A week or so ago, six tourism ministers visited London as a part of a group co-ordinated by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO).There they met with ministers, politicians and their industry counterparts.
What future for Caricom? Recent developments in the form of concern about Trini-dad’s commitment to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and the appointment of a new Secretary General suggest that the coming months may well determine its future trajectory.
Is it possible to bridge the gulf in the understanding that exists between the Dominican Republic and the English speaking Caribbean?
– but little forward movement by private sector It is unlikely that you have ever heard of Christofer Fjellner from Finland or Peter Sratsny from Slovakia.
Britain has a new foreign policy. Its coalition government has begun to enunciate a more pragmatic approach that recognises the ways in which the world has changed, political and economic relationships overlap and new centres of power are emerging.
By David Jessop The Doha Round at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is deadlocked.
Tourism employs directly and indirectly one in every nine persons in the Caribbean and is the largest employer after the public sector.
As the region prepares for the thirty-first meeting of heads of government, it is clear that despite sporadic rhetoric to the contrary, pan-Caribbean integration is stagnating and that weak or no economic growth threatens what little unity is left.
In the Gulf of Mexico, oil continues to haemorrhage from a deep sea well nearly a mile beneath the ocean and about forty miles off the US coast.
Just over a year ago I wrote about the enemy within: the criminal Dons and their like who, across the Caribbean, are trying to create states within states.
On May 27 President Obama sent a new US national security strategy to Congress.
Within days of Britain’s new coalition government taking office it announced that it would replace its controversial Air Passenger Duty (APD) with a per plane tax or duty (PPD).
Nothing illustrates better the contradictions between economic globalisation and the relative powerlessness of states than the struggle under way to stave off the collapse of the euro and economic instability.
Caribbean governments will have to balance economic need against the risk When the oil rig the Deepwater Horizon sank in flames on April 20 few could have imagined that three weeks later the well would continue to spew crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the coastal economies of the southern United States and their reputations as holiday destinations.
In recent weeks my friend and colleague, Sir Ronald Sanders, has written more than once about what he and others regard as the failure so far of Caribbean politicians to defend strenuously the economic interests of industries like rum, sugar and bananas in the face of European offers of trade liberalisation to Andean and Central American nations.
Over the last decade or so, starting with rum in 1997, the Caribbean has seen its special trade arrangements with Europe eroded as the EU has sought something close to trade reciprocity with the ACP for either mercantile, philosophical or legal reasons.
Before last December’s climate change conference in Copenhagen, global public opinion was clearly supportive of an internationally agreed initiative to address the man-made aspects of global warming; now it is more divided.
On or around May 6, the United Kingdom will have a general election.
The View From Europe This month, senior Caribbean officials will meet in Jamaica with their European counterparts to consider the nature of the future Cariforum-European Union (EU) relationship.
In Madrid on May 18 the Spanish Government as President of the European Union will host the sixth summit of Heads of Government of the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean.
No one should be in any doubt about the critical importance of Venezuela’s PetroCaribe programme.
Remember the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in Barbados in October 2008? Despite the huge regional controversy that ensued after it was agreed, it is now almost impossible to find anything in the public domain about its present status, despite the fact that some of the deadlines for implementation have already passed.
Is the Doha Round dead? That is a question that few want to ask or answer, not least because of what it implies about changing global relationships.
It is hard to comprehend the scale of the suffering that the people of Haiti have had to endure since January 12.
To almost no one’s surprise the United Nations two-week long Climate Change Conference held in December in Copenhagen ended without any binding agreement being reached on how to regulate global carbon emissions.
The view from Europe In early December the President of the Domi-nican Republic, Leonel Fernandez, was in Europe.
Writing about the threat that soaring levels of crime pose to Caribbean stability, in a week in which most columnists are offering their opinion on rising sea levels may seem perverse.
It is probable that at some time in the next two weeks Europe will announce that a final deal on bananas has been achieved.
David Jessop can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Previous columns can be found at www.caribbean-council.org On November 3, the Czech President became the last of 27 European Heads of State to ratify the Lisbon Treaty; a document intended to make Europe more democratic, transparent and efficient.
The view from Europe As the weeks pass, it is becoming ever more clear that if the region is to find a viable short to medium-term way out of the recession it needs to have a far clearer long-term understanding of tourism’s place in driving and sustaining future Caribbean economic activity.
Some time in the next two to three years the global recession will end.
The View from Europe Is it possible for markets to serve the needs of the people as much as those of companies and shareholders?
The View From Europe For the most part, the sovereign nations of the Caribbean tend to look past their near neighbours in the non-independent Carib-bean.
The View From Europe Nearly two decades ago, a former Caribbean minister with an unconventional background would try to shock those that he met into recognising that agriculture in the region was dying and that it was the services sector that represented the future.
In the 1960s the Caribbean’s diaspora had a distinctive identity. It predominantly comprised migrants who had grown up or been born in the region, understood it well and maintained a close relationship with family and friends at home.
The View From Europe A few days ago I was asked a question by the host of one of Jamaica’s morning talk shows.
The View From Europe By David Jessop (Executive Director of the Caribbean Council for Europe)In Europe and North America, governments and regulatory authorities are still debating how best to manage the behaviour of financial institutions that have become so large that should they fail, their operations would pose a systemic risk to the nations in which they are located.
The View From Europe In a matter of days, a task force of five Caricom leaders will meet in Jamaica to discuss a regional approach to the global economic and financial crisis.
The View From Europe A few days ago Britain’s Finance Bill received royal assent and in so doing passed into law changes to Air Passenger Duty (APD).
The law suit which threatens a nation It must be rare if not unique for a law suit to threaten the viability of a whole nation.
The View from Europe By David Jessop (Executive Director of the Caribbean Council for Europe) How should Caribbean governments seek to support tourism during a global recession?
In the latter part of this year, government leaders from around the world will meet for what the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has described as an “unprecedented” global summit.
The View From EuropeIn a few days time, Caribbean Heads of Government will meet in Georgetown, Guyana.
The Caribbean diaspora in the UK flexes its muscles For years now there has been talk about the manner in which the Caribbean might mobilise its sizeable silent army, the diaspora.
Is growth limitless? From time to time, leaders from the financial services industry are invited by a well known intermediary to brief prime ministers and key ministers from the Caribbean.
What has happened to the Doha Round? David Jessop is the Executive Director of the Caribbean Council for Europe What has happened to the Doha Round at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the multilateral trade negotiation that was meant to encourage development through liberalising trade in goods and services?
Across the Caribbean, from Guyana to Belize, once peaceful and well ordered societies have become hosts to narcotics trafficking, money laundering, extortion, gun crime, kidnapping, robbery with violence, and more recently, those who would support acts of international terrorism.
What will be the impact of normalised US-Cuba relations on the region? What will be the long-term impact of a changed economic relationship between Cuba and the United States on the Caribbean?
The View from Europe It is not easy to obtain accurate and up-to-date statistics on the value of the food that the Caribbean imports, whether to feed its own population or the many visitors who come to the region each year.
A change in approach at the summit Look closely at the official photograph taken at the start of the Fifth Summit of the Americas and it is hard to miss the symbolism.