Trinidad and Tobago President, Anthony Carmona, has expressed frustration that his country and other CARICOM states have not replaced the Privy Council with the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as their final authority in legal matters.
Though 12 of the 15 CARICOM territories have signed the agreement establishing the CCJ, which was launched in 2005 as the final arbiter in legal disputes among and within regional members, only Barbados, Guyana, Dominica and Belize have accepted this court as the end decision-maker.
Carmona, who served as a High Court Judge before being appointed as President in 2013, expressed his frustration during a presentation on Thursday to University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, undergraduate organisation, ‘Students Today Alumni Tomorrow’.
“Why have we yet, not all, subscribed to the jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice?” he asked in the Henry Fraser Lecture Theatre while delivering a presentation on, ‘Redefining Caribbean Pride for the 21st Century Youth’.
The ability of sugar industry in the Region to survive after the removal of production quotas in the European Union (EU) on September 30, 2017, will depend on improved competitiveness and pragmatic diversification options, according to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat official.The end of EU’s quota management for sugar is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, with particular impact on Caribbean producers.
In an address on 23 March to the opening of a Regional Policy Workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, that addressed the Caribbean Sugar Industry Post-2017, CARICOM Secretariat Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry. Ms. Nisa Surujbally, said that securing more remunerative markets, value addition and an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were also very important to the industry’s survival.
“We have witnessed major structural changes in the operations of our sugar industries, including the exit from sugar production of two Member States, Trinidad and Tobago and St Kitts and Nevis. Nevertheless, we are mindful of the vital role and contribution of the sugar sectors to the economies of Barbados, Belize, Guyana and Jamaica. Survivability of these industries, after the removal of production quotas in the EU on September 30 2017, will in no small measure be a function of improved competitiveness, securing more remunerative markets, value addition, an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and, not lastly, practical and pragmatic diversification options.
“I say this as a technical official while being acutely aware of the emotional associations we have with our Region’s oldest economic sector. This industry is responsible for us being here and has coloured our history from colonisation, to slavery to indentureship and to independence. It is not an easy time! Now is crunch time”, she told the gathering.
This was underscored recently by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he met with Jamaica’s CARICOM Single Market and Economy Focal Point representative, Symone Betton-Nayo. Mrs. Betton-Nayo is in Barbados on a five-day official visit as part of an internship exchange programme which is organised by the CARICOM Secretariat in association with the Prime Minister’s Office.
The meeting, which took place at Government Headquarters, was chaired by Minister Boyce, and included Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch; Permanent Secretary (Defence and Security), Timothy Maynard; and Chief Research Officer, Paula Byer.
In his remarks, Senator Boyce said: “I am one of the people who believe that the [CARICOM] Community is developing very nicely from the background of the number of people we process through our airport who go in and out without difficulties. From the number of CSN’s (CARICOM Skilled Nationals) that we issue and the very few that we reject.”
‘Anything you do with normal flour you can do with banana flour. You are replacing the white flour with a healthy alternative. It has a sweet taste but there’s no sugar. I’ve found that when you dry out products, you get a little sweetness.’ – Tonya Ifill
IF ONE ENTREPRENEUR has her way, more consumers will be setting aside their wheat, cassava and sweet potato products for those made with green bananas.
Tonya Ifill, owner and operator of Carlesa’s Enterprises pioneered flour and pasta made from the unripened fruit. Ifill was attending Agrofest when she spoke with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
She got the idea while participating in an agro-processing course at the Guyana School of Agriculture. As a group project, participants had to come up with a product that was new to the South American country.
“I did sweet potato and brown rice pasta and got my cousin to export a pasta machine from Canada and I was ready. When I came back [to Barbados], I was looking for something different to work with instead of the same sweet potato and cassava. I researched green bananas, asked around for some and started my trials and it took off from there,” she said.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat continues its drive to ensure the smooth operation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It is set to begin the second leg of an internship exchange between the CSME Focal Points of Barbados and Jamaica. Jamaica’s National CSME Focal Point, Ms. Symone Betton-Nayo, will be hosted by Barbados’s Office of the Prime Minister from March 20 – 24, 2017. The objective of the exchange programme is to increase understanding of how CSME-related processes are carried out in participating member states. Barbados’ CSME Focal Point, Ms. Paula Byer, visited Jamaica last week (March 6 -10). The activity is facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund, (EDF) CSME Economic Integration Programme.
Ms. Betton-Nayo will visit a range of governmental, regional and private sector organisations that are involved in the operations of the CSME in Barbados. These entities include the Barbados Accreditation Council, the Customs and Excise Department, the CSME Unit, CARICOM’s Office of Trade Negotiations, the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) and Sandals.
Barbados’ CSME Focal Point, Ms Paula Byer, and her team are coordinating the schedule of activities and will accompany Ms. Betton-Nayo as she engages the various entities on the processes related to the CSME. The intention is for Ms. Betton-Nayo to get a hands-on and in-depth understanding of how CSME process owners in Barbados implement the Single Market in the national context. She will also observe the best practices and challenges encountered at the local level.
At the conclusion of the CSME Focal Point Exchange between these two Member States, it is hoped that the increased knowledge and understanding gained will result in CARICOM nationals having an improved experience as they seek to access their rights under the various regimes. The Secretariat intends to extend the programme to other CARICOM Member States in this valuable exchange activity.