“The graduation of small states to Middle and High Income status is one example of the policy prescriptions that do not take account of the vulnerabilities that significantly affect our ambition to achieve resilient and sustainable development.” OECS Chairman, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Allen Chastanet
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 — The Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States have been working assiduously with the OECS Commission and their joint Embassy in Brussels to address the ongoing challenges raised by the European Union’s prescriptions on international standards on transparency and exchange of information in relation to financial services. 

The reality is that in an increasingly competitive and unpredictable global environment many traditional partners are advocating policies that promote national interests, many of those protective in nature and take very little account of the impact on small economies like ours.

OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Hon. Allen Chastanet said that with the loss of preferential market access for bananas and sugar, and non-tariff barriers for other products, practically all of our economies have had to make difficult transitions from agriculture to full services such as financial services and tourism and these transitions have been made more difficult by the requirements of multiple external policies.

Read more at: OECS Secretariat

CARICOM, World Customs Organisation, sign MOU for capacity-building support to Region’s Customs Administrations

Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) His Excellency Kunio Mikuriya have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The signing ceremony took place at the CARICOM Secretariat  in Georgetown, Guyana on Tuesday, 20 March, 2018.

The main objective of the MOU is enhancing the professionalism and effectiveness of CARICOM Customs administrations through cooperation in the field of technical assistance and capacity-building.

The Region should benefit from greater coordination of customs training programmes and pursuit of the most suitable training solutions.  There will also be closer cooperation with the WCO in managing development and technical assistance programmes for Customs Administrations, and  capacity-building to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

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Caribbean Export, EU to open grants call for Caribbean companies

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in cooperation with the European Union today announced they are gearing up to provide grant funds to the CARIFORUM private sector via the DIRECT ASSISTANCE GRANT SCHEME (DAGS).

“The DAGS is one of the Agency’s most direct ways of providing support to the CARIFORUM private sector.  This reimbursement grant funding facility is designed to provide financial assistance to companies that are exporting or have the potential to export.  Under the revised DAGS programme, the ceiling for grants has increased to 50,000 Euros, with a minimum grant amount of 10,000 Euros” informed Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, Caribbean Export.

Over the next few months Caribbean Export will be sensitising businesses and Business Support Organisations (BSOs) across the region on the process to apply under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS). This is to build the awareness of the Program ahead of the open call for proposals on April 23rd, 2018. Additionally, the Agency will be training representatives from in each of the CARIFORUM countries to become DAGS experts. Named Country Advisors, they will provide ongoing assistance to businesses during the application and reimbursement stages of the Program.

Read more at: Caribbean Export

First female President of Trinidad and Tobago sworn in

Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes was sworn in today at the Queen’s Park Savannah as the sixth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.


A large crowd including Government Ministers, Members of Parliament and senior members of the Judiciary attended the swearing-in ceremony, the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago said.

A number of students from primary and secondary schools also attended the event.


Guyanese Girls Code

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications in Guyana, in collaboration with National Center for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) presentsGUYANESE GIRLS CODE – a free 12-week pilot programme for 1st to 3rd Form girls in Guyana to learn beginners’ coding/programming.

The aim of the programme is to increase the number of Guyanese women in Guyana’s ICT sector by teaching young girls to code/programme in order to empower them to innovate and create the technology that can change their world.

Applicants are not required to have previous experience coding/programming but must be proficient computer users. Class sessions will take place once a week on Saturday in Georgetown. In order to participate in this programme, applicants must be able to commit to attending the entire 12-week programme. The attendance policy allows for two absences.

Space is very limited and applicants will be accepted on a first come basis. Please note that the deadline to submit applications is 29 March, 2018. APPLY HERE