Trump’s remarks give Venezuela breathing space

Speaking on August 11 at a press conference at one of his golf resorts, US President Donald Trump, scored the equivalent of a foreign policy own goal. “We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, I’m not going to rule out a military option”, he said, before going on to elaborate on US […]

Connectivity is in the air

It may seem perverse, but I enjoy the eight or more hours it takes to cross the Atlantic. Having done this almost all my working life, I look forward to the space, free from demands on my time, the absence of emails, and all of the daily issues that intrude. This is because long haul […]

Has rail a future in the Caribbean?

Historically Caribbean railways existed to carry cane to factories, or raw sugar and molasses to ports. Later they were used to transport other agricultural crops, minerals, and as urban populations grew, provided passenger services. However, the demise of sugar, high operating and maintenance costs, and improvements in road transport have seen railways all but disappear […]

Tourism is a force for good

Tourism is a globally important industry playing an essential economic role in almost every nation in the world. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2016 travel and tourism generated US$7.2 trillion or 9.8% of global GDP, and employs at least 284m people, a figure equivalent to 1.1% of all work in […]

It is time to reconsider reporting on visitor arrival numbers

When it comes to valuing tourism’s economic contribution, most Caribbean governments share publicly only arrivals numbers and the country of origin of their visitors. Then, usually at budget time, they produce generalised figures that indicate overall spend and contribution to GDP. Few provide the in-depth analysis that would determine how profitable their national tourism industry […]

Should it matter who pays for Caribbean development?

By any measure, the Caribbean’s infrastructure requirements are substantial. If the region is to increase its competitiveness and give citizens the quality of life they desire, its transformation has become a matter of urgency. In 2014, Dr Warren Smith, then the newly appointed President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), indicated that to achieve this, […]

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 […]

Tourism, Kingston and a Caribbean renaissance

Most Caribbean cities have seen better days. Many harbour a mix of faded and ill-maintained colonial architecture, a plethora of modern concrete blocks, tired government buildings, and a hinterland of low-cost and informal housing. However, there are signs that some governments, the private sector, and those in academia are coming to recognise that with the […]

Brexit, global trade and the overseas territories

Last month a report appeared indicating just how important one of the Caribbean’s overseas territories has become in facilitating global trade. The study, entitled ‘Creating Value: the BVI’s Global Contribution’, was commissioned by BVI Finance and carried out by the international research consultancy, Capital Economics. It showed that despite the territory’s size, it has managed […]

Who will reform CARICOM?

There is a pervasive view within and beyond the Caribbean that the regional integration process is foundering, and that progress is being held back by an absence of political compromise combined with bureaucratic failings. The outcome of the recently held CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Grenada did nothing to dispel such concerns. Although numerous […]

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 […]

Visitor arrival numbers are not the whole story

To understand the Caribbean tourism economy requires time, and a willingness to explore what lies behind the commentaries and headline statistics. Despite this, and the fact that tourism is now the region’s most significant industry, there is an alarming absence of publicly available, viable, in-depth information on what is happening in specific markets, or to […]

Reimagining Caribbean cities

According to speakers at the recently held Chicago Forum on Global Cities, nearly four fifths of future growth between now and 2030 is likely to come from urban centres with over 0.5m residents. At the event, presenters demonstrated that not only is this one of the positive effects of wellplanned urbanisation, but also that cities […]

The unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean

Last month, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) produced a worrying ‘situational update’ on the implications of the accelerating numbers of Venezuelans arriving in Trinidad, Brazil and Colombia. The Geneva-based body said that over 40,000 Venezuelans are now present in Trinidad and Tobago, and there are between 20-30,000 in Brazil’s Roraima province which […]

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 […]

CHTA’s high profile on regional issues is welcome

Traditionally, private sector organisations in the Caribbean have kept a low profile and not adopted strong public positions, especially where criticism of governments is involved. This is partly because many such organisations are weak and underfunded. However even the larger, genuinely representative private sector bodies prefer low-key and usually private conversations. They hope that by […]

