“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

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…)

Minister Samuda calls on Caribbean to revisit agricultural priorities

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Karl Samuda says that the Caribbean needs to revisit its agricultural priorities.

Chief among these priorities are the region’s trade policy, food security, and its response to climate change, which he said is now emerging as one of the most significant impediments to growth and development.

Other priorities are nutrition and livelihood security; rural and agricultural development; local, regional and international market expansion.

Minister Samuda was participating in a panel discussion on “Agrifood trade in Latin America and the Caribbean in the current international context”, on day three of the 35th Session of the FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean being held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, Montego Bay from March 5-8, 2018.

Read more at: Jamaica Information Service

Caribbean States to make strong showing at OAS Tourism Ministerial Congress in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (March 7, 2018) – The XXIV Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism, which will be held in Guyana on March 21– 22, is attracting participation from a large number of Caribbean States that are members of the Organisation of the American States (OAS). Of the 13 Caribbean countries that are members of the OAS, 10 have so far indicated their intention to be represented at the Congress, being held for the first time in Guyana.

This robust indication of participation on the part of the Caribbean region vindicates efforts made over the years by Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Mr. Hugh Riley, to extend the Caribbean’s voice and influence in hemispheric tourism matters, and even to bring more of the Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean within the fold of the CTO. The Caribbean’s strong presence in Guyana is also evidence of an interest, on the part of the English-speaking Caribbean, in raising its tourism profile in the hemisphere of the Americas and in having a greater say in shaping the Tourism development agenda.

The Secretary General of the CTO and several Tourism Ministers of Caribbean States will be making presentations at the OAS Congress in Georgetown on a range of issues ranging from Building Tourism resilience to enhancing multi-destination travel and strengthening business alliances in the Americas. In addition, there will be presentations at the Congress by a range of industry experts, CEOs, academics and others on various aspects of the theme – Connecting the Americas through Sustainable Tourism.  (Guyana Department of Public Information Press Release)