Focus on security, climate change at UK-Caribbean forum

26 May 2023 British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has visited the Caribbean for the UK-Caribbean Ministerial Forum which was dominated by talks on climate change and security. The 11th iteration of the forum, which was held in Jamaica on 18 May 2023, saw attendance of Foreign Ministers and other officials from across the region. They […]

Guyana Government to appeal court ruling on ExxonMobil-EPA agreement

12th May 2023 The Government of Guyana is set to appeal a High Court ruling that the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) erroneously applied insurance obligations in its deal with ExxonMobil subsidiary, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL). The Court said that the EPA breached its statutory duty by failing to enforce compliance over […]

“War on guns” declared at CARICOM crime symposium

28th April 2023 CARICOM leaders have come out forcefully against the proliferation of illegal weapons in the region as they met to craft solutions for rising crime at the recently concluded symposium on crime. Themed “Violence as a Public Health Issue – The Crime Challenge,” the regional symposium was held in Trinidad and Tobago over […]

US$214mn of spending flagged in Guyana’s audit of ExxonMobil

14th April 2023 The Government of Guyana says that oil giant ExxonMobil must justify as much as US$214mn of the company’s cost oil claims. This comes after a report of a 2019 audit completed by British firm IHS Markit (IHSM) of Exxon’s cost oil expenses between 1999 and 2017 flagged some US$214.4mn of the company’s […]

CARICOM states join Mexico’s anti-gun lawsuit in the US

31st March 2023 Several CARICOM countries have signed on to an anti-gun lawsuit filed by Mexico in the US. Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago have joined an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief filed by Mexico appealing a decision in US court to […]

CTO upbeat about 2023 Caribbean tourism outlook

17th March 2023 The Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is voicing optimism on the region’s tourism prospects for the remainder of 2023. Speaking in Barbados during the organisation’s launch of the 2022 “Tourism Performance and Outlook Report,” Acting Secretary General of the CTO, Neil Walters declared that the Caribbean had one of the quickest recovery rates […]

Haiti unrest, Canadian aid dominate CARICOM Summit

3rd March 2023 The ongoing unrest in Haiti and the announcement of a major aid package from Canada dominated the narrative as the CARICOM Heads of Government met in The Bahamas for the 44th Regular Meeting of the bloc. The summit, held over 15 to 17 February 2023, was expected to deliver a plan of […]

Global UN early warning system launched in the Caribbean

17th February 2023 The Caribbean has become the first area in the world to witness a regional launch of the UN’s Early Warnings for All initiative (EW4ALL). The initiative, which calls for investment across disaster risk knowledge, observation, forecasting, preparedness and response, and communication of early warnings, especially in vulnerable communities, was launched in Barbados […]

US waives Venezuela sanctions on Dragon gas field for Trinidad

3rd February 2023 The US Government has approved a request by Trinidad and Tobago to waive ongoing sanctions against Venezuela to allow for the development of the Dragon gas field. “The US Government has today approved Trinidad and Tobago’s development of the Dragon Field via an OFAC Waiver from sanctions with specific terms to be […]

Significant investment fraud uncovered at SSL Jamaica

20th January 2023 Financial regulators in Jamaica have issued enhanced oversight directives after massive employee fraud was allegedly uncovered at Stock and Securities Limited (SSL). “The directions impose strict reporting requirements on the entity and prevent the entity from disposing of any assets. Based on the FSC directions, SSL is barred from issuing funds to […]

Massy Group makes more major acquisitions

6th January 2023 Trinidad-based regional conglomerate Massy Group has spent big on three major new acquisitions during the final month of 2022. During December 2022, different segments in the Group announced that they had entered into agreements to purchase Air Liquide International in Trinidad and Tobago, IGL (St Lucia) IBC Ltd. in Jamaica and Rowe’s […]

Caribbean facing insurance premium hikes in 2023

16th December 2022 Regional insurance companies are warning the Caribbean to brace for insurance premium hikes beginning in 2023. The issue is being raised by at least three insurance associations including Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago following talks with their reinsurers. Reinsurance involves local or regional insurance companies having policies with reinsurance companies to […]