The broader implications of Washington’s new Cuba policy

On June 16, speaking in Miami, President Trump announced measures reversing aspects of his predecessor’s policy of normalising relations with Cuba. Although the changes seem minimal, the content of the accompanying Presidential directive, couple with the President’s remarks, suggests that new uncertainties lie ahead for every nation that had welcomed détente and the opportunity it […]

Briefing Meeting: Opportunities for UK Investors in the Dominican Republic

Date: Wednesday 5 July 2017 Time: 9.30-11.30 Venue: TBC (Central London) We are delighted to invite you to attend an exclusive Briefing Meeting with the British Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, HE Ambassador Chris Campbell, and the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UK, HE Ambassador Federico Cuello. They will be joined by a delegation from […]

Britain, Brexit and an uncertain future

A little over a week ago, the British people went to the polls. Although the snap general election was supposed to strengthen the government’s negotiating hand in leaving the European Union, the outcome had the opposite effect, casting uncertainty over the nature of Brexit, and with it the country’s future political and economic stability. It […]

Travel, freedom and new regulations

For me, hours spent in the air provide an opportunity to think, write, and read, free from interruption. For that reason, I am among those disturbed by the possibility that governments may be moving towards a wider ban on passengers taking laptops and other larger electronic items, into the cabin. In March, US and UK […]

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 […]

China and the Americas

A few days ago, China struck a remarkable deal: it agreed with the state of California to work on projects that will help lower US greenhouse gas emissions. In a move that symbolically set aside President Trump’s ill-considered decision to reject the global consensus on climate change, it was agreed to establish a joint Chinese-Californian […]

Is the US still a reliable partner for the Caribbean?

For the Caribbean, climate change and its mitigation is like no other issue: it is existential. The announcement by the US President on June 1 that he will withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement therefore strikes at the heart of every Caribbean citizen and government. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. Unless global warming and […]

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 […]

Competition, connectivity and the Caribbean tourism market

When the former US President, Barack Obama, announced in late 2014 that he was easing travel restrictions on US citizens wishing to visit Cuba, a frisson ran through the tourist industry in the rest of the region. Seminars and conferences were hastily convened, papers produced, and Caribbean governments sought to understand the extent to which […]

Drones, vacations and Caribbean regulations

Some time ago, I wrote a column about flying drones in the Caribbean – the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) loved by hobbyists – but which also have important everyday commercial applications. I did so not because I have a drone, but because I am fascinated by all technological developments and their effect on society; and […]

Jamaica-DR accord should give pause for thought in CARICOM

A few days ago, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, and the President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, agreed to work towards a closer relationship. Beyond the widely-reported desire of both nations to increase trade and investment, the language contained in the joint declaration that followed their meeting in Santo Domingo suggested that […]

Jamaica and Dominican Republic to deepen relations

Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have agreed to develop a bilateral agenda ‘with a view to seeking convergence in positions that address regional and international issues of mutual interest’ and ‘consolidating’ their relationship. The two countries’ position was set out in a joint declaration at the end of a visit by Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew […]

Why the concerns of Caribbean youth matter

In much of the world, young people feel economically marginalised, politically alienated and involved in a struggle against insecurity and inequity. In the Caribbean, it is little different. Lack of opportunity, the absence of generational change, high levels of unemployment, discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation and the slow pace of change are abiding […]

Overbooking and the airlines

When I go to the theatre, I buy a ticket which has seat number on it. When I am there, the seat is mine for the duration of the performance. I have paid for it, and if I fail to show up, the seat remains empty and the theatre keeps my money. I know of […]

New Opportunities To Address Energy Security In The Caribbean

It is not a new observation that the Caribbean’s heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels contributes to the region’s high cost of doing business, increases its vulnerability to external sector shocks, and constrains economic growth and competitiveness across most Caribbean economies. Nonetheless, the increasing cost-competitiveness of a host of renewable energy technologies with fossil fuels […]

