KINGSTON, Jamaica, August 28, 2013 – Just three weeks into her incumbency, new World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean region, Sophie Sirtaine, is now in Jamaica meetings with Jamaican Government officials, private sector representatives, and social partners.
She will begin by meeting with Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips to discuss issues related to strengthening the World Bank’s support to Jamaica’s agenda for economic growth and greater global competitiveness.
During the visit, she will also talk with business leaders as well as the social partners who collaborated with the Bank to stage KingstOOn, Jamaica’s first animation conference in June. Ms. Sirtaine expressed great optimism toward this initiative and will spend time Thursday morning with a group of young Jamaicans involved in animation.
“Jamaica has a huge asset in its talented youth. Through partnerships with educational institutions and the private sector, Jamaica can create the right conditions to tap into the global animation industry and become a new hub, providing job creation solutions for the 38percent youth unemployment,” she said. Ms. Sirtaine indicates that her goal is to support a programme of sustainable solutions driven by Jamaica’s growth agenda. This she believes will not only improve economic competitiveness but also actively promote shared prosperity in the country.
In her current position as Director for the Caribbean region, Ms. Sirtaine is responsible for maintaining a strong partnership with the governments of fourteen countries in order to address their development and financial challenges and support growth opportunities. She also leads the Bank’s programme support in these countries and oversees the management of the country offices in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Guyana.
A Belgian national with over fourteen years of experience in the World Bank, Ms. Sirtaine has held various positions in the Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia and Europe and Central Asia regions. Her most recent post was as Director of the Corporate Reform and Strategy Department in Operations, Policy and Country Services (OPCS).
Prior to joining the World Bank, Ms. Sirtaine worked in London in investment banking at JP Morgan and as an infrastructure economist for Halcrow Fox and Associates.
Ms. Sirtaine replaces French national Françoise Clottes who served as director for the Caribbean region between 2010 and 2013.