FTX collapse puts Antigua and The Bahamas in the spotlight

2nd December 2022 The eyes of international financial regulators and investors are on Antigua and Barbuda and The Bahamas following the collapse of crypto giant FTX. Up until recent weeks, FTX – a digital currency exchange platform where people can buy and sell digital assets – was the second largest cryptocurrency exchange globally worth US$32bn […]

‘Loss and damage’ on the agenda as Caribbean leaders attend COP27

18th November 2022 Despite limited progress since COP26, Caribbean leaders gathered with over 100 of their counterparts in Egypt for the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP27). The conference, being staged from 6 to 18 November 2022, is expected to depart from previous COP meetings which primarily focused on reducing carbon emissions to mitigate climate […]

Massy rocked by one of the Caribbean’s largest ever data breach dumps

4th November 2022 Regional conglomerate Massy Group has launched an investigation into a major alleged data breach at the company. Reports are that the Hive Ransomware group has leaked online some 87,550 folders and 704,047 corporate files, allegedly belonging to Massy Stores Trinidad and Tobago. The hackers released staff salaries, photos, personal details, copies of […]

Growing calls for armed foreign intervention in Haiti

21st October 2022 A growing number of countries and organisations are calling for armed external intervention in Haiti as the country struggles with violence and social unrest. One of the most high-profile figures to support foreign boots on the ground in recent weeks is UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “The Secretary General urges the international […]

Caribbean leaders highlight development issues at UNGA

7th October 2022 Caribbean leaders have used the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to highlight key challenges facing the region. Staged under the theme ‘A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,’ the annual meetings saw world leaders converge at UN Headquarters in New York City from 20 to 26 September 2022. Speaking at […]

IATA issues travel cost warning to the Caribbean

23rd September 2022 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned Caribbean countries that they are pricing themselves out of the global tourism market. The caution came at the recent Caribbean Aviation Day in the  Cayman Islands on 14 September. Staged under the theme ‘recover, reconnect, revive,’ the event saw government ministers, industry experts, and […]

Barbados hosts inaugural AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum

9th September 2022 After months of planning, Barbados has delivered on its promise to host the first ever AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF). The forum, which ran from 1 to 4 September 2022 was put on by the Government of Barbados and the African ExportImport Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union Commission, […]

Latest Meeting of CARICOM Heads: Limited Progress and CSME Disappointment

Photo by Christian Lendl 22nd July 2022 CARICOM Heads of Government have identified limited progress on several key objectives during its recent 43rd Regular Meeting held in Suriname over the 3 to 5 July 2022. The meeting, which coincided with the 49th anniversary of the signing of the founding Treaty of Chaguaramas, was expected to see […]

Mitchell toppled in Grenada election

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 8th July 2022 Long-serving Prime Minister of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Keith Mitchell has lost his bid for another term in office. Keith Mitchell and his New National Party (NNP) were defeated by a margin of 9 to 6 seats by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by political newcomer Dickon Mitchell in the […]

Progress at Summit of the Americas despite exclusions

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo 24th June 2022 Despite the tension leading about country snubs up to the Ninth Summit of the Americas hosted by the US in Los Angeles, progress has arguably been made on securing the region’s future. “There’s a lot that I think we can and should do. This is a partnership.  My intention is to […]

Trinidad pushing increased gas output even as energy transition intensifies

Photo by Karsten Würth 10th June 2022 Trinidad and Tobago is predicting constrained natural gas production for the next five years before improvement in 2028. Speaking at the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference and Trade show 2022 hosted by Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, Prime Minister Keith Rowley discussed the outlook for the oil and […]

BVI rocked by Premier’s arrest, calls for direct British rule

Photo by Aleks Marinkovic 13th May 2022 The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is reeling from the fallout of Premier Andrew Fahie’s arrest and calls for British direct rule. Fahie was arrested at a Miami airport along with the Managing Director of the territory’s Ports Authority, Oleanvine Maynard, and her son Kadeem Maynard on charges of money […]

Caribbean leaders host US politicians, bankers for talks on financial inclusion  

Photo by Jeffrey Blum 29 April 2022 Caribbean leaders have once again appealed directly to the US congress and banks on the issues of blacklisting, de-risking and corresponding banking in the region.  The appeals come as Barbados hosted several US and Caribbean politicians along with regional and international representatives of financial institutions for the Caribbean Financial […]

