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.

Has Caribbean sugar a future?

Unless the sugar industry in Caricom can develop in the coming months a co-ordinated and concerted plan of action, 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.

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.

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 producers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

Time to reshape andclarify 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?

The EPA, Brexit and defending the status quo

How should the anglophone Caribbean respond to Brexit? Should it, based on the expert advice it has received from the Caricom Secretariat and its own trade negotiators, now be actively exploring with the UK an approach that secures an equivalent trade relationship to that which it has with the EU under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)?

A new regional context for tourism

A few days ago, Karolin Troubetzkoy, the President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), spoke to the media about some of the challenges that she believes now face the tourism sector in the region; the industry that in recent years has become the single largest contributor to Caribbean economic growth.

Rebalancing the Chinese economic relationship

Last month the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) published a paper ‘Chinese rise in the Caribbean – What does it mean for Caribbean Stakeholders?’ Although, in its conclusions, it said little more than a number of Caribbean commentators have observed previously, it is important for three reasons.

The gap between rhetoric and reality

As each day passes, the internal situation in Venezuela deteriorates. Rumours of military coups and unstoppable violence swirl, street protests escalate, ordinary citizens suffer shortages of medicine, everyday foodstuffs, and almost everything else, while enduring rapidly escalating inflation.

Renewing the US relationship

A few days ago the US House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously agreed a draft bi-partisan bill that seeks to have the administration give greater priority to the US-Caribbean relationship.

Another blow for Venezuela

Last week in Doha, many of the world’s major producers of crude oil tried, but failed to agree to freeze production, in order to stabilise and eventually increase prices.

The fourth industrial revolution and the Caribbean

How well will the Caribbean cope with the ‘disruptive technology’ and ‘disruptive innovation’ that in less than a decade could change structurally, employment, competiveness and consumer thinking in most developed and in many developing nations?

Corruption has become a particular focus

In September a special summit of the United Nations General Assembly held in New York saw 193 nations agree to seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Their objective was to establish a set of principles that up to 2030 will drive the development policy and programmes of governments and national and multilateral institutions everywhere.

Caribbean likely to suffer collateral damage from tax havens crackdown

A little over a week ago the British parliamentarian, Sir Eric Pickles – a cabinet member until May of this year and a former Chairman of the Conservative Party – told the London Guardian that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was determined to have the BVI and the Cayman Islands adopt public registers of beneficial ownership either “through legislation, guidance or naked pressure”.