CARIFESTA XIII ends in true Regional integration style

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Barbados’ Minister of Culture Hon. Stephen Lashley passes on the CARIFESTA Baton to Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Community Development and Culture Dr. the Hon. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly,

The Region’s cultural performers transformed the Kensington Oval in Barbados into a sea of Regional integration as they brought the curtains down on CARIFESTA XIII, Sunday night.  The Closing Ceremony for the ten-day festival featured performances from some of the region’s top music and dance groups, steel bands, and individual artistes, while delegates and patrons partied to the regional cultural mix.

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Kensington Oval, Barbados – Closing Ceremony

Headlining attendance at the ceremony were Barbados’ Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Hon Stephen Lashley, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Community Development and Culture Dr. the Hon. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, and Assistant Secretary General for Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater.

Dr.  Slater, in remarks delivered on behalf of CARICOM Secretary General  Ambassador Irwin LaRocque,  thanked the Government and people of Barbados for their hospitality in hosting the event. Noting that organizing an event of the magnitude of CARIFESTA was a major undertaking, he congratulated the Minister of Culture and his team for doing so successfully,   especially having to overcome the challenge of Tropical Storm Harvey, which brought heavy rains to the island and forced the postponement of the August 18th Opening Ceremony.

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Assistant Secretary-General HSD, CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Douglas Slater addresses the Closing Ceremony

Dr. Slater said an important legacy of CARIFESTA XIII was the way in which Barbados has placed the development of Regional cultural and creative industries at the centre of the festival through the Grand Market and Buyers Shopping Mall.

“Barbados has further expanded the concept of the Caribbean market place for the arts which was introduced in CARIFESTA XI in Suriname 2013.”

Minister Lashley, in his remarks, pointed to the opportunities created from the presence of more than 20 regional and international buyers as a measure of the festival’s success. The Minister    handed over the CARIFESTA baton to his Trinidadian counterpart, Minister Gadsby-Dolly. Trinidad and Tobago will host CARIFESTA XIV in 2019 under the theme “The Tangible and Intangible, Connect Share and Invest”.

Patrons were then given an early taste of what to expect at CARIFESTA XIV. The ceremony ended with performances from several Barbadian artistes including new cultural ambassadors Allison Hinds and Red Plastic Bag.

General Assembly of Regional Tax body underway in St. Kitts and Nevis

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The Twenty-Fourth General Assembly and Technical Conference of the Caribbean Organisation of Tax Administrators (COTA)  is currently underway in St. Kitts and Nevis. COTA is a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Institution.

The General Assembly began on Monday 24 July, under the theme ‘Promoting Voluntary Tax Compliance and Cooperation – A Paradigm Shift in Tax Administration in the Caribbean Community’. The forum, which is hosted by the Inland Revenue Department of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, concludes on 28 July.

The opening ceremony at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort featured remarks by Deputy Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon. Shawn Richards, Ms. Evelyn Wayne, Director, Economic Policy and Development, CARICOM Secretariat, and Mr. Edward Gift, Comptroller.

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CET, Rules of Origin Review aims to further stimulate trade

Consultations to review the Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin begin on Tuesday morning at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.


The Consultation is in keeping with the Community’s Policy to encourage the inclusion of key stakeholders in policy-making processes. It is supported by funding under the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

Mr. Bernard Black, Senior Project Officer, Customs and Trade Policy at the CARICOM Secretariat, talks about the CET and the Rules of Origin and how they relate to the integration movement.
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