ExxonMobil secures Yellowtail approvals

14th April 2022 Photo by Maria Lupan  US oil giant ExxonMobil has secured government and regulatory approval to develop Yellowtail field offshore Guyana.  The announcement means that the Yellowtail Project becomes Exxon’s fourth and largest oil and gas field, adding to the Liza One, Two and Payara fields.  Exxon, which operated through affiliate Esso Exploration and […]

Western countries moving against Caribbean CBI Schemes

1st April 2022 Photo by ConvertKit While St Kitts and Nevis haggle over the sharing of current citizenship by investment (CBI) revenue, Western countries are seemingly moving against the region’s programmes. Last week, as St Kitts Prime Minister Timothy Harris and Nevis Premier Mark Brantley exchanged words over what percentage of CBI revenue should be allocated to […]

Caribbean leaders lament economic impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict

Photo by Ihor OINUA 18th March 2022 With the conflict now into its third week, Caribbean leaders are bracing for the economic impact following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month.   Even as most condemned Russia’s role in the conflict, regional leaders are faced with the challenge of mitigating the fallout of surging fuel and commodity prices […]

Jamaican students stranded in Ukraine now home

4th March 2022 Photo by L.Filipe C.Sousa  Twenty Jamaican students finally arrived home in Jamaica yesterday after a tortuous journey out of Kyiv.    Jamaica was the only country in the Caribbean with a sizeable number of known nationals in Ukraine at the time of the invasion since many students pursue medical studies there.  In the […]

Barbados re-elects Mia Mottley in historic landslide victory

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers  4th February 2022 Mia Mottley has been re-elected for a second term as Prime Minister after leading the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to a historic landslide victory in the 19 January election.  “The people of this nation have spoken with one voice, decisively, unanimously and clearly,” said Mottley in her election […]

Jamaican Government US$186.69mn budget revision

The Government of Jamaica has tabled a sizable supplemental budget for the second time in the fiscal year which ends in March 2022.  On 11 January, Finance Minister Nigel Clarke introduced an additional spending bill totalling $25.8bn (US$186.69mn) which takes total expenditure for the fiscal year to $893.05bn (US$5.76bn), up from the $867.3bn (US$5.59bn) previously […]

Political unrest continues in Guadeloupe and Martinique

Photo: Via 10th December 2022 Protests are into their third week in the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique.  Demonstrators had initially taken to the streets to protest impending mandatory vaccination rules for health workers and other COVID-19 restrictions, but the unrest has evolved into action against a broader set of socioeconomic issues.  […]

Caribbean reopens to Cruiseliners

Photo by Alonso Reyes 26th November 2021 As the global economic recovery accelerates, Caribbean nations are positioning themselves to benefit from the return of cruise tourism to their shores. In recent weeks, several countries have welcomed the return of cruise ships to their ports after the industry all but collapsed under the weight of the COVID-19 […]

COP26 – Caribbean leaders call out inaction by large nations on Climate Change

Photo by Markus Spiske Caribbean Heads of Government and regional technocrats have made forceful representations at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) being held in Scotland.  Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who was among a limited cadre of world leaders to address the opening plenary in Glasgow, delivered a stinging rebuke of inaction by large nations.  […]

Ransom demanded for kidnapped missionaries in Haiti

Photo by Markus Spiske Authorities are racing against time to secure the release of 17 missionaries who have been kidnapped by a gang in Haiti. According to reports, members of the Ohio-based Christian Aid Ministries were on a trip to visit an orphanage in Ganthier, a commune east of the capital Port-au-Prince, when they were taken. […]

Jamaican Central Bank facing backlash over interest rate hike

Photo by Pedro da Silva The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is facing widespread criticism over its decision to increase the key policy rate in a bid to curb inflation.   After inflation broke through the upper limit of the 4% to 6% target in August to reach 6.1%, the BOJ had signalled its intention to increase interest […]