Venezuela’s crisis raises wider regional issues

Last week, after months of growing street protests, detentions, escalating violence leading to at least 36 deaths, and shortages of almost all basic necessities, Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, announced the creation of a constituent assembly with the ability to rewrite the country’s constitution. Although he has argued that this is a necessary step to restore […]

Region polarised over turmoil in Venezuela

Significant divisions have emerged about the extent to which the Caribbean should respond politically to the growing internal crisis in Venezuela. Concern has also been expressed about the effect on regional stability if the situation deteriorates further, with fears that this could lead to a refugee crisis. The divisions became public on April 26 at […]

Responding to the rise and rise of Cuba’s tourism

When the former US President, Barack Obama, announced that he was easing travel restrictions on US citizens wishing to visit Cuba, a frisson ran through the industry in the rest of the Caribbean. Seminars and conferences were hastily convened, papers produced, and Caribbean governments sought to understand the extent to which Cuba’s opening to the […]

Addressing the loss of health care professionals

Around the world, public health care systems are in crisis. From India to Australia, nations in the developing and developed world are struggling to meet the expectations of their local populations. The Caribbean is no exception. There are multiple reasons for this. In the Anglophone Caribbean, demographic change has seen a surge in the nature […]

Investment seminar with the President of Guyana

Date: Tuesday 25th April 2017 Time: 9.30-11.30 Venue: Army and Navy Club, 36 Pall Mall, St James’s, London, SW1Y On Tuesday 25th April, The Caribbean Council organised an Investment Seminar with the President of Guyana, H.E. Brigadier (Ret’d) David Arthur Granger, MSM, MSS from 9.30-11.30 at The Army and Navy Club. Chaired by our President, Rt Hon. […]

The Caribbean Council’s Annual Reception 2017

H.E. Brigadier David Arthur Granger, President of Guyana, addresses The Caribbean Council’s Annual Reception,Tuesday 25th April 2017 at the House of Lords The Caribbean Council’s Annual House of Lords Reception provides a unique opportunity for UK, Caribbean and Central American companies to network with others from the UK and the region who are involved in […]

Cuba and the DR set to improve trade relations

Cuba and the Dominican Republic have agreed on a basis on which a partial scope free trade agreement will be negotiated between the two nations. The agreement is expected to lead to the two largest independent Caribbean economies negotiating significant tariff reductions, the easing of non-tariff barriers, and agreement on the harmonisation of phytosanitary and […]

The new dimensions of regional security

It is no secret that governments around the world regularly practise their response to security threats. The objective is to prepare for eventualities that those concerned hope will never occur, and to demonstrate publicly a readiness and capacity to respond effectively with others. It should therefore come as no surprise that this year’s annual pan-Caribbean […]

Tourism seeks a central development role

One of the most common complaints about tourism is that it does not spread the wealth it creates into rural and urban communities. This is particularly so in larger Caribbean nations like Jamaica, where many thousands are engaged in agriculture; opportunity and education are limited; and when urban drift has resulted in poverty and criminality. […]

Cuba’s cautious transition to a new generation

In just under a year’s time, if President Castro keeps to his previously announced timetable, he will step down and cease to lead Cuba’s Council of State and Council of Ministers. Others in his generation are also expected to demit office. Unless a constitutional change occurs, he will also cease to be the Commander in […]

Sugar industry seeks protection within CARICOM

Representatives from the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) met with a range of industry stakeholders in March, where they agreed on the need to develop and protect the regional sugar market in light of upcoming changes to Europe’s sugar regime. The industry proposal, made at a meeting in Kingston, Jamaica on March 23/24, responds […]

Tourism’s essential role in development

One of the most common complaints about tourism is that it does not spread the wealth it creates into rural and urban communities. This is particularly so in larger Caribbean nations where many thousands are engaged in agriculture, opportunity and education are limited, and where urban drift has resulted in poverty and criminality. The criticism […]

What advice should travellers be given?

