CDB funds project to prevent loss of correspondent banking relationships

March 17, 2017, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding of US$250,000 to strengthen financial transparency, and assist in preventing the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) in the Region.

In the Caribbean, CBRs facilitate a number of payment systems, including international trade, cross-border payments and receiving of remittances. Recently, some large international banks have started terminating or severely limiting their CBRs with smaller local and regional banks, in an effort to reduce exposure to risks associated with money-laundering and financing of terrorism. This process, known as de-risking, has negative implications for the Caribbean, potentially resulting the loss of trade relationships and negative economic impacts.

CBRs are fundamental to the efficient operation and resilience of the global financial system. This project will contribute to a more stable financial system in the Caribbean, which will in turn allow more banks to access CBRs, so that they can continue to carry out international transactions. This is critical if the Caribbean is to reduce poverty and spur economic development,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects at the CDB. (more…)

CARICOM prepares positions on imminent UN oceans agreement

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Senior environment officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) met recently in Belize as CARICOM rationalises its position on the United Nations (UN) process to establish an international legally binding agreement on sustainable use of marine resources.

The two-day workshop held 20-22 February 2017, in Belize City, Belize, was titled, ‘CARICOM Regional Workshop on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity beyond Areas of National Jurisdiction’.

Foreign Minister of Belize, the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, addressing the opening, said that CARICOM Member States had championed the negotiation and adoption of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), which was opened for signature in Jamaica. He also reminded that when the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea was constituted, two CARICOM citizens – Edward Laing of Belize and Dolliver Nelson of Grenada, joined the ranks of the first 21 Members of the Tribunal.

“Judge Laing and Judge Nelson are no longer with us, but they, together with other key jurists from our Region, including the sitting Judge Anthony Amos Lucky of Trinidad and Tobago, have left a legacy on the international stage that is definitive of our Region’s commitment to uphold the law of the sea.

“We have now been called upon to address an area of the law of the sea that has not been adequately provided for in the UNCLOS, whether for want of scientific knowledge, implementation, or as a result of governance and legal gaps,” he said.

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Caribbean states must combine resources, expertise – President Granger on first day of official visit to The Bahamas

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“We are a blessed Region. We are not some sort of monochromatic image to the rest of the world. I am convinced that if we can combine our talents and resources, we can offer a world class product.” – President David Granger
(March 2, 2017) President David Granger, who arrived in The Bahamas on an official visit, this afternoon said that much of the economic and unemployment problems facing the Region can be solved if Caribbean States work to combine their resources, talents and expertise. The Head of State made these remarks, during an interview with ZNS News of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas, following a meeting with the Governor General of that country, Dame Marguerite Pindling.

Describing the visit as an economic mission, the President, who is accompanied by is accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Noel Holder and Minister of Business, Mr. Dominic Gaskin, said that Guyana has the resources, while The Bahamas has the capital and successful tourism and financial sectors that lessons can be learnt from. He believes that combining these factors can mean economic benefit for both countries and that similar economic relations among other Caribbean States can bear similar fruit.

“We are talking about a world class community and we need to continue to work in the Caribbean Community to make better use of these resources… Much of what you need here in the Bahamas, I am sure can be produced in the mainland states [Guyana, Belize and Suriname],” he said.

Read more at: Ministry of the Presidency

Regional patriotism, CSME in focus at end-of-summit press conference

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The CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government recently concluded their Inter-Sessional meeting, which was was held  on February 16 -17, 2017 in Georgetown, Guyana. The meeting ended with a press briefing at the Marriott Hotel, which was addressed by Chairman of the Conference, His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana, Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Hon. Keith Mitchell who will be the next Chairman, as well as CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. Some of the topics addressed included  the CSME, Correspondent Banking, CARICOM-US Relations, Regional Security, Tourism, and CARIFESTA, which will be held in Barbados this August.  More in this video report: