalignments.

Both of these industries place a significant premium on macrostability – economic, political and social – and on infrastructure development. Indeed, the fundamental competitive advantage of a small economy is the ability to be hospitable to the world, but simultaneously to take advantage of its small size by being nimble. Small economies do not have to integrate with the world. They can choose a path of autarky. But this is likely to lead to selfsufficient impoverishment, albeit with attendant low levels of risk in the sense 28 Competitiveness of Small Countries that the impoverishment will be stable and not subject to variation based on the vagaries of the world economy.

The fixed exchange regime is viewed as a critical part of economic governance in these countries. Indeed, Barbados indicated an intention to maintain its exchange peg in the face of opposition from the multilateral financial institutions in the early 1990s (see chapter 3 in this volume). Both countries are of the view that their choice of exchange arrangements has assisted in the stabilization necessary for the success of their principal industries of tourism and financial services, which, in turn, have contributed to their relative prosperity.

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