As far as I can determine, few if any of the current group of Carib-bean prime ministers, or opposition leaders keeps a diary recording events and conversations of importance.
On May 7, 2015 Britain will hold a general election. Under the terms of its Fixed Term Parliament Act, this date, which forms a part of the agreement that established the coalition government, may not be varied other than by new legislation.
A little over a week ago, Cari-com Heads of Government met in Antigua.
Two weeks ago the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, made a one-day visit to Havana.
In 2001, one in 10 voters in the United Kingdom were members of an ethnic minority; by 2050 the number will have risen to one in five.
Across the Caribbean concern is being expressed about the implications of civil unrest in Venezuela and what this might mean for the long term future of PetroCaribe, the concessionary agreement which underpins most Caribbean economies through the supply of oil at concessionary prices on deferred terms.
Each year since 1971 the powerful and influential of the world, the global super elite, have met in Davos in Switzerland to discuss the challenges facing the world economy.
The President of the European Commission (EC), José Manuel Barroso, has confirmed that Europe is presently in the process of debating a significant change in its policy towards Cuba.
Two years ago I suggested in this column that few Caribbean governments or companies were taking seriously the threat posed by cyber attack and cyber crime.
In the early part of October governments attending the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Assembly in Montreal reached an outline agreement on a basis on which all civil aviation emissions will be regulated in future.
Thirty years ago this coming week American and Caribbean forces landed in Grenada.
All Caribbean nations have well developed contingency plans in the event of a natural disaster.
Two United Nations specialist agencies, the Inter-national Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) and the international Maritime Organisation (IMO) may this year separately agree a basis on which all carriers by sea and air will limit their carbon emissions, reported in the case of aviation to be contributing around two per cent of global carbon emissions, and for maritime transport to be at over three per cent.
For many economists, journalists and commentators, the Doha development round at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) died a while back, but has yet to be laid to rest.
It is quite possible that in less than ten years from now, raw Caribbean sugar will cease to enter the European market.
Caribbean nations have been relatively slow to recognise that long-term structural changes taking place in tourism require a new and strategic vision for a sector that many industry professionals in the region regard as underperforming.
Spend time in Brussels, or in any other European capital that has a close relationship with the Caribbean, and it soon becomes apparent how fast thinking about policy is changing on a broad range of issues that may affect the region’s long term interests.
Has the time come to give greater consideration to the opportunity presented by what might be described as the space in between: the millions of square miles of ocean and sea bed that lie between the islands and countries of the Caribbean?
Despite clear evidence that visitor arrivals into the Caribbean from Britain continue to decline – down by 9.6 per cent in 2011- the UK Treasury has chosen once again to ignore the representations made by Caribbean Governments about the economic damage caused by Air Passenger Duty (APD).
A few days ago, the United States Trade Representative’s office informed the US Congress that it is planning to negotiate a Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement with the European Union.
Venezuela’s late President, Hugo Chávez, was one of those figures about whom almost everyone had an opinion.
Last week, St Lucia’s Prime Minister, Kenny Anthony, issued a warning about Europe’s future relationship with the Caribbean.
There are strong signs that the numbers of visitors from the US and Canada are once again on the increase, and the world’s most advanced developing economies, in-cluding China and Brazil, are returning to previous high levels of growth.
A week or so ago, the Board of the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association (CHTA) passed unanimously a resolution calling on Caribbean heads of government to convene a summit on tourism.
Over the last year, a number of studies have looked at the adverse effect crime is having on Caribbean development.
Venezuelans must prepare for “complex and difficult days” ahead, according the country’s Vice President, Nicholas Maduro.
‘Education, education, education’, was the expression used by Britain’s former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to describe his three main priorities just before he first took office.
A week ago, before Hurricane Sandy rampaged across the Caribbean, up the US east coast and through New York, a wide variety of opinion polls showed a virtual dead heat in the US presidential race; or at least a result that was too close to call.
One of the most sensitive subjects for the travel industry is the issue of security.
All Caribbean governments are faced with a conundrum: how to stimulate growth at a time when they know they have little option but to cut public expenditure, reduce their indebtedness and introduce tough austerity measures.
Caribbean governments, tourist boards and hoteliers are no strangers to the difficulties of dealing with the cruise lines when it comes to issues that touch their loosely regulated but highly profitable industry.
A few days ago the World Bank issued a report containing a dire warning to developing countries.
In a week’s time Caribbean Market Place, the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) premier annual business event will take place in Nassau.
Most years Caribbean governments and their counterparts from beyond the region hold policy level encounters at which they discuss matters of common interest.
Ever since President Castro first announced that Cuba was embarking on a far-reaching process of economic change there have been concerns about the implications this may have for the rest of the region.
The UK Treasury’s failure to reform Britain’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) leaves the Caribbean’s relations with the United Kingdom in a difficult place.
With the present Eurozone on the point of collapse, the world’s developed economies on the brink of a second recession, and a slowing in advanced developing economies such as China and Brazil, the prospects for near term growth in the Caribbean appear bleak.
Since 1964 the Caribbean has received European development assistance. This has been provided, largely unconditionally, on both a regional and national basis to every Caribbean nation, including at times, Cuba.
Sugar no longer gets the coverage it once did. In years past when a development occurred that threatened the industry’s viability, there would have been extensive press and radio coverage, political comment, and a subsequent reaction from Europe and its diplomats.
Every year tourism trade fairs take place in locations from Berlin to Hong Kong.
For the last two weeks a large group of mainly young people have been, quite literally, camping out in the precinct of London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.
On November 29 the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, will present his autumn statement to the UK Parliament.
Some time early next year the association agreement reached in May between Central America and Europe will come into force.
On October 6, Juliane Kokott, an Advocate General of the European Court of Justice handed down an opinion in a case that brings aviation, the environment, taxation and sovereignty face to face.
Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, scepticism about climate change appears to be gaining wider global credence.
Two separate developments in the last week, both involving China, demonstrate the fundamental ways in which international relationships are changing.
A decade has passed since the world came face to face with Islamic terrorism.
Aviation and tourism are vital components of the Caribbean economy. They provide employment, foreign exchange and taxes which in turn support schools, hospitals, national security and much more.
Anyone who has read the recent pronouncement by the usually optimistic Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Pascal Lamy, cannot help but conclude that there is no longer the global political will to deliver an all-embracing deal on trade liberalisation.
Trying to conduct a debate through the media on an issue of technical complexity is not wise.