Tourism’s reactivation vital to recovery of other economic sectors: Marrero

Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, has said that reactivating tourism will be the key to Cuba’s economic recovery, due to its ability to stimulate growth in many other sectors of the economy.  Speaking at a meeting with Cuban tourism professionals in Varadero on 2 October, he said that there could be no going back after […]

New Bahamas government facing debt crisis

Photo by Georgy Trofimov A looming debt crisis and another sovereign credit rating downgrade are just two of the many challenges facing the newly elected Philip Davis Administration. Prime Minister Davis led the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) to a resounding victory in the 16 September election, securing 32 seats to the Free National Movement’s (FNM) seven.   […]

COVID measures hitting bottom line for Jamaican business

Photo by Shyam Many Jamaican businesses are reeling as the financial impact of the Government’s COVID-19 mitigation measures take their toll.  According to businesses, the so-called “no-movement” days recently announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, where curfews span the entire day have significantly limited economic activity. No business can survive on three and a half days […]

Donors slow to help Haiti after devastation by earthquakes in South West

Photo by Sunyu Kim Aid remains limited two weeks after Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake which severely damaged several cities, killing 2,200 and injuring thousands more.  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimates that about 800,000 people have been affected and an estimated 650,000 people – 40% of […]

Opposition win landslide victory in St Lucia General election

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers The opposition St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) has won a landslide victory in the country’s 26 July General Election. The new Prime Minister is Phillip Pierre.  The SLP secured 13 of the 17 parliamentary constituencies, while the incumbent United Workers Party (UWP) led by Former Prime Minister Allen Chastanet retained only two […]

Ariel Henry sworn in as new Haitian Prime Minister

Photo by Patrice S Dorsainville Ariel Henry has been sworn in as Haiti’s new prime minister following the resignation of Claude Joseph, as interim Prime Minister. Joseph, who had assumed the leadership of the country after the assassination of the country’s President, Jovenel Moïse, had lost the support of the International Community. (Caribbean Insight 10 July […]

Jovenel Moïse, sitting President of Haiti assassinated

Photo by BBC News President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated at his private residence in Port-au-Prince, after it was stormed by armed men in the early hours of 7 July.  The President was reportedly shot 12 times, and succumbed to his injuries at the residence, which was heavily vandalised. First Lady Martine Moïse was also injured […]

Mottley says small tourism-dependent economies face two lost decades

Photo by iAko Randrianarivelo  Tourism-dependent countries in the Caribbean have been set back by as much as 20 years as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley.  Speaking at an IMF forum on Natural Disasters and Climate Change Mottley called for recognition of the plight of tourism-dependent nations and […]

PM Browne pledges to lower regional travel taxes amid COVID-19 fallout

Photo by Raphael Nogueira  In a Twitter Spaces regional dialogue hosted by Kev Politics, Antigua’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has conceded that high travel taxes are negatively impacting intra-regional travel.  Challenged to address the issue, Browne signalled his intention to lobby his regional counterparts to operationalise a reduction in air travel taxes. The Prime Minister, who […]

Caribbean tourism must innovate to fully recover IDB says

Photo by Lucas Swennen  A study published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) suggests that for Caribbean tourism to fully recover from the pandemic it will need to innovate and adapt its product to meet changing global demand. Speaking about the report, ‘Imagining a Post-COVID Tourism Recovery: A Regional Overview’, Olga Gómez, the IDB’s lead tourism […]

Guyana seeking large scale investments in agriculture

Photo by Ryo Yoshitake Guyana’s President, Dr Irfaan Ali, has said that the country is interested in encouraging large scale investments in food production for export, particularly to CARICOM. Speaking to about 150 potential US investors, he said that the development of the sector and the country’s extensive tracts of productive land was a priority of […]

Jamaica says public-private partnerships key to avoiding future debt crisis

Photo by Pat Whelen  Jamaica’s Finance Minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, has said that if it is to escape from being drawn into a looming regional debt crisis the country must do more to create public-private partnerships. Speaking at a Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) virtual forum on post pandemic recovery, the Minister said that the […]

Thousands evacuated as St Vincent volcano erupts

image: @VincieRichie/twitter After decades of inactivity, St Vincent’s La Soufriere volcano erupted on 9 April casting huge clouds of ash up to six miles into the sky causing government to implement plans to evacuate thousands of citizens living in its vicinity. In the days following the eruption St Vincent’s government implemented plans to evacuate thousands […]

