CDB announces programme to support increased trade among CARICOM Member States

March 23, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved USD750,000 in funding for a programme that will assist the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) with strengthening intra-regional trade.

At least five countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia and Suriname – will benefit from three interventions to be implemented by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).

“This programme will assist producers with overcoming some of the challenges encountered when trying to export their products, and will therefore enhance their ability to increase market access, penetrate new markets and integrate into global value chains,” said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB. (more…)


“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

Saint Lucia gets CARICOM Development Fund support to jumpstart Village Tourism Initiative

The Government of Saint Lucia on Friday signed on for the 2nd cycle from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF). Since its establishment, Saint Lucia has benefited from the CDF. For the first funding cycle, the Saint Lucia CAP (Country Assistance Programme) was valued at approximately USD $6.1 million or XCD $16.47 million in loans and grants and was designed to enhance private sector competitiveness and youth entrepreneurship.

During this second funding cycle, the CDF Board has approved two (2) projects to support initiatives that are geared to expanding Saint Lucia’s exports, which include strengthening the institutional infrastructure for trade and implementing new programmes for trade competitiveness and village tourism development.

The Village Tourism Grant in the sum of USD $120,000 (XCD $324,000) to finance technical assistance for coordination of the development of village tourism including the provision of technical advice on the establishment of the institutional framework, and for preparation of a road map and business plan for village tourism. Co-financing for the development and support to implement the revised National Export Development Strategy for Saint Lucia in the amount of USD$332,800. (Office of the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia)

CARICOM Development Fund
The CDF was established under Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas “for the purpose of providing financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors”. It is the centre-piece of the regime to address the disparities among the Member States of CARICOM which may result from the implementation of the CSME. The Agreement Relating to the Operations of the Fund was signed in July 2008 and the CDF began operating on November, 2008. Whilst all Members of the CDF are eligible to receive financial and technical assistance support from the Fund, only the designated disadvantaged countries – the LDCs (OECS and Belize) and Guyana (as a Highly-Indebted Poor Country) received access to resources during the first contribution cycle. Under the second contribution cycle the MDCs, as well as the LDCs, will be able to access resources to address development challenges in their disadvantaged regions and sectors, once the enabling policy framework and operational procedures are agreed to by the Community. The relevant policy, procedures and implementation plan to facilitate this are currently being developed within the framework of the formulation of Regional Cohesion Policy, which the CDF has taken the lead role in preparing on behalf of the Community.


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…)

Young people at centre of sustainable energy thrust

Listen as Dr. Devon Gardner, Energy Programme Manager at the CARICOM Secretariat, chats on CARICOM Today about the winners of the 2017 CARICOM Energy Month competitions, and the importance of youth to sustainable development:

Winners of CARICOM Energy Month Competitions announced from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

According to Dr. Gardner, the youth-centric focus of competitions – held in observance of CARICOM Energy Month last November – was in recognition of the importance of their involvement in shaping their future; a future that is built on a foundation of sustainable energy. (more…)