In February, a British coroner’s court had to rule in a case that raised important matters of principle about the responsibility of tour operators, hotels and governments. In part, at issue were the warnings given to visitors, and the level of responsibility that even the most junior sales staff have in this regard. Although the […]

How might the Caribbean respond to Brexit?

On March 29, after forty years of membership, the British government formally gave notice that it will leave the European Union (EU) in 2019. In a carefully worded, conciliatory letter, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, told the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, that after separating, the UK hopes for ‘a deep and […]

Rum distillery purchase consolidates foreign ownership

In a further foreign acquisition of a major Caribbean rum distiller, the French company, Maison Ferrand, has bought the historic West India Rum Distillery in Barbados for an undisclosed sum. The purchase of the distillery from former owner Goddard Enterprises will also see the French distiller of cognac and gin acquire the West India Rum […]

The changing face of Caribbean rum

In a few weeks’ time, the European Union’s (EU) long running programme to support the development of the Caribbean rum industry will come to an end. It has been one of the most successful private sector related undertakings ever to be supported by the EU in the Caribbean. It leaves much of the industry in […]

Perception, image, and feeling welcome, matter

Perception of a destination, the hard to define sense of feeling welcome, and image, are three of the critical components that help a visitor to decide first on whether a destination is attractive enough to explore further, and then make a booking. For this reason, many in the United States travel industry are becoming deeply […]

Trade options and the Commonwealth

Before the end of this month, Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, will invoke Article 50 of the European Treaty, starting a process that will lead to the UK leaving the European Union (EU) in 2019. The precise timing of the announcement is unclear, but what is not in doubt is that it will create uncertainty […]

Sugar industry to address existential threats

The Caribbean sugar industry, ministers and stakeholders are to meet at the end of March to consider how to respond to the existential threat that long planned changes to the European sugar regime and Brexit pose to the industry. The two-day meeting in Kingston Jamaica, on March 23-24, organised by the Sugar Association of the […]

Responding to the coming trade disorder

A few days ago, an astute observer of the US political scene told me: “Watch what the new administration and Congress does, not what the President tweets”. “That is the secret of understanding future US policy”, she said. If this is correct, the Caribbean should ignore the noise and think hard about the implications of […]

Tourism, an industry of value to the whole region

As odd as it may seem, in the past, tourism has not often been discussed in depth at the highest political levels of CARICOM; leaving the strong impression that the industry’s economic centrality was either unwelcome or not understood. However, last month, when CARICOM Heads of Government met in Guyana, they made clear in their […]

Has Caribbean sugar a future?

Unless the sugar industry in CARICOM can develop a co-ordinated and concerted plan of action over the next few months, it is quite possible that in a few years’ time there will be little left of an industry which, for evil and good, has played a central role in the making of the Caribbean. This […]

Tourism is vital to the Caribbean economy

‘Tourism is a vital sector to the economies of Member States’. So said CARICOM Heads of Government in the communiqué that followed their recent inter-sessional meeting in Georgetown, Guyana. Taken at face value the statement is unremarkable, even obvious; but the language chosen, its inclusion, and the recommendations made in relation to the challenges the […]

New CARICOM initiatives on tourism and ICT

CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Georgetown have agreed to give greater priority to tourism, the development of a regional ICT programme, and to addressing the issue of pan-Caribbean crime. Of all the matters discussed at the inter-sessional summit held on February 16-17 under the Chairmanship of Guyana’s President, David Granger, the issue most likely […]

The importance of sustainability

For most visitors, a central part of a vacation is the pleasure of eating out at hotels and restaurants; having alternative choices at each meal, being able to taste local cuisine, and having the experience of doing so in a beautiful and different environment. Increasingly however, something new is creeping into visitor perception. It is […]

Transformational change requires new thinking

In the last few weeks, Washington think tanks, financial services analysts in New York and London, and publications from the New York Times to the Petroleum Argus, have all found a reason to express a view on Guyana; the Caribbean nation they now see as set to become one of the western hemisphere’s major oil […]

