Jamaica’s CSME official updated on Barbados’ progress

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce (centre) meets Jamaica’s CSME Focal Point, Symone Betton-Nayo (right) on the first day of a five-day visit to Barbados under the 10th European Development Fund. Also present were: (from left) Economist I, Rhea Clarke-Mason; Chief Research Officer, Paula Byer; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch and Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris. Missing is Permanent Secretary (Defence and Security), Timothy Maynard. (Photo by A. Miller via BGIS)
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Darcy Boyce (centre) meets Jamaica’s CSME Focal Point, Symone Betton-Nayo (right) on the first day of a five-day visit to Barbados under the 10th European Development Fund. Also present were: (from left) Economist I, Rhea Clarke-Mason; Chief Research Officer, Paula Byer; Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Sonja Welch and Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris. (Photo by A. Miller via BGIS)

Barbados is doing its part to ensure that this country meets its obligations under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

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.”

Jamaica’s CARICOM Single Market and Economy Focal Point representative, Symone Betton-Nayo with Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris. (Photo by A. Miller via BGIS)
Jamaica’s CARICOM Single Market and Economy Focal Point representative, Symone Betton-Nayo with Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris. (Photo by A. Miller via BGIS)

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

CDB announces US$40M in funding for poverty reduction in eight countries

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados –  The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced US$40M in funding for poverty reduction in eight countries in the Caribbean Region, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). 

The resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9). Countries that will benefit are: Belize; the Commonwealth of Dominica; Grenada; the Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Suriname.  

“The participating countries share many common characteristics and face a number of challenges inherent to small, open economies. BNTF 9 will respond to the development needs of these countries, which face challenges associated with limited diversity in production and extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, which is  now exacerbated by climate change and other external shocks,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB.

Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is a regional financial institution which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, in Kingston, Jamaica, and entered into force on January 26, 1970. The Bank came into existence for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them, having special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the region (Article 1 of the Agreement establishing CDB). In the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, the CDB is recognised as and Associate Institution of CARICOM

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Future of sugar: Stakeholders meet on industry adaptation to market realities

(Photo via Guyana Chronicle)
(Photo via Guyana Chronicle)

The European Union’s (EU) quota management for sugar will end on 30 September 2017 and is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the ACP, with particular impact on Caribbean producers.

Karl James, Chairman of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean, commented:

“With our exports still focused on EU markets, the Caribbean sugar industry faces a period of instability and change, and must urgently adapt in order to meet the challenge of competing with other sugar producing nations worldwide which have lower production costs or in a global market heavily distorted by trade barriers and government support. The prospect of the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU further adds to the uncertainty ahead.”

“The focus must be on identifying the practical next steps that we the industry, and our governments, can take as priority measures to reinvigorate our sugar sector and provide it with the means to prosper and grow in the 21st Century.”

“We look forward to taking forward with our partners in Government the policy recommendations from this important workshop to give the sugar industry in the Caribbean a positive future.”

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Work moves apace to develop Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code

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A Regional Project Team (RPT), established to develop a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code (REEBC), among other mandates, will be launched in Kingston, Jamaica, next week.

The launch and the first face-to-face Working Meeting with the contracted consultant will be held 30-31 March, at the Jamaica Bureau of Standards. Nine Member States – Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago – are represented on the RPT which consists of 19 Members.

The RPT is tasked with developing the REEBC, as well as its associated application documents and Minimum Energy Performance standards for buildings. To do so, the RPT will review the Minimum Energy Performance Standards for buildings as proposed by consultant, Solar Dynamics, in their final report of the consultancy on the Development of Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS) for public and commercial buildings in CARICOM Member States. The team will also review the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in an effort to adapt it, where necessary, and present for acceptance and adoption by Member States as a Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code. (more…)

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…)