July 13, 2010
Keeping the faith
Taking into account the noises made again last week from one end of the region to the other by citizens growing more cynical about the state of health of the regional integration movement, it remains a matter for the record, that the Montego Bay Summit qualifies for positive review on several fronts.
July 12, 2010
TT should not be Caribbean’s ATM
“IT IS just ridiculous!” St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said as he supported Prime Minister Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s view that TT is seen by some as the ATM (automatic teller machine) of the Caribbean.
Strong nations must help weak
ECONOMICALLY stronger Caricom nations need to take the lead in ensuring the development and growth of member nations who are economically weaker, according to Dr Ralph Gonsalves, by contributing to the Caricom Development Fund (CDF).
July 11, 2010
Tough talking Kamla stuns Caricom
Whatever Caricom’s leaders might have been expecting from the stylish Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago with her sunny smile and nimble dance moves, they had to adjust their thinking quickly to accommodate a tough talking politician keen to forge a different agenda for Trinidad and Tobago in the region.
CARICOM nations can ill afford to engage in protectionist measures against one another and must join forces to rise above the global economic realities which face the region today.
Kamla dares them in Jamaica
The Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister, the only woman in the club of leaders, had stolen the show. The audience loved it, and they loved her for what appeared to them to be her daring. And when this was over, she would go elsewhere with part of her entourage, to a club on the city’s “hip strip”.
Kamla’s charm sweeps CARICOM
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, entered the final night party for the 31st CARICOM Heads of Government conference in Montego Bay, St James, at 9:50, two hours after the scheduled start time last Wednesday night, and all other leaders in the room instantly became backbenchers.
July 10, 2010
Kamla shakes up Caricom
Her girlish flowered dress, pink mini-sweater and white wedge-heeled sandals gave no impression on Tuesday that she had come to cut big men down to size. Financially speaking, that is. But new Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar apparently succeeded in doing just that—and then some—at the recently concluded 31st Caricom summit in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Indeed, summit host, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, who whirled Persad-Bissessar round the dance floor at a post-summit reception on Wednesday night said he had run against many people, but not against anyone like her. Golding remarked he was glad he didn’t have to.
Kamla parties, cries
PRIME MINISTER Kamla Persad-Bissessar was moved to tears when she visited her alma mater at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Mona campus in Jamaica on Thursday.
July 09, 2010
Kamla pledges J$50m for J’ca children’s fund
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced yesterday that Trinidad and Tobago will contribute J$50 million to launch a Jamaica Children’s Life Fund. She made the pledge at a function yesterday…
Negative vibes at Caricom summit
Yet another Caricom summit has come and gone but what remains constant is the region’s failure to implement major programmes such as the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).
TT no ATM
IT should certainly be no surprise to hear Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar state in her recent remarks to reporters at the Caricom meeting in Jamaica that Trinidad and Tobago must not be regarded as the region’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
Strong regional links best for all
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s first Caricom outing was marked by her blunt questioning of the utilisation, and indeed the continuation, of the Petroleum Fund. “Trinidad and Tobago will not shirk in its responsibilities, but we must be conscious of the present fiscal deficit and the global crisis,” Mrs Persad-Bissessar told journalists in Montego Bay.
July 08, 2010
TT alone can’t fund US$M gap
By Clint Chan Tack In Montego Bay, Jamaica
TWO DAYS after expressing concerns about the disbursement of money under the Caricom Petroleum Fund (CPF), Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Tuesday expressed similar concerns about whether there was transparency and accountability in the management of money in the US$250 million Caricom Development Fund (CDF). Addressing a news conference at the Hilton Resort and Spa, Persad-Bissessar said all participating Caricom states each contribute US$120 million to the CDF and the remaining US$130 million comes from the regional private sector and other sources.
Kamla cautions region: T&T no ATM card
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday cautioned regional governments that Trinidad and Tobago does not operate like “an ATM card” while stating the oil-rich twin-island republic was not prepared to fund the regional security budget.
Stop the scapegoating, Gleaner
Yesterday, in an editorial headlined “Trinidad’s being unfair, Kamla,” the Jamaica Gleaner launched yet another attack on this country’s energy policy and its impact on trade within the Caricom single market. The newspaper, one of the oldest in the region, approvingly quoted the Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture, Christopher Tufton, as suggesting that “Trinidadian agro-processors enjoy an unfair advantage on two counts. They have cheap, subsidised energy and are allowed to import raw materials using an opaque tariff regime.” Tufton had complained recently that T&T manufacturers are importing peanuts from extra-regional sources “with unclear duty arrangements,” processing these peanuts using “subsidised energy” and selling the snacks in Jamaica free of tariff, in accordance with the common market principle.
Leaders pledge to pay up arrears
By Gail Alexander
The main concerns raised at the 31st Caricom summit by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar ended up at summit conclusion last night with a response from Caricom leaders pledging to start paying up arrears on certain regional projects and to begin moves to revive the flagging 37-year-old regional institution. The points were among summit conclusion announcements by Caricom chairman Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the closing media briefing last night. And in the face of calls for Caricom secretary general Edwin Carrington to stand down to allow Caricom to go forward, Carrington said he would be considering shifting from the institution which he had headed for the past 18 years.
Is Caricom useful?
By Andy Johnson
MONTEGO BAY: THE Global Financial and Economic Crisis: Challenges to recovery and Critical Issues of Economic Management. This was how the conference agenda for Tuesday’s working session at the Caricom summit which wrapped up here last night signalled its decision to continue talking about the impact of this phenomenon on the region.
Caricom to set up governance council
A permanent governance council is being established by Caricom leaders to address the “implementation deficit” and other problems hampering the movement and efficiency of the 37 regional grouping, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and St Lucia Prime Minister Denzil Douglas confirmed yesterday.
Kamla: Urgent need for Caribbean fund
By Andy Johnson In Jamaica
THE Government of Trinidad and Tobago has raised as a matter of urgency, the issue of the operation of the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF), Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told reporters here yesterday. She said she was seeking answers to a number of critical questions on this matter.