Cuba responds to the thinking of a new generation

When it comes to Cuba, the world’s media tends to focus on the obvious: the possible outcome of the new US Administration’s policy review, the multiple difficulties faced by Cuba’s over-centralised planned economy, or the implications of Fidel Castro’s passing. Few journalists, it seems, take the trouble to observe the public signals that indicate the […]

Guyana set to be major Americas oil producer

ExxonMobil has announced that it is preparing to drill a further offshore well in its deep water Stabroek Block this month, located about 100 miles off the Guyanese coast. The announcement comes as industry analysts and the international media have begun to recognise that Guyana is likely to become a major western hemisphere oil producer […]

When visitor numbers become too great

Around the world, some popular tourism destinations are beginning to experience a backlash against visitors arriving in such numbers that local people are seeing their lifestyles changed, as overcrowding creates unintended economic and social consequences. The case of Venice is well known – a medieval city of 60,000 residents receiving 49m visitors – but the […]

Time to improve the CARICOM-DR relationship

In a few days’ time, Jovenel Moïse, will become Haiti’s forty second President. His swearing in follows his first-round victory in the country’s November 20 election. A businessman from northern Haiti who has never held political office, Haiti’s President-to-be has said that amongst his first priorities will be the modernisation of Haiti’s agricultural sector, creating […]

Values, growth and economic globalisation

In the coming months, it is likely that the way in which governments think about international trade and their fundamental values will evolve rapidly, as the promises and threats that President Trump made on the campaign trail become US policy. To understand the likely nature of what happens next, contrast the sophisticated and measured remarks […]

Moïse stresses hope for improved Haiti-DR relations

Haiti’s President-elect, Jovenel Moïse, has said that once in office he intends to strengthen relations with the Dominican Republic, and will ensure that undocumented Haitians living there receive the documentation they need to regularise their presence in the country. Speaking to the media at the Presidential Palace following a meeting with the Dominican President, Danilo […]

Tracking the visitor’s every step

Since late last year, a small number of ships in Carnival’s Princess Cruises fleet have been offering something very different on their Caribbean sailings. In order, they say, to enhance their clients’ vacations, they have introduced a new way in which those on board can, as they put it, ‘make the most of their time’, […]

13th Edition Latin American Networking Party!

Date: Thursday 24th November 2016 Time: 10.00-11.00 Venue: Mahiki, 1 Dover St, Mayfair, London, W1S 4LD On  Thursday 23rd February 2017, the 13th Edition Latin American Networking Party took place at 6:00pm at Mahiki. The British & Colombian Chamber of Commerce, The British Argentine Chamber of Commerce, The Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain, The Latin American Network, The […]

The message in President Trump’s Mexico policy

One of the few issues about which the new President of the United States has been consistent is his approach towards Mexico. Ever since his extraordinary electoral campaign first began, he has made his intention clear. He would build a wall to stop Mexican and other illegal migrants crossing the US’ southern border; would renegotiate […]

The real challenge of citizenship programmes

A few days into the New Year, St Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, suggested that all five of the Eastern Caribbean nations that sell Citizenship by Investment (CBI) should develop a joint approach through the OECS secretariat. His proposal, which is unlikely to be adopted, came amid a flurry of comments that followed a potentially […]

Big challenges face Haiti’s new President

Haiti’s new President, Jovenel Moïse, will be sworn in on February 7 following confirmation on January 4 of his landslide first round victory in the country’s November 20 elections. Mr Moïse took 55.6% of the vote, but voter turnout of just 21% suggested that most Haitians have become disillusioned with professed political solutions, and fear […]

A single word says it all

One of the oddities of country branding is the desire by those responsible for marketing, or for promoting a destination, to require a short descriptive catch line to appear in all advertising and promotional material. The idea is that these few well-chosen words will encourage a potential traveller to investigate further the possibility of visiting. […]

