Havelock R. Brewster was born in Guyana in 1929 and is a citizen of Guyana and Jamaica. He studied economics at Durham University in the United Kingdom and at Dalhousie University in Canada. He is the Caribbean economist with the longest career in public service and international institutions.
He was a professor of economics at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica from 1963 to 1968. He was Guyana’s ambassador to the European Union in Austria, Belgium and Germany from 1996 to 2000. He was also executive director of the Caribbean Development Bank from 1994 to 2006 and an honorary professor of economics at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies at the University of the West Indies.
He is the author of more than 200 articles and essays on such diverse areas of Caribbean economics as trade, economic and social development, finance, economic integration and the Caribbean economy in general. Along with Anthony Hughes, he co-wrote Lowering the Threshold (2002), a study of the problems facing less developed, small and vulnerable economies in the struggle to attract foreign capital in the era of globalization. In that work, Brewster and Hughes argued for the existence of an “investment risk premium” that applied to foreign investors when they invested in less developed countries (LDC) and in the small and vulnerable economies (SVE) and that meant that the investments were less beneficial to the local economy. Brewster and Hughes described the disadvantages of the LDCs and SVEs in terms of their competitiveness in attracting foreign investment.
Brewster´s work showed an ever-present, sometimes pessimistic concern about what he saw as the competitive disadvantages imposed on small nations in the era of globalization, as well as a proposal for overcoming the problem through regional integration. This issue was a central concern by the 1970s, as reflected in publications of the era. In 1972, along with J. Mario Ponce, he published Agricultural and Industrial Co-operation among Developing Countries (United Nations) and later, in 1973, he published the book The Dynamics of West Indian Economic Integration along with economist Clive Yolande Thomas.
Author: Luis Galanes
Published: June 06, 2012.
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