CARICOM could receive doses of Russia’s Sputnik vaccine via Grenada

Photo by Hakan Nural The Government of Grenada and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have signed a collaboration agreement which, in part, will facilitate the registration and distribution of Russia’s Sputnik V Coronavirus vaccine across CARICOM.  The announcement comes as concern continues about the slow arrival of vaccines through the World Health Organisation’s COVAX facility […]

COVAX vaccines start to arrive in Caribbean – supply concerns remain

Photo by Mat Napo The first vaccines to be supplied to the Caribbean under the World Health Organisation (WHO) linked COVAX facility have arrived in Jamaica. However, most countries in the Caribbean are still awaiting details on when they will receive their allotment. In a news release, the Pan American Health Organisation said that the delivery […]

CARICOM Heads stress need to act now to ensure post pandemic recovery

Photo by Aron Visuals  CARICOM Heads of government, meeting virtually on 24-25 February, have stressed the need to rapidly address past implementation failures and involve the Caribbean private sector in planning for post-pandemic economic recovery. Expressing concern about the continuing lack of progress on implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), Heads “agreed to […]

EU-CARIFORUM EPA has ‘done little’ to increase Caribbean trade

Photo by Chris Pagan The European Union has published the findings of an assessment of the impact of the EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It indicates that over the 10-year period 2008-2018 the principal beneficiary has been the EU and the Dominican Republic, and that the overall trade between the two regions has changed little other […]

IMF says Bahamas post- pandemic economic recovery ‘will likely take years’

Photo by Luis espinoza 5 February 2021, Volume 43 Issue 3 The IMF has said that economic recovery to pre-pandemic levels in the Bahamas ‘will likely take years’ and that the ‘downside risks loom large’. In a statement following the conclusion of its annual Article IV consultation, the Fund’s Executive Board noted that the archipelago had […]

Venezuela ups claim to Essequibo

[Photo: Dan Lundberg / CC BY-SA 2.0] 22 January 2021, Volume 43 Issue 2 Guyana has increased the number of troops present on its border with Venezuela and signed a maritime security cooperation agreement with the US. Both moves follow a declaration in Caracas by President Nicolás Maduro, again laying claim to the Essequibo region, […]

Tourism leaders optimistic about full Caribbean recovery post 2021

[Photo by Johnny Chen] 8 January 2021, Volume 43 Issue 1  Caribbean tourism professionals have expressed cautious optimism that by the end of 2021 the industry will begin to experience a gradual but full recovery.  Speaking recently to Caribbean Insight, Frank Comito, the outgoing CEO and Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), […]

Guyana and Suriname to link their economies

The Governments of Guyana and Suriname have launched an unprecedented series of actions intended to more closely integrate their economies and, over time, their commercial links to neighbours in South America. In a series of recent announcements, visits, and exchanges, the Surinamese President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, and his Guyanese counterpart, Irfaan Ali, have outlined a programme […]

Environmental group seeks halt to Bahamas offshore oil exploration

The Bahamian umbrella environmental group ‘Our Islands, Our Future’ has said that it will take legal action in relation to a judicial review it is seeking if the Bahamas Petroleum Company’s (BPC) starts a planned offshore drilling programme.  The activist group said that it will seek an injunction if the company does not halt its […]

Guyana’s energy matrix set to change radically

Guyana’s President, Irfaan Ali, has said that he expects the country’s proposed ‘Gas-to shore project’ to be operational by the end of 2023. The project is intended to deliver affordable energy to Guyanese consumers, utilising natural gas presently being flared off from the country’s world class offshore oil finds. The project is expected to have […]

Washington increases its 5G pressure on Jamaica

The US Ambassador to Jamaica, Donald Tapia, has said that the country has to make a decision as to whether it is going to look East to the ‘two headed dragon’, China, or North to the United States when it comes to deciding where its economic priorities lie. In an exclusive interview with the Jamaica […]

