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Vincentian to head OECS IMF

Vincentian to head OECS IMF


A Vincentian national has been named by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to head up its Eastern Caribbean office.

Dr. Wendell Samuel, originally from Sayers in the Marriaqua Valley, will head up an office to be opened in Antigua and Barbuda by the Washington-based lending agency later this month.{{more}} This office will oversee operations of the IMF in the Eastern Caribbean.

Samuel has been named along with St Lucian-born Gene Leon who will head an IMF office to be opened in Jamaica.

The IMF has been quoted as saying the move to open the Caribbean offices will further deepen the IMF’s relationship with the authorities and other important stakeholders in the Caribbean.

With a similar office already operating in Haiti, the two new offices form part of the Fund’s strategic plans to broaden its services in the region.

Nicolas Eyzaguirre, director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere, said the Fund’s presence in the Caribbean will create a better understanding of local circumstances and constraints and help foster close and productive dialogue with policymakers in the region.

These include trade unions, the private sector, academics, and non-governmental organisations.

He expressed confidence that the presence of these resident representatives “will help the IMF develop closer ties with the people in the region”.

Both Samuel and Leon are credited with having extensive experience in the Caribbean. Leon is also credited with developing the first Fund programme for Iraq and has led IMF teams to the Gulf region, while Samuel has worked mostly in the bank’s Western Hemisphere Department.