Luis Abinader re-elected as Dominican Republic President

7th June 2024 President Luis Abinader has secured a second term in office after securing victory in the first round of the election. Abinader, who turns 57 this year, secured 57% of the vote, decisively avoiding a runoff with his nearest competitor, Leonel Fernández, a former three-term President, who won 29% of the votes according […]

Jamaica’s political parties clash on constitutional reform

23rd May 2024 The Andrew Holness Government and the Golding-led opposition Peoples National Party (PNP) are seemingly at an impasse on constitutional reform in Jamaica. Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, is standing firm, demanding a clear separation from the monarchy and the UK-based Privy Council as part of the nation’s constitutional reform process. Golding has called […]

Haiti’s Transition Council advancing security mission

10th May 2024 Plans for foreign security deployment are advancing following the installation of Haiti’s transitional council after the official resignation of former Prime Minister Ariel Henry’s controversial government. “We have served the nation during difficult times,” said Henry in a statement released before the nine-member council took their oaths at what was reportedly a […]

EU support Trinidad-Venezuela pipeline amid US sanctions

26 April 2024 The European Union (EU) has signalled its willingness to support the Dragon Pipeline between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago despite reimposition of US sanctions on Venezuela. The 90-kilometre pipeline project between the two countries has been in the news in recent months following easing of sanctions on Venezuela and the granting of […]

Caribbean countries set CBI passport price floor

Four Caribbean countries set CBI passport price floor

11 April 2024 As international pressure mounts, four of the five Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries which have citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes have agreed to set a minimum price for passport sales. The compact, which is based on the six principles agreed by the OECS CBI countries during a roundtable discussion with […]

US$2.33bn pro-business budget tabled in Barbados

28th March 2024 Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has tabled what is largely being hailed as a pro-business budget for 2024/2025. The budget followed estimates detailing an accrual-based total outlay of US$2.33bn, including US$1.71bn allocated for current expenditure and US$622.4mn earmarked for investments in capital projects and debt repayment. While budgetary allocations to line ministries […]

Haiti’s Prime Minister resigns as gang violence peaks

15th March 2024 Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced his resignation following a meeting of CARICOM leaders and other international allies. “The government that I am leading will resign immediately after the installation of (a transition) council,” Henry said on Monday in a video address from Puerto Rico, as he thanked the Haitian people for […]

Bahamas announces top-up corporate income tax

1st March 2024 Weeks after rejecting an IMF call to implement a personal income tax on its citizens, The Bahamas has announced plans for the introduction of a corporate top-up income tax. Speaking in his midterm budget communication to the nation, Prime Minister Philip Davis said that the country is moving towards implementing the Qualified […]

Venezuela advances troops as Exxon announce drilling plans

16th February 2024 The Government of Guyana has revealed that satellite imagery provided by western allies are showing Venezuelan troop movements along the border in the disputed Essequibo region. Guyanese authorities including Foreign Minister, Hugh Todd, and Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud have argued that the Venezuelan government under President Nicolás Maduro is violating the Argyle […]

Record US$5.5bn national budget tabled in Guyana

2nd February 2024 The Irfaan Ali Administration has tabled a record US$5.496bn (GY$1.146tn) 2024 National Budget, some 47% higher than the US$3.75bn (GY$781.9bn) passed in 2023. The massive increase in spending is being funded largely by revenue from the oil and gas sector, which is projected to cover 29% of the budgeted expenditure. Delivered under […]

Cricket World Cup to generate US$300mn for the Caribbean

19th January 2024 The International Cricket Council (ICC) 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup is projected to bring in over US$300mn for the Caribbean in the coming months. Scheduled for 1 to 29 June 2024 across the Caribbean and the US, the ninth edition of the tournament will see several Caribbean countries hosting matches for the […]

Trinidad issued Dragon Gas Field licence by Venezuela

5th January 2024 Trinidad and Tobago has officially been granted a license for the exploration, production, and export of natural gas from the Dragon Gas Field in Venezuela. Making the announcement about the deal, which was signed in late December 2023, Trinidadian Prime Minister Keith Rowley said that it marks a historic development in the […]

