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The quarterly magazine for OECS decision makers


Issue No. 4

Aug/Oct 2016

One Community Growing Together


Special Feature

An official publication of the OECS Commission


















Comprising 2.94 acres of prime waterfront land with existing buildings and approx, 515ft of waterfrontage - better known as Marlin Quay & L’Avant Mer (See page 13 for further details)

SALE BY PUBLIC TENDER, OFFERS IN WRITING ONLY BY 28TH SEPTEMBER 2016 Tender documents available from exclusive agents Home Services Ltd. PO Box 262, Castries, St Lucia T: 1 (758) 452 0450 E: OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct





BF Aug 2016


22. 35th Anniversary “Connecting People

Integrating Ideas, Moving Forward”

24. Accelerate the Agenda for Regional Integration 26. OECS Day Address by The Chairman of the OECS Authority 28. About the OECS 30. Current Heads of Government of the OECS Member States 32. A Reflection on the Lessons of Brexit for OECS Integration 36. Feature Address by the Incoming Chairman of The OECS Authority 38. Change is Underway: Building a Competition Regime in the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union 39. Congratulatory Message from the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority 42. ECCB Supports Economic and Social Development Within OECS/Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) 44. Message from ECTEL on OECS 35th Anniversary 46. Free Circulation of Goods in the OECS The Next Major Step 48. Geothermal Energy: An Economical and Eco-Friendly Alternative 50. Message from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court 52. Increased Intra-Regional Travel for Deeper Integration 54. Reflections-OECS 35 56. Making the Martinique Connection 58. OECS Tourism – A Unique Experience 60. OECS Launches OECS YES Youth Initiative 62. OECS Y.E.S. OH YES! 64. Strengthening the Evidence Base for the OECS Economic Union’s Integration Agenda: 68. The Story Behind the Winning Slogan

Money Matters


06. ACCA Sets Out Attributes for Business Success

84. CTO Looks to Multi-Destination Tourism

08. IDB Region Facing Savings Crisis


10. IMF Says Some Small Countries Could Suffer

87. Caricom Makes Progress on

12. New World Bank Procurement Framework

87. CARICOM Climate Change Institution

as Banks Cut Ties

Promotes Strengthened National Procurement Systems

14. Dominican Republic Micro-Finance Bank Eyes Other Caribbean Countries

16. Bahamas to be Hub for Trade in Chinese Currency 18. Thought Leadership in Action!

20. Pulling Back The Board’s “Green Curtain” 22. Basic Cents Grow Your Business Economy & Trade 70. BREXIT Creates EU-Britain Nightmare for the Caribbean

72. CAIPA Elects New President and Executive 74. New Unit to Boost Caribbean Creative Industries

75. Caribbean’s Agriculture Sector to Undergo “Rapid Scan

76. Development Banks Seek Greater Economic Empowerment of Women in the Caribbean

77. An OECS Regional Integration Index: 78. Prepare for Impact of Brexit but Don’t Panic, CARICOM Told

Technology 80. Making the Most of Caribbean Spectrum 81. UKCIF Funds to Rehabilitate Road Networks in Antigua Barbuda and Dominica

02. Editor’s Focus

82. Ericsson to Provide World-Class Managed Services for Flow Mobile Networks in Caribbean

04. Messages

83. OAS and Private Sector to Boost Digital Connectivity in the Americas

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Renewable Energy

Wins International Award

88. CDB Approves Funding for a More ClimateResilient Caribbean Transport Sector

89. Caribbean Civil Society Delivers Strong Results for Biodiversity Conservation

90. Richard Branson Launches New Push to Save Caribbean Sharks

Youth In Focus 92. CXC Adds Nine New Generation Subjects 93. Eight Caribbean Youth Receive

Queen’s 2016 Young Leaders Awards

In The Know 94. UWI Open Campus Defining the Concept of a new vision

97. Spanish to be Made Compulsory at UWI 98. CGTI to Establish the Caribbean’s First Directors Institute

100. UNASUR Leads Discussions for South American Passport

101. ECCO Finally Breaks Through the Glass Ceiling

86. World Bank to Withhold FunDS Pending LGBT Law Review

87. UN launches New Sustainable Development Agenda for Next 15 years

Health & Wellness 102. PANCAP - A Best Practice and Regional Coordination Model for the World

103. Events 104. Major Moves 106. Advertisers Index

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Let’s Celebrate The OECS on its 35th Anniversary In this our 4th edition of the OECS Business Focus Magazine we are pleased to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States with our Special Feature dedicated to highlighting the wide and varied efforts and initiatives in their quest of promoting “One Community – Growing Together”. We salute the vision and actions of the Founding Leaders as over the past 35 years the Organisation has achieved much for which we can all be proud. As an Organisation the OECS has grown to be a model regional grouping of Island States which has been lauded internationally for many of its achievements and initiatives some of which have evolved into outstanding success stories.

We salute the Heads of Governments of Member States for their steadfast support over the years as Members of the OECS Authority where they held firm to the vision of the Founding Leaders. In this regard we also wish to welcome our most recent elected leader Hon Allen M Chastanet – Prime Minister of Saint Lucia as he takes his seat as a Member of the OECS Authority. We wish him every success during his tenure. We welcome Dr Timothy Harris as the new Chairman of the OECS Authority as he takes over from Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell. We also wish to acknowledge the recent honour conferred on the first Prime Minister of St Kitts & Nevis Sir Kennedy Simmonds who was named as the country’s first “Living National Hero” Directors General over the years also need to be recognized for their leadership and commitment to purpose as they led and challenged their support staff to share their belief and passion for regional integration and the shaping of the OECS. The recent knighthood conferred on the first Director General of the OECS – Dr Sir Vaughan A. Lewis is reflective of this. We are also pleased to be working with the current Director General Dr Didacus Jules in sharing our vision and belief in making the OECS Business Focus Magazine a reality. The feedback to the issues published to date has been extremely positive. Despite the many challenges there is much to celebrate with the OECS Commission on their 35th Anniversary and we wish them many more productive and successful years ahead as they chart the course for “ONE COMMUNITY – GROWING TOGETHER”. We trust that you will enjoy the content of Issue 4 of the OECS Business Focus Magazine and we look forward to your comments. .

OECS BUSINESSFOCUS OECS Business Focus magazine is published Quarterly by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia, in association with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh Editorial Management Team: Lokesh Singh | Dr. Didacus Jules | Ramon Peachey Graphic Designer: Cecil Sylvester | Carlisle Searles | Heimant Ram Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - Hudson Myers - Joan Wells - Evol De Souza - Ann-Maria Marshall - Shari Dickenson - Cecil Baptist - Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Cecil Sylvester | CAIPA | CDB | CTU | UWI