Barbados, CARICOM strongly object to EU Finance Ministers’ blacklisting decision

Caribbean Governments have strongly objected to a recent decision by European Union’s Finance Ministers to add Anguilla and Barbados to its blacklist of offshore financial centres.  In a strongly worded statement, CARICOM said that the EU’s backlisting strategy was “unilateral, arbitrary and non-transparent” while Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has described the island’s listing as […]

Washington consolidating its economic influence in Caribbean

 Last weeks issue highlights include:– Washington consolidating its economic influence in Caribbean– Mottley calls for new Caribbean financing facility to aid restructuring – Guyana and Exxon reach agreement on US$9bn Payara project – Barbados-China relations attract attention – Cuba’s Central Bank introduces restrictions on import and export of dollars – Dominican Republic issues US$3.8bn in sovereign bonds – In Guyana, […]

Barbados planning to become tourism hub for the Southern Caribbean

 The Barbados Government has said that it is developing plans that it hopes will see it become the southern tourism hub in the Caribbean.  Speaking to the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), Senator Lisa Cummins, the Minister of Tourism and International Transport, said that as a part of its plan it was negotiating with […]

ExxonMobil unhappy with Guyana government’s plans to review oil agreements

ExxonMobil has said that it is open to the new Guyana government’s interest in increasing the local content of its operations but not to any renegotiation of its controversial 2016 production sharing content negotiated with the former APNU+AFC government. The comment by Alistair Routledge, the newly appointed President of ExxonMobil Guyana, follow indications that the country’sgovernment intends […]

New government takes office in Guyana

Five months after the country’s 2 March election, Guyana has a new President and government. The final decision to accept the outcome of the recount which showed the opposition PPP/C winning decisively, came as both ExxonMobil and Hess indicated the country’s potential as a major western hemisphere producer of oil. The swearing in of the new President, Irfaan […]

Tensions rising in Guyana as government says unwilling to accept election outcome

[screenshot via global voices from Stabroek News livestream] Tension is continuing to rise in Guyana following a statement by the country’s APNU+AFC government that it will not accept a legally directed declaration by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) based on the recounted results which show that it lost the country’s 2 March elections. Responding, the General Secretary of […]

Opposition PRM sweeps the polls in the Dominican Republic

[image shutterstock] The leader of the Dominican Republic’s opposition Partido Revolucionario Moderno (PRM), Luis Abinader, has won the Dominican Republic’s 4 July presidential elections. The PRM also swept the congressional elections taking control of both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies enabling it to legislate to deliver on its platform, and to control judicial […]

CCJ halts questionable declaration of Guyana election recount

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has issued an order restraining Guyana’s Elections Commission (GECOM) from declaring the outcome of a recount of the votes cast in the country’s 2 March general election. It did so pending a full hearing of a challenge to a decision by the country’s Chief Election Officer, Keith Lowenfield, to invalidate nearly 115,787 or […]

Unofficial results from recount show Guyana’s opposition have won election

A comprehensive 33-day recount of votes cast in Guyana’s 2 March election indicates that the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has taken 33 seats, to the governing A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition’s 31. Under the country’s proportional representation system one seat is expected to go to other parties standing as Joinder […]

Caribbean governments taking different approaches on timing to reopen tourism

Caribbean governments have begun to make plans to reopen businesses and borders for tourism and international travel. However, some nations have announced the dates when they will do so, while others have not. In addition, the region has yet to agree protocols with airlines and cruise lines, and a standard for establishing safe corridors for […]

CARICOM Heads agree to steps required to reopen the regional economy

CARICOM Heads of Government have said that they intend to gradually reopen the Caribbean economy on a co-ordinated basis, primarily using public health considerations as the criteria. A communiqué issued following an emergency online summit held on 5 May noted that CARICOM Heads had taken note of a presentation by a Regional Working Group which […]

Oil price crash and Covid-19 push Trinidad budget deficit to US$2.3bn

Citing the collapse in world oil prices and the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Trinidad economy, the country’sFinance Minister, Colm Imbert, has said that government now anticipates a 2020 budget deficit of TT$15.5bn (US$2.3bn). Its original budget estimate was TT$5.3bn (US$784m). In a statement to Parliament, Imbert said that fiscal 2020 will […]