Caribbean countries advance climate change agenda at COP28

15 December 2023 Despite the last-minute controversies surrounding the latest iteration of a global climate change deal, Caribbean countries may still consider COP28 one of progress.  Staged in in Dubai over 1 to 12 December 2023, the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) known as COP, saw an early […]

Growing Saudi influence after inaugural CARICOM Summit

1st December 2023 Saudi Arabia’s influence in the Caribbean appears to be on the rise following the conclusion of the inaugural Saudi Arabia-CARICOM Summit. Held on 16 November in Riyadh, the main sessions were co-chaired by Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and […]

Trinidad’s state telecoms company hit by cyberattack

17th November 2023 The majority state-owned Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) has been hit by a major cyberattack. Global hacker group Ransomexx disclosed that they had launched a ransomware attack on TSTT, compromising and extracting up to six gigabytes (GB) of data. This data breach included personal information such as full names, email […]

Jamaica moving to refinance US$1.76bn of debt

3rd November 2023 The Jamaican government is preparing to raise new debt in the international market to retire existing global bonds totalling US$1.76bn. The bonds earmarked include three specific notes maturing over the next five years, with bondholders set to have the option to cash out their bonds. This includes two notes with a maturity […]

Tensions rise over planned Caribbean Airlines expansion

20th October 2023 Tensions are rising in the regional aviation sector after Caribbean Airlines (CAL) announced that it is moving to significantly expand its operation in the Caribbean. The Antigua and Barbuda Government has declared its intention to oppose CAL’s expansion, specifically on routes previously serviced by LIAT (1974) as the Gaston Browne Administration continues […]

US$8.7bn budget tabled in Trindad and Tobago

6th October 2023 The Keith Rowley Administration has tabled a TT$59.209bn (US$8.7bn) 2023/2024 national budget in Parliament. The budget includes Total Revenue of TT$54.012bn (US$7.98bn), based on a projected oil price of US$85 per barrel, and natural gas of US$5 MMBtu. The shortfall under expenditure will lead to a TT$5.197bn (US$767.72mn) fiscal deficit (2.7% of […]

The Bahamas records strong Q2 economic performance

22nd September 2023 The Government of The Bahamas has recorded stronger than expected economic performance in 2023 Q2, beating many analysts’ projections. In its Quarterly Economic Review for June 2023, the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) reported that the domestic economy continued its positive growth trend in the second quarter, indicating a transition back […]

Anguilla capitalising on ‘AI’ domain revenue

8th September 2023 Anguilla is reaping unexpected riches from its “.ai” domain as AI development surges, with tech start-ups increasingly attracted to this domain for their businesses. Vince Cate, who manages the Anguilla domain, noted the significant change since November 2022, with ChatGPT driving AI progress. Anguilla earns revenue from domain registrars, such as Hover, […]

Moody’s upgrades Trinidad and Tobago’s credit outlook

21st July 2023 Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Trinidad and Tobago’s credit rating outlook to positive from stable, while affirming the country’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings at Ba2. The international credit ratings agency noted that the positive outlook reflects the expectation that the country’s fiscal consolidation momentum triggered by windfall gains from energy […]

Caribbean to benefit from new World Bank financing toolkit

10th July 2023 The Caribbean is set to benefit from a suite of reforms to international financing announced by the World Bank Group. Ajay Bango, the new President of the Group announced what he termed as an expanded toolkit for crisis preparedness, response, and recovery, at the recently held Summit for a New Global Financial […]

Caribbean agenda advanced at meeting with US Vice President

23rd June 2023 Caribbean leaders have used a recent meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris to secure pledges of support on several issues affecting the region. “Strengthening the US-Caribbean relationship is a priority for me, as it is for President Joe Biden,” said Vice President Harris at the 8 June 2023 meeting in The […]

Bahamas Government tables US$3.5bn budget

9th June 2023 The Philip Davis-led Administration has tabled a US$3.5bn national budget in the nation’s parliament for the upcoming fiscal year. Prime Minister Davis, who is also Minister of Finance, announced a projected deficit of US$131.6mn for the period, but emphasised that there will be no new taxes or tax increases. Recurrent revenue is […]

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 france24.com 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 / https://www.ecolife.zone/ 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 […]

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. […]