CARICOM Member States becoming increasingly important trade partners for Belize

Although the USA and the UK are said to be Belize’s top trading partners, the biggest declines in export sales so far this year were recorded for those destinations. Meanwhile, CARICOM countries are becoming increasingly important trade partners for Belize, particularly as they are now buying more of Belize’s main exports. All of the crude Belize sells now goes to Barbados, although exports were down for the first quarter.

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has published details on its website. The data indicates that of the nearly $23 million in export earnings Belize garnered from CARICOM for the first three months of the year, $8.7 million was from Barbados, $7 million from Jamaica and $5.9 million from Trinidad and Tobago. However, there was a fall in earnings from all three countries, with the most substantial decline in monetary value being for exports to Barbados.

Trinidad and Jamaica both buy sugar, and orange and grapefruit concentrate from Belize. In addition to the citrus concentrate juices, Barbados buys crude oil from Belize. Citrus concentrate juices are also the main domestic export which Guatemala takes from Belize.

Read more at: The Reporter

CARICOM Regional Statistics Strategy advances to Heads of Government

Ministers responsible for CARICOM Affairs have recommended that the Strategic Framework of the CARICOM Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) be placed before CARICOM Heads of Government in July for endorsement.

The recommendation came after the Ministers deliberated on the Strategic Framework of the CARICOM RSDS during the Forty-Second Meeting of the Community Council of Ministers (Council) in Georgetown, Guyana, on 16 May, 2018.

Also to be placed before the Heads of Government for endorsement are the next steps such as the development of a comprehensive implementation plan for the RSDS. The plan will include costing, a Resource Mobilisation Strategy, a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and an Advocacy and Communication Strategy.

The RSDS should play a strategic role in strengthening statistics in the Region and improving its availability for evidence-based decision-making. It constitutes a shared foundation upon which statistical capacity will be developed. (more…)

HRD Strategy belongs to Caribbean Community

Programme Manager, Human Resource Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Laurette Bristol, has stressed that the HRD Strategy belonged to the Caribbean Community and not to the CARICOM Secretariat.

She was speaking at the opening of the first regional workshop aimed at strengthening national capacity to support the 2030 Human Resource Development Strategy (2030 HRDS). The workshop is being held at the Courtyard Marriott in Barbados, May 22-25, 2018.

Dr. Bristol encouraged participants to be willing to give of themselves and learn from each other while being willing to accept responsibility for their part in the success of the Strategy.

“We need to reach out to each other in the Region and create strong networks, share best practices, foster national development and promote regional resilience and sustainability”, she opined.

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Empire State Building to light up in Caribbean Colours

NEW YORK, NY – Caribbean colours will decorate the New York skyline on Wednesday, 6 June, when the Empire State Building honours the region by lighting its world-famous tower in purple, blue, green, orange, red and magenta (pictured from 2017) in celebration of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) Caribbean Week New York 2018 (#CaribbeanWeekNewYork2018, #CWNY18).

“It is an honour that the famous New York City skyline will be colourfully adorned in celebration of Caribbean Week,” Sylma Brown, the director of CTO-US, said.

“We appreciate the on-going support of this annual series of events by lighting the iconic building in the Caribbean’s traditional colours,” she added.

New Yorkers and visitors to the city can share their photos of the Caribbean-themed Empire State Building with CTO via social media using the hashtag #CWNY18 and tagging CTO’s accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as the Empire State Building’s pages across Facebook , Instagram and Twitter.

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Antigua to stage referendum on joining Caribbean Court of Justice this year

The Antigua and Barbuda government last Wednesday said that it intends to hold a referendum within the next four months on whether or not the island will adopt the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as its final court.

Attorney General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, speaking at a special sitting of the High Court to mark the retirement of Sir Dennis Byron, the second Caribbean national to serve as President of the CCJ, said that he had been given instructions by Prime Minister Gaston Browne to pursue the initiative.

Via CMC (more…)