CARICOM, China discuss strengthened cooperation in margins of CELAC Forum

Suriname’s Foreign Minister Ms Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr Wang Yi at the meeting
Suriname’s Foreign Minister the Hon. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi at the meeting

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has signalled its interest in working with China to ascertain how its goals and priorities can be best linked with existing, new and emerging development initiatives from the East Asian country.

Foreign Ministers of the nine CARICOM countries which recognise the People’s Republic of China met with their Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wang Yi,   on Sunday, 21 January, 2018, in the margins of the CELAC-China Forum (CCF) Second Ministerial Meeting that took place in Santiago, Chile, on 19-22 January, 2018.

“Concessional development funding is essential for the building of economic and climate resilience to serve as the platform for our sustainable development.” – Chair of COFCOR, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean

In remarks at the meeting, Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean, underscored the importance CARICOM attached to the existing Caribbean-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, and the Caribbean-China Consultations. The latter was held in May 2016, and is expected to take place again later this year.

Describing those consultations as “valuable mechanisms for continued dialogue and cooperation,” she said the Community also saw the One Belt, One Road initiative China announced in Santiago, as a “very important cooperation and development mechanism.” (more…)

A Caribbean banking agency in the US?

WASHINGTON, United States, Friday March 4, 2016 – Caribbean governments, indigenous banks and offshore banks located in the Caribbean are extremely concerned about the withdrawal of correspondent relations from Caribbean banks by banks in the United States (US).

Caribbean Heads of Government at a meeting in Belize in February made their concern very clear. The Caribbean Association of Banks have done so in separate statements. Their sense of alarm arises from the fact that, if all correspondent banking relations are withdrawn, the region will be isolated from the rest of the world and will be unable to carry out the most basic of bank transactions.

In many Caribbean countries there has been a steady decline in such correspondent banking relations, and there is no sign of an early abatement.

Caribbean governments and banks are not alone in their concern. Other regions of the world are also similarly affected. Countries in East Asia, the Pacific, Eastern Europe and Central Asia with significant offshore banking activities, are also affected.

Read more at: Caribbean360

Phillips hails CARICOM confab with G-20

Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, Amar Bhattacharya has the rapt attention of Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Peter Phillips at yesterday’s first Caribbean Regional Dialogue held with the G20 Working Development Group at the World Bank/ Inter-American Development Bank (IDB spring meeting in Washington DC on Monday, April 13, 2015 at IMF headquarters. At centre is Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr. Devon Rowe while at right is Mr. Wayne Robinson, a member of the Jamaican delegation. (Photo by Derrick Scott via Jamaica News)
Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, Amar Bhattacharya has the rapt attention of Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Peter Phillips at yesterday’s first Caribbean Regional Dialogue held with the G20 Working Development Group at the World Bank/ Inter-American Development Bank (IDB spring meeting in Washington DC on Monday, April 13, 2015 at IMF headquarters. At centre is Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr. Devon Rowe while at right is Mr. Wayne Robinson, a member of the Jamaican delegation. (Photo by Derrick Scott via Jamaica News)

Washington DC, April 14, 2015 – Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Peter Phillips, has welcomed the opportunity to co-chair yesterday’s first Caribbean Regional Dialogue with members of the G-20 Development Working Group, at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meeting in Washington DC.

In his opening remarks, Dr Phillips said he was of the impression that the session was of great value to the Caribbean, because it is the first time there has been an engagement between the Caribbean and the G20, in an organized fashion. He said that a dialogue of this nature, certainly allows us to bring to the attention of the G20 countries and the Development Working Group of the G20, the specific condition of the Caribbean region.

This condition Dr Phillips identified as the problem of low growth and high debt which affects the entire Caribbean region. The Jamaican Finance Minister said he was using this opportunity to bring to attention the fact that the Caribbean is still suffering the effects of the crisis of 2008-09 and pointed out that the consequences of that crisis are impeding the regions capacity to grow, particularly because of the high debt.

Read more at: Jamaica News

A game-changing week on climate change

In recent days, two major developments have injected new life into international action on climate change.

At the G20 summit in Australia, the United States pledged 3 billion dollars and Japan pledged 1.5 billion dollars to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), bringing total donations up to 7.5 billion so far. The GCF, established through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, will distribute money to support developing countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change.

While the figures might sound big, they pale in comparison to the actual needs on the ground and to what developed countries spend in other areas – for instance, the U.S. spends tens of billions of dollars every year on fossil fuel subsidies.” — Brandon Wu of ActionAid USA

The new commitments to the GCF came on the heels of a landmark joint announcement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, creating ambitious new targets for domestic carbon emissions reduction.

Read more Caribbean360

U.N. Chief eyes upcoming summits to resolve development crisis

The continued widespread economic recession – aggravated by the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa – is threatening to undermine the U.N.’s highly-touted post-2015 development agenda.

 

Still, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is placing his trust and confidence on two key upcoming summit meetings: a G20 gathering of world leaders in Brisbane, Australia later this week, and the International Conference on Financing for Development (ICFD) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, next July.

Read more Inter Press Service