“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

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

Eastern Caribbean fisherfolk, fisheries administrators introduced to new Early Warning System

More than 30 male and female fishers from St Vincent and the Grenadines were introduced to a new Fisheries Early Warning and Emergency Response (FEWER) System at a workshop held at the Fisheries Division in St Vincent and the Grenadines on March 8.

Using an application for mobile phones, fishers are able to receive early warnings of risky weather and sea conditions and are able to share their information about local conditions and missing persons under FEWER. Besides training in the use of FEWER, participants also received valuable tips about caring for and using their phones.

This  workshop gave good information and the app is good because it helps pass on information easier to fishers, especially since a lot of persons go to sea and don’t take the time check on information about the weather conditions,” says Raoul Lewis, a fisherman based in Callaquia, St Vincent. (more…)

Dr. Keith Mitchell sworn in; calls for togetherness

Friday 16 March 2018 proved to be yet another historic moment for Dr. the Rt. Keith Mitchell, as he was sworn in for the 5th time as Prime Minister of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Grenada Trade Center, which was packed with delegates, official members of the New National Party (NNP), supporters and on-lookers.

After being congratulated by Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade, Prime Minister Mitchell addressed the gathering, and called on the Grenadian public to pray for him and his administration.

During Dr Mitchell’s address, he stated that he knows he can never repay the nation, but he will certainly try his utmost best, as he comes with a sincere heart and strong determination. According to him, what motivates him most, is knowing where he came from and knowing where Grenadians can go together. Therefore, he remains committed to leading a “united nation,” and called upon the leadership of the defeated National Democratic Congress (NDC) as well as their supporters, to come together, as “this nation belongs to all of us.” The PM urged the the leader of the NDC to take this proposal seriously.

According to Dr Mitchell, at this juncture, the aim should be to lead supporters out of what he referred to as extreme partisanship.

Read more at: The Barnacle