Tag Archives: CARICOM

GUYANA: The Trinidad Connection and Guyana’s Local Content Act – by Ralph Ramkarran

 April 2, 2022- The Trinidad Connection

A robust debate has been triggered by Guyana’s Local Content Act (the Act) between Guyanese and Trinidad and Tobago business organisations, businesspeople and involving some Guyanese public officials. The debate has had little input from ordinary Guyanese citizens. For example, there has been few, if any, letters in the press from Guyanese expressing outrage against Trinidadians for any reason.

However, while the debate is limited to Trinidad’s business practices, trade policies and importance to Guyana as a Caricom member, there is a strong undercurrent in Guyana of resentment against what is believed to be Trinidad’s historically unflattering view of Guyanese due, it has always been believed, to Trinidad’s sense of its own superiority by virtue of its oil wealth as against Guyana’s relative poverty.            

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GUYANA: Large-scale oil reserves put Guyana in position to be major player in regional affairs – Opinion


The United States should provide more aid to the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to avoid an influx of refugees from the region. That warning has come from the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne. The U.S.  must “pay more attention to the Caribbean region in helping us to maintain our standard of living to avoid any mass movement of people,” he said. The alternative would be that “they’ll end up on the shores of the United States as refugees,” Browne told the Reuters news agency in a Jan. 25 interview.

Caribbean countries are saddled with debts sometimes equivalent to 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and are having to rely on loans offered on favorable terms by Chinese banks, Browne told Reuters reporter Brian Ellsworth. Such loans have totaled more than $4 billion in the past 10 years, with much of the funds going to infrastructure development, Ellsworth reported, citing figures from the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue. Browne said that the Chinese loans are provided on more favorable terms than those from agencies such as the International Monetary Fund but that should not be interpreted as a political statement.      Continue reading

OPINION: David Jessop | Connectivity and the future of CARICOM

  By David Jessop

The appointment of Dr Carla Barnett as the next secretary general of CARICOM should be an inflection point, a moment when the institution, and more importantly its member states rise to the challenge of delivering the post-pandemic decisions that could propel the regional integration process into the 21st century.

Whether Dr Barnett, importantly the first woman and the first Belizean to lead the regional institution, can negotiate a way out of the organisation’s inability to act because of its lack of executive authority, candidly explain, or find a way around commitments that are made at summit after summit and then not delivered by its member states, time will tell.    Continue reading

TRAVEL: History of the MV Federal Palm and MV Federal Maple – By Roland Martins-Smith | Nautical Solutions 

Roland Martins-Smith | Nautical Solutions 

It is said that the British Colonial administration initiated an “Inter-Island Shipping Service” in the Eastern Caribbean with chartered coasters in 1947, of which little is known today.  Some 10 years later, when the West Indies Federation was being conceived, the importance of strengthening regional shipping appeared to be critical to the success of integration efforts, and so the Canadian government stepped in and offered to custom-build two cargo/passenger ships as gifts to the Federation. THESE TWO SHIPS WERE NAMED FEDERAL PALM AND FEDERAL MAPLE.     Continue reading

CARIBBEAN: Time to transform CSME and CARICOM – By David Jessop

The View From Europe – November 10. 2019  – By David Jessop

Caricom Headquarters. Georgetown. Guyana.

In the last few days Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has reiterated her belief that to progress the region must make the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) fit for purpose.

Ms. Mottley suggested that if the region is not to be marginalised, CARICOM’s governance structure needs to change, more frequent meetings of CARICOM heads and ministerial sub-committees should be held to speed up the pace of implementation, and her fellow leaders should in this respect consider following the lead of European Heads of Government. She also encouraged the private sector to play a much greater and more active role in regional decision-making, planning and implementation.        Continue reading

Caribbean: Tourism Matters: Airline travel and tourism development fee

By Adrian Loveridge

I recently questioned the charging of US$70 of the October 2018 imposed ‘Airline Travel and Tourism Development Fee’ on a LIAT return ticket from Barbados to St Maarten. This was in addition to the already existing US$27.50 departure tax.

LIAT kindly responded stating the “Airline Travel and Tourism Development Fee is US$35 for CARICOM and US$70 for other destinations. Since St Maarten is not a member of CARICOM the fee is US$70”.    Continue reading

Only outcomes that improve lives will demonstrate that CSME matters – By David Jessop

The View from Europe: Only outcomes that improve lives will demonstrate that CSME matters

Most in the political class say that what drives them to seek high office is a desire for change in ways that will improve lives. However, in power too many become remote, caught in the web woven by bureaucrats, foreign powers or their colleagues, allow themselves to be corrupted, fail to deliver, and resort to empty rhetoric.

Having worked with multiple politicians in the Caribbean and Europe over more than four decades it has always seemed to me those most likely to succeed were the women and men able to mix intellectual agility, a sense of what touches the lives of others, an ability to speak well from the heart, a genuine social commitment, and the recognition that they were there for their citizens.       Continue reading

The danger in what others wish for in Venezuela – By David Jessop

The View from Europe: The danger in what others wish for in Venezuela

David Jessop

February 16, 2018 – By David Jessop

A few days ago, the International Energy Agency reported that oil production in the US was undergoing extraordinary growth. The OECD-related body for net importers of oil said that the increase meant that US “production could equal global demand growth” largely because of its rapidly expanding shale output. This meant that US production would probably reach 11 million bpd by late 2018, outstripping Saudi Arabia and offsetting OPEC-led supply cuts aimed at increasing energy prices.      Continue reading

Caribbean: The media and the linguistic divide – By David Jessop

Caribbean: The media and the linguistic divide

Published on September 3, 2016  – By David Jessop

David Jessop

David Jessop

In the middle of last month Danilo Medina was sworn in as president of the Dominican Republic for a second term. His inauguration was attended by many senior figures from the Americas including the prime minister of Antigua, Gaston Browne, who earlier the same month, quite separately, had met with him and his then foreign minister.

Some days later the Dominican Republic’s new foreign minister, Miguel Vargas, said in one of his first public statements, that he believed that his country needed to exert greater influence on regional and international organisations. Mr Vargas then went on to meet on August 30 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s interim president, Jocelerme Privert, and others. There they agreed to revive the two nation’s Joint Bilateral Commission to try to resolve issues relating to cross border trade, investment and migration.     Continue reading

CARICOM – THE DEBT TRAP – commentary


Opinion - commentary -analysisAug 21, 2016 Editorial, Kaieteur News

 Guyana’s small but encouraging success in its attempts to reduce the stranglehold of debt on the economy is proof that the country and its CARICOM counterparts continue to be among the most indebted countries in the world. And while none of these countries are very wealthy, based on North American and European standards, they are not overly poor either and there is hardly any starvation among their populations.

Guyana’s debt, which is approximately US$1.65billion continues to be a major impediment to economic growth and human and sustainable development. It has deprived the government of the ability to use monetary policy to promote growth and provide the path for improved lives. It has become obvious to the authorities that everything has to be done to reduce the debt, because it is economically unwise for the nation to be burdened by such a huge liability.

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