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Feb. 9, IWN – In additional to challenges from outside the region, improving productive sector competitiveness and debt sustainability will also shape the near-term economic outlook for the Caribbean.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) said on Friday that tourism dependent economies will have to pay careful attention to airlift logistics and balancing the deployment of marketing efforts between traditional, new and potential markets.

The region, the CDB said, will have to be creative and collaborative in leveraging its combined efforts in accessing new source markets.

“Increasing sector competitiveness through sustained efforts to enhance service quality; reduce crime; and re-think intra-regional travel with a view to reducing costs, will also be important.”

The CDB, while outlining the prospects for 2013, said developments with respect to international business and the potential fallout from the imposition of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act represent a downside risk to growth in some economies.

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“In the coming year, the US Treasury Department will be engaging the Caribbean and other jurisdictions in active dialogue towards concluding inter-governmental agreements to improve international tax compliance. A regional approach should be contemplated to mitigate the potential fallout in the sector. The manufacturing sector is also facing some challenges as subsidies being given to US-based rum producers could pose a major threat to the future viability of the sector,” the CDB said.

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