CDB to discuss regional productivity, tourism industry reform at 47th Annual Meeting

Dr Justin Ram
Dr. Justin Ram

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will release two major studies to support the Region’s economic growth agenda at the 47th Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors. The flagship event will be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands from May 24-25, 2017.

“The studies will analyse two issues that are key to advancing economic growth in the Caribbean –regional productivity and tourism industry reform. The findings of this research will provide countries in the Region with insights, data and information that could guide policymaking and action to facilitate sustainable growth,” said Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics, CDB.

One study is entitled, ‘Enhancing Productivity and Growth in the Caribbean’. It will seek to identify the causes of low productivity and growth in the Region, and put forward recommendations for initiatives that could reverse this trend. Findings will be discussed at a seminar on May 24 during the Annual Meeting. Panelists from the public and private sectors will discuss policy initiatives that could substantially strengthen regional growth performance over the medium to long term. (more…)

Remittances to developing countries decline for second consecutive year

Remittances to developing countries fell for a second consecutive year in 2016, a trend not seen in three decades, says the latest edition of the Migration and Development Brief, released on Friday the World Bank’s Spring Meetings.

The Bank estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries amounted to $429 billion in 2016, a decline of 2.4 percent over $440 billion in 2015. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, contracted by 1.2 percent to $575 billion in 2016, from $582 billion in 2015.

Low oil prices and weak economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Russian Federation are taking a toll on remittance flows to South Asia and Central Asia, while weak growth in Europe has reduced flows to North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The decline in remittances, when valued in U.S. dollars, was made worse by a weaker euro, British pound and Russian ruble against the U.S. dollar.
Read more at: World Bank

Meeting with Queen, Caribbean Council’s reception atop President Granger’s agenda on UK visit

Guyana_President-David-Granger-profileGeorgetown, Guyana – (April 23, 2017) President David Granger has departed Guyana for a visit to the United Kingdom from April 24-28, 2017, where he will have an audience with Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. In addition to his meeting with the Queen at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, the Head of State will also attend the Caribbean Council’s Annual Reception at the House of Lords.

The President will deliver an address at that reception, which will be held on Tuesday evening, along with the Rt Hon. Lord Bruce of Bennachie, Minister of State, Baroness Anelay and Dr. Angus McCoss, Exploration Director at Tullow Oil.

The Annual Reception provides an opportunity for Members of Parliament, Peers, High Commissioners, Ambassadors, members of the UK civil service, non-governmental organisations, members of the Caribbean diaspora and businesses invested in or interested in investing in the Caribbean Region to network, with a view to supporting the Region’s economic development.

President Granger, who is accompanied on the visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Carl Greenidge, will also meet with members of the UK Government, the British business community and the Guyanese diaspora in London. (Ministry of the Presidency Press Release)

TT President says Region should replace Privy Council

CCJ Headquarters, Trinidad and Tobago
CCJ Headquarters, Trinidad and Tobago

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’.

Read more at: Barbados Today

Region cannot sit on sidelines of digital era, CARICOM ASG warns

Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat.
Mr. Joseph Cox, Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Assistant Secretary-General Trade and Economic Integration, Mr Joseph Cox, has warned the Community not to sit on the sidelines of the digital era.

“There is almost no option to sit on the sidelines in this new digital era.  Whatever is happening in the developed world will also happen in the developing world.  Our tourists for the most part come from developed countries and our current and potential investors as well.  Their expectations with regard to ICT, its usage for efficiency in business and leisure are not far-fetched”, Mr. Cox said.

He was at the time making brief remarks before the meeting of officials of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The meeting was held on 20 April, 2017, via videoconferencing that was anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat. (more…)