The US should respect the WTO ruling on Antigua

Late last November the Government of Antigua gave notice to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Disputes Settlement Body (DSB) that if the United States did not reach ‘an appropriate and beneficial settlement’ in relation to a legal adjudication made previously in its favour, it would act to recover the revenue it has lost. At the […]

A moment for careful reflection

Few people understand how great the daily pressures are on a Prime Minister or President. Instead they mostly observe the public persona, see their leaders in the context of tribal politics, and are variously entertained or exercised by the media coverage of what is said, done or ignored. Irrespective, as holders of high office, all […]

Star ratings and the authentic Caribbean

Some time ago I received an email asking me how many five star hotels there are in the Caribbean. I replied that there was no recognised or independently adjudicated rating system anywhere in the region other than in the French départements d’outre-mer. This meant, I said, that hotels chose their own classification largely based on […]

China prepared to help with tourism development

Last month, China published a detailed new policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean in which it set out a new approach to its relations with the Americas. The document, which has real breadth and ambition, potentially offers, perhaps for the first time, an agenda around which the region can develop a practical bilateral […]

Action needed to guide US regional priorities

On December 13, the US Congress sent to President Obama The United States-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act of 2016 for signature into law. This extraordinarily important development comes just as a new US Administration is about to take office. Uniquely it offers the Caribbean, unlike any other part of the world, a legislatively binding timetable within […]

Philip Dubow

Philip Dubow is a political risk, intelligence, and criminology professional focused on international trade and sustainable development. Previously, he was a project manager at a civil engineering software service for smart cities. Philip has conducted research on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and maritime security, including in Caribbean contexts. Originally from New York City, he […]

Maria Tereza Laino

Maria’s main role is to support the Managing Director across the range of the Caribbean Council’s activities including membership programmes, events and project delivery. Before joining the team at The Caribbean Council, Maria was the Events and Marketing Coordinator at The British and Colombian Chamber of Commerce. While at the Chamber, she was responsible for […]

Guyana begins to ready country for oil bonanza

As rumours swirl in Guyana of another large offshore oil find, the country has begun to put in place the legislation necessary to regulate the vast income that the industry is expected to generate for the country. Speaking on December 1 at the Annual Awards ceremony of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the […]

Navigating the Trump Presidency in the Caribbean and Central America

How will the new US Administration under President Elect Donald Trump relate to the Caribbean and Central America? No-one really knows at present, and with many of the fundamental tenets of post-Cold war US foreign policy currently being re-opened for discussion it seems likely that the Caribbean and Central America will hardly be a focus […]

China: a tourism opportunity for the Caribbean?

At the end of last month, China published a detailed 16-page document, ‘China’s Policy Paper on Latin America and the Caribbean’, which sets out a new approach to relations between the Americas and the world’s second largest economy. The document warrants close reading by governments and the private sector as it describes in considerable detail […]

New uncertainties ahead for Cuba

On November 28, the US President-elect, Donald Trump said that ‘if Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the US as a whole, I will terminate deal.’ His tweet, which used language seemingly designed to drive a wedge between Cuba and the US and end President […]

Trump threatens as Cuba mourns

The US President-elect, Donald Trump has said that ‘if Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the US as a whole, I will terminate deal’. His tweet, which used language seemingly designed to drive a wedge between Cuba and the US and end President Obama’s policy […]

The disruptive becomes the new normal

The problem with disruptive technology is not just that it disrupts what we have become comfortable with, but that it has unpredictable consequences that can go far beyond what was intended. Take Airbnb, a simple idea that is a form of matchmaking between travellers and individuals with a spare room or rooms. It offers a […]

The trajectory of history is changing

Being able to identify the policy changes that will transform the future is normally far from easy. Arguably, however, in the week past, the remarks of two world leaders make plain how the trajectory of global history is about to change. In a formal policy pronouncement on November 21, the US President-elect, Donald Trump, confirmed […]

A new relationship for the Overseas Territories?