CARICOM Heads agree to develop common responses to challenges posed by COVID-19

CARICOM Heads of Government have agreed, at an emergency online video meeting held on 15 April, to a joined-up response to the multiple challenges posed by the Coronavirus to public health, the regional economy, food security and other issues. Responding to a letter sent by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, in her capacity […]

Anguilla government to implement measures to mitigate impact of COVID-19

COVID-19, Week in Review 3-10 April Premier Victor Banks has announced that his government will: implement temporary unemployment benefits for “qualified persons” whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19; establish a list of sanitary goods and equipment as well as food items that will attract duty free concessions for three months; and publish a maximum […]

Barbados’ economy ‘back to the start line’

The Barbados government has announced a US$10m (BD$20m) “survival” stimulus package in response to a significant loss inrevenue from tourism and increased expenditure as a result of the coronavirus. In a statement to Parliament the Prime Minister Mia Mottley said that the crisis had taken Barbados back to when her government started its IMF recovery programme. […]

Coronavirus expected to significantly setback Caribbean tourism economies

The increasing incidence of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in multiple Caribbean nations is expected to have a damaging economic effect on the region according to recently published Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) paper. The authors of the Caribbean Development Trends paper say that the magnitude of this impact will depend crucially on the spread of the virus, […]

Guyana’s general election ends in chaos with an uncertain outcome

Guyana faces a period of uncertainty and potential chaos following a controversial declaration by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) relating to votes cast in the last remaining electoral district to declare a result. The legally unverified outcome, if confirmed, would mean that the ruling A Partnership for Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition would […]

CARICOM Heads agree to level roaming charges and other citizen-friendly measures

Flag of CARICOM. Image via Office Holidays CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Barbados on February 19/20 have agreed to an initiative intended to level roaming charges for mobile telecommunications across the region. The decision was one of a number intended to deliver outcomes that directly benefit CARICOM citizens and make the regional integration movement […]

US sanctions block key Trinidad-Venezuela oil field project

Trinidad’s Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, has said that the country is to withdraw from jointly developing with Venezuela the Loran-Manatee natural gas field which straddles the two country’s maritime borders. Addressing the Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference 2020 on 3 February, Rowley said that US sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil and gas company PDVSA […]

Pompeo’s meetings in Jamaica divides CARICOM

A visit by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to Jamaica to meet with eight of CARICOM’s 15 Foreign Ministers and to hold bilateral discussions with Jamaica’s Prime Minister, has divided governments across the English-speaking Caribbean. Prior to the 21/22 January meetings CARICOM’s Chair, Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, sharply rejected the US approach, […]

Maduro says PetroCaribe to be revived this year

The Venezuelan government has said that it intends to revive its PetroCaribe oil programme this year. The mechanism previously offered oil to recipient countries in the Caribbean and Central America on preferential and deferred terms linked to local development arrangements. Speaking on 18 December, the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, told the closing ceremony of the […]

New gas fields likely to spur Trinidad’s economic growth

An audit of Trinidad and Tobago’s hydrocarbon reserves as at the end of 2018 has indicated a “very significant” increase in prospective resources, according to Republic’s Energy Minister, Franklin Khan. Speaking in late November about the annual audit of non-associated natural oil and gas reserves, Kahn said that deep-water oil leads identified by Australia’s BHP […]

Guyana provisionally agrees to adopt CET on sugar by 2022

Photo credits [Birches group] Guyana’s manufacturers and sugar producers have agreed that the 40% Common External Tariff (CET) on imported extra-regional refined sugar will apply for the specific use by food and beverage manufacturers from 2022. A processing plant producing white sugar is expected to come on stream then. The decision by the Guyana Manufacturing […]

China and Jamaica agree a ‘strategic framework’ for economic relations

Photo credits [Xinhua/Liu Bin] Jamaica has agreed to establish a ‘new strategic framework’ for its relations with China during an official visit there by the island’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holiness. According to the Prime Minister’s office, the focus of future relations will be on exporting goods and services, continuing infrastructure development involving the Chinese and […]

Jamaica advancing its medicinal ganja industry

Jamaica is seeking to encourage greater investment into its medicinal ganja (cannabis) industry so as to take advantage of the growing international and visitor market for wellness. Speaking in Negril at the recent opening of Doc’s Place Wellness Centre and Apollon Formularies, Floyd Green, Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, said […]

