CARICOM, China discuss strengthened cooperation in margins of CELAC Forum

Suriname’s Foreign Minister Ms Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr Wang Yi at the meeting
Suriname’s Foreign Minister the Hon. Yldiz Pollack-Beighle greets China’s Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi at the meeting

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has signalled its interest in working with China to ascertain how its goals and priorities can be best linked with existing, new and emerging development initiatives from the East Asian country.

Foreign Ministers of the nine CARICOM countries which recognise the People’s Republic of China met with their Chinese counterpart, Mr. Wang Yi,   on Sunday, 21 January, 2018, in the margins of the CELAC-China Forum (CCF) Second Ministerial Meeting that took place in Santiago, Chile, on 19-22 January, 2018.

“Concessional development funding is essential for the building of economic and climate resilience to serve as the platform for our sustainable development.” – Chair of COFCOR, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean

In remarks at the meeting, Chair of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados, Senator Maxine McClean, underscored the importance CARICOM attached to the existing Caribbean-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, and the Caribbean-China Consultations. The latter was held in May 2016, and is expected to take place again later this year.

Describing those consultations as “valuable mechanisms for continued dialogue and cooperation,” she said the Community also saw the One Belt, One Road initiative China announced in Santiago, as a “very important cooperation and development mechanism.” (more…)

Hurricane season officially ends, but impact lingers

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It is finally over.

According to the calendar of the National Hurricane Center, November 30 marks the official end of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which spawned 17 named storm.

Here in the Caribbean, September was particularly brutal with the passage of two Category 5 monsters, Irma and Maria, which left an unprecedented path of death and destruction.

Countries such as Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Barts, St. Maarten/Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands all took direct hits and will take years to recover.

The World Bank said damages and losses, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, in Dominica amount to US$1.3-billion or 224 percent of GDP.

Read more at: Dominica News Online

Building back better: The Caribbean’s wind of change

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British billionaire Richard Branson called it a Marshall Plan for the Caribbean.

Antigua & Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne called it ”building on a sustainable basis in order to limit the impact” of future natural disaster.

Whatever it’s going to be called, Caribbean leaders, planners and citizens are increasingly talking about the need for a fresh approach to coping with all that Mother Nature has to throw at their archipelago of territories, prone to geo-faults and cross-Atlantic high winds.

Immediately after Hurricane Irma had wiped out most of Barbuda, St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet was part of the first delegation to arrive in Antigua.

Read more at: CaribbeanIntelligence

CARICOM Secretariat Staff Association contributes to Barbuda and Dominica Hurricane Recovery efforts

The Hon. E. P. Chet Greene, Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce, Sports and National Festivals, Antigua and Barbuda receives a token cheque on behalf of the Barbuda Relief and Rebuild Fund, from the Staff Association President, Mr. Timothy Odle, while Staff Association Member, Ms. Evelyn DeFreitas looks on.
The Hon. E. P. Chet Greene, Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce, Sports and National Festivals, Antigua and Barbuda receives a token cheque on behalf of the Barbuda Relief and Rebuild Fund, from the Staff Association President, Mr. Timothy Odle, while Staff Association Member, Ms. Evelyn DeFreitas looks on.

President of the CARICOM Secretariat Staff Association Mr. Timothy Odle on Friday presented cheques of EC$10,000 each to Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce, Sport and National Festivals Hon. Chet Greene and Dominica’s Director of Trade, Mr. Matthan Walter, to support the countries’ post hurricane recovery efforts.

Minister Greene and Mr. Walter were in Guyana for the 45th Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which ended at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown on Friday. The Minister made a presentation to the Meeting on ‘Unprecedented Hurricane Disasters – Impact on Barbuda and Dominica Requiring Urgent Help’.

Mr. Odle advised that the CARICOM Secretariat had three and nine staff members from Antigua/Barbuda and Dominica respectively, and as a family, all staff felt the loss, pain, distress and suffering of the Members of the Community who were affected by the Category Five Hurricanes Irma and Maria which visited the Region during September 2017.

Mr. Matthan J. Walter, Director of Trade, Minister of Trade, Energy and Employment, Dominica receives a token cheque on behalf of the Dominica Relief Effort, from CARICOM Secretariat Staff Association Member, Ms. Evelyn DeFreitas while the President of the Staff Association, Mr. Timothy Odle, looks on.
Mr. Matthan J. Walter, Director of Trade, Minister of Trade, Energy and Employment, Dominica receives a token cheque on behalf of the Dominica Relief Effort, from CARICOM Secretariat Staff Association Member, Ms. Evelyn DeFreitas while the President of the Staff Association, Mr. Timothy Odle, looks on.

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