While most of the world has been focussed on the outcome of the US presidential elections, other events of long-term importance to the region have been taking place. Of these, one of the more significant relates to the relationship between the UK and its Overseas Territories (OTs), which could eventually become subject to change. Although […]

Region reacts with caution to President-elect Trump

Caribbean governments have reacted cautiously to the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States. While all governments sent congratulatory messages, in some cases indicating a willingness to work with the incoming administration, most were restrained. In an editorial, the Jamaica Observer noted that the single thread running through the Caribbean […]

Statistics are helpful but require closer analysis

According to Hugh Riley, the Secretary General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), visitor numbers, so far in 2016, are ahead of annual projections which had suggested that the region will see arrivals grow by four to five per cent. Mr Riley also said in a recent message to mark Caribbean Tourism Month […]

The region is ill-prepared for President Trump

Dispossessed by economic globalisation, faced with growing economic inequality, and wanting change, the people of the United States have elected Donald Trump to be their President. In doing so, they voted for the unknown, for rhetoric that may or may not be met by commensurate action, and for a man without political or military experience. […]

Roundtable meeting with Dr. Paul Oquist

Date: Thursday 24th November 2016 Time: 10.00-11.00 Venue: Bird & Bird On Thursday 24th November 2016, The Caribbean Council organised a round table event with  the current Minister Secretary of Presidency and Private Secretary for National Policies of President Daniel Ortega Saavedra, in the Presidency of the Republic of Nicaragua, Dr Paul Oquist at Bird & Bird offices.  Following on from the Nicaraguan Elections on […]

Meeting with the Minister of Tourism of El Salvador, José Napoleón Duarte Durán

Date: Friday 11th November 2016 Time: 10.30am  Venue: Central London On Friday 11th November 2016, The Caribbean Council organised a meeting with Minister of Tourism of El Salvador, José Napoleón Duarte Durán, Ambassador of El Salvador, H.E. Ambassador Hayek, Minister-Counsellor, Patricia Comandari, and Minister-Counsellor, Adriana Mira de Pereira.  The meeting provided attendees with an interesting insight into tourism […]

Caribbean2030 Leaders’ Network turns “aspirations into action”.

For Immediate Release October 20, 2016 Last week marked a turning point for the Caribbean2030 initiative. Convened in 2015 with the aim of encouraging innovative thinking for the Caribbean region, the diverse, forward-thinking group gathered – for the second time in the UK – at Wilton Park (West Sussex). The aim of this third session […]

In geopolitics it is the long game that matters

In a few days’ time, the outcome of the US presidential election will be known. Whichever of the two principal candidates wins, it is likely that sooner or later they will have to accept that the old global order has changed, and the country they need to reach an accommodation with, as an equal, is […]

Venezuela to lose strategic refining hub in Curaçao

The Chinese largely state-owned Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co (GDZR) has said that it is planning, with support from some of China’s leading energy and financing companies, to invest more than US$5.5bn in upgrading the Isla refinery on Curaçao. Until recently Venezuela’s state owned oil company PDVSA had planned to renew its lease on the facility, […]

Brand Trump and the tourism industry

Mixing business and politics is regarded in most countries as unacceptable because of the conflict of interest it creates. The issue becomes particularly acute if the politician concerned not only seeks to link his campaign to his commercial interests, but also, seemingly oblivious to the implications, then insults a significant proportion of his potential market. […]

Action needed to address Caribbean cyber security

Just over a week ago Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, Netflix, Visa and many more premium providers of global web services, temporarily went offline. This was because they had indirectly suffered the effects of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Dyn, a largely unknown intermediary that enables web users to access the addresses of […]

Time to reshape ACP solidarity

What does solidarity between nations mean in the early twenty-first century? Are the values inferred practical or advisable, in a multipolar world in which self-interest, overlapping relationships and multiple economic and political ideas compete? Solidarity suggests a common interest, similar objectives, and a cultural empathy binding people and societies together. It is an expression that […]