Unfiltered: Building Resilience to Natural Disasters and Climate Change in Grenada and the Caribbean
February 13, 2019, International Monetary Fund - Opening Remarks of IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang: Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon! It is an honor for me to speak with you today on my first visit to Grenada. Before coming here, I had often heard Grenada being referred to as an “Isle of Spice.” This simple catch-phrase distinguished it from other Caribbean destinations.
I have been curious to know what this term means. Over the past day or so, I have seen the beauty and diversity of Grenada’s natural landscape, tasted exceptional – and spiced up – food, and enjoyed interactions with intelligent, dynamic, and very welcoming people. I am of course just beginning my learning process. But I am already very hungry to know more about the ingredients of Grenada’s story, including what drove its impressive economic recovery over the past few years.
Earlier this week, I traveled to Dominica. I was moved by the change in the landscape in Dominica I saw from the devastation the category 5 hurricane Maria in 2017. And that, of course, reminded me of Grenada’s own trials in 2004 during Hurricane Ivan. Your remarkable recovery since then, and Dominica’s over the past year, testify to the determination of the people of the Caribbean to build a better future in the face of extraordinary challenges.
I am pleased to meet today with Grenada’s officials, parliamentarians, business community, and development partners. This is part of an important discussion of how to work together to further strengthen your resilience against natural disasters and climate change. It also is an element of a broader strategy to attain strong and sustainable growth in Grenada and the Caribbean region.