Caribbean may only see small overall increase in tourism earnings in 2019

Recently published statistics suggest that despite the Caribbean continuing to experience buoyant visitor arrivals numbers, the region may not experience a commensurate overall rise in earnings from tourism in 2019. According to the industry analysts STR (formerly known as Smith Travel Research) as this year has gone on there has been a decline in revenue […]

Trinidad sells Petrotrin refinery to oil workers trades union

The Trinidad Government has agreed to a proposal from Pa­tri­ot­ic En­er­gies and Tech­nolo­gies Ltd, a company owned by the country’s Oil­field Work­ers Trade Union (OWTU), to restart the for­mer state owned Petrotrin re­fin­ery. In a series of announcements, the Gov­ern­ment said that it was granting Pa­tri­ot­ic a three-year moratorium on the US$700m purchase price and […]

CARICOM Heads say new CSME financial architecture ready next year

Many of the most important new measures intended to unify the financial architecture of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy are not now expected to be ready for agreement until Caribbean Heads of Government meet in February 2020 according to Barbados’s Prime Minister, Mia Mottley. Speaking at the press conference following the 3-5 July CARICOM […]

Business warns, Haiti close to ‘the edge of a precipice’

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery Following days of instability and renewed tension, Haiti’s Private Sector Economic Forum (FESP)has warned that the country is on the edge of a precipice. The long standing body which groups the country’s principal chambers of commerce, industrial groups and financiers said in a statement: “no dialogue, the worsening of […]

US warns Caribbean security conference about states it sees as a threat

A senior US official has said that the Washington is placing a new focus on closer ties with the Caribbean “due to shared interests and the crisis in Venezuela, which require greater cooperation”. Addressing the opening of the 8th Caribbean-US Security Cooperation Dialogue on 16 May in Washington, Kimberly Breier, the US Assistant Secretary of […]

Belizeans vote to go to International Court of Justice

Belizeans have voted to ask the United Nation’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) to resolve finally the country’s border dispute with Guatemala. In an 8 May referendum, 55.4% of Belizean voters opted to send the matter to the ICJ for a ruling, according to results published by Belize’s elections and boundaries commission, while 44.6% of […]

Jamaica joins China’s belt and road initiative

Jamaica has joined China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Speaking to the media after the signing in Kingston of a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Ambassador, Tian Qui, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, said that it will allow the two countries to identify specific proposals for projects in […]

Regional divisions emerge after Trump meets with five Caribbean leaders

A 22 March meeting between President Trump and the leaders of Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, Haiti, and St Lucia has divided CARICOM, exposing deep divisions and resulting in harsh words of criticism from some nations not invited. At the meeting, Trump affirmed his commitment to regional economic growth, his support for the five […]

Guyana in constitutional crisis as election deadline passes

Guyana entered uncharted political waters on 21 March, the date by which the legal deadline for calling fresh elections was constitutionally due following the passing of a no-confidence motion under controversial circumstances in the country’s parliament on 21 December (Caribbean Insight Volume 41 Issue 1). Amid growing international calls for the Guyana Government and opposition […]

LIAT in need of urgent cash injection to avoid collapse

LIAT, the Antigua based sub-regional air carrier, faces a period of uncertainty after it emerged that it urgently needed an immediate cash injection of at least US$5m to remain in operation. Although some reports indicated that if it cannot find the funds the airline might be grounded after mid-March, this has been denied by the […]

Measure of calm returns to Haiti but instability remains

Following days of widespread demonstrations against the Government of President Jovenal Moïse, which paralysed the economy, a relative calm appears to have returned in Haiti. It follows 10 days of anti-government demonstrations at least six deaths, and food shortages. The latest bout of unrest began on 7 February following the failure of the government to […]

CARICOM endorses need for dialogue and neutrality on Venezuela

Against a background of rapidly changing events, external pressure and inter-regional acrimony, Caribbean governments have begun to develop a more unified response to recent developments in Venezuela. After initially being divided over the deteriorating internal situation in Venezuela, most Caribbean nations have now recognised the dangers inherent to a complete breakdown of law and order […]