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Citizenship scheme changes may accelerate ‘race to bottom’

Reported remarks made at recent international seminars attended by senior figures from OECS governments suggest that further changes to Citizenship by Investment programmes being contemplated may exacerbate concerns about ‘a race to the bottom’. Reports in the Caribbean media suggest that Grenada will shortly join other OECS nations in reducing fees to try to better compete with neighbours that have…

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Jamaica calls for closer CARICOM relations with Hispanic nations

Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, has called for relations between CARICOM member states and non-English-speaking countries in the Caribbean and Latin America to be strengthened. Speaking during a panel discussion on ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the Caribbean’ at the sixth International Monetary Fund (IMF) High Level Caribbean Forum in Jamaica on November 16, he said that he believed that the…

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CARICOM to consider ring-fencing regional sugar market

CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has begun to explore with regional sugar producers whether a Common External tariff (CET) of 40% might protect the industry from terminal decline by redirecting sugar previously destined for export, towards regional food and soft drink manufacturers. The discussion follows from the decision by the EU to abolish its national sugar production…

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Russian political and commercial presence growing across region

Russia and Suriname are close to signing a military cooperation agreement, according to the Director of the Department of Latin America, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Alexandr Schetinin. The development, possibly a first for a CARICOM nation since the 1979-83 Grenada revolution, comes at a time when several other Russian economic and political initiatives are underway in…

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Exxon announce another offshore discovery

  On October 5, ExxonMobil announced a fifth discovery of oil offshore Guyana. The company reported that at the end of September, exploration drilling in its Turbot-1 well had discovered a reservoir of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone at a depth of 18,445ft in 5,912ft of water. The well follows four previous discoveries at its Liza, Payara, Snoek, and Liza Deep wells…

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Uncertainty surrounds Cuban economic growth forecast for second half of 2017

Cuba’s President, Raul Castro, has warned that while the country experienced a 1.1% growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first half of 2017, it anticipated “possible difficulties in the supply of fuels from Venezuela” during the remainder of this year. President Castro made the comments during the closing session of the mid-year meeting of the country’s National Assembly…

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CARICOM Heads paper over their disunity

David Granger, outgoing CARICOM Chairman and President of Guyana, has warned fellow Heads of Government that the Caribbean Community cannot cling to an obsolete model of insularity and must do more to protect its interests internationally. Speaking at the opening of the annual CARICOM summit, held this year in Grenada from July 4-6, President Granger said that the region faced…

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EXXON prepares to pump oil in Guyana in 2020

ExxonMobil has begun to mobilise for the first phase of oil production on its Liza field, offshore Guyana, following the formal granting of a production licence by Guyana’s Ministry of Natural Resources on June 15. An environmental permit had been issued earlier on June 1 by the Guyana Environmental Protection Agency. Following the approval, ExxonMobil and its partners CNOOC Nexen…

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Puerto Rico’s Governor says statehood vote should be acted on

Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, has said that despite very low voter turnout in the island’s June 11 non-binding referendum, the outcome was “fair and open”, and the decision should be acted upon by the US Federal Government. Voter turnout was just 23%, following widespread calls to boycott the vote. Despite those who favour statehood arguing that they received a…

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Cayman coalition confirmed after days of wrangling

After nearly a week of confused negotiations following an inconclusive result in the Cayman Islands General Election, a new Government of National Unity has been agreed on. In the May 24 election, independent candidates took nine seats of the nineteen available in the territory’s legislature. The incumbent People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) took seven seats, and the opposition Cayman Democratic Party…

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