CARICOM SG asks Sweden’s help on blacklisting issue

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday
Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has urged Sweden to use its position in two major international organisations to highlight the unfair labelling of some of the Community’s Member States as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”.

Speaking at the CARICOM Secretariat’s Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters during the accreditation ceremony of Sweden’s news Ambassador to the Community, the Secretary-General said, “as we seek to diversify our economies and build our services sector, some of our Member States, engaged in financial services, have been labelled as “non-cooperative tax jurisdictions”. This is despite the fact that the countries in question are not so designated by the relevant global authorities, such as the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum.”

“As a member of the EU and the OECD, Sweden can assist in encouraging these bodies to be guided by the informed position of the relevant global regulatory authorities and desist from their unnecessary seemingly punitive actions,” he added.

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SG calls for new model for development finance

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday
Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, during the accreditation ceremony on Wednesday

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) believes that a new model for development finance needs to be considered.

Speaking during the accreditation ceremony for the new Swedish Ambassador to the Community on Wednesday at the CARICOM Secretariat’s, Turkeyen, Guyana headquarters, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque stated that GDP per capita should not be the principal measurement used in determining the development status of a country.

“We will continue to advocate for the use of a more accurate and realistic measure of development which considers vulnerability, including exposure to natural disasters and other exogenous shocks,” he said. “In the interest of realising our economic aspirations as a Community, we believe that a new paradigm in development finance needs to be considered,” he added.

Her Excellency Elisabeth Eklund presented her credentials to the Secretary-General who noted that her accreditation was a continuation of years of building bilateral relations with the Member States of the Community and a bi-regional dialogue between CARICOM and the countries of the Nordic region. Sweden is one of the countries in the Nordic Group with which CARICOM has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Political Dialogue and Cooperation.

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CARIFESTA a gateway to EPA – Minister Lashley

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Barbados is leveraging its $6 million investment in CARIFESTA XIII against the opportunities to break into the European Union’s (EU) cultural industries market.

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley contends the region has been “slow” in taking advantage of the opportunities offered through the EU/Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Monday he told the media: “We are strategically trying to position our creatives to make that agreement a living document and, of course, working with our various partners in the EU and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) we want to ensure after CARIFESTA there is a strategic focus on gaining market share.”

Lashley said CARIFESTA was one of the first moves to translate the artistic talent of the Caribbean into revenue and to prepare its artistic developers for the bigger markets. To date $2.5 million of the $6 million budgeted for the Festival has been spent, he said.

Read more at: Nation News

Eight days of Caribbean film at CARIFESTA XIII

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Please don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy the talent of the Caribbean region at CARIFESTA XIII! Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 years, or enjoy a $50 Season Pass for 8 screenings!
Tickets are available via www.carifesta.net or all Ticket Linkz box offices!

Coconut industry benefits from CARDI project

Coconut heaven

Since the implementation of the Caribbean Coconut Industry Development Project two-and-a-half years ago, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) has made several strides in improving the local coconut industry through training as well as the establishment of new nurseries among other targeted initiatives.

The four-year project was undertaken through a partnership between CARDI and the International Trade Centre (ITC), with funding provided by the European Union. It was aimed at improving income and employment opportunities, food security, and overall competitiveness of the Caribbean coconut sector.

Participating countries in the project include Jamaica, Belize, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, and Suriname, among others in the region.

According to CARDI country representative for Jamaica Dr Gregory Robin, Jamaica has the most organised coconut industry board in the region and so a partnership was developed with the local Coconut Industry Board, which had established a national stakeholder platform that addresses all the issues along the value chain, from production to the manufacturing of coconut water, oils and soaps.

Read more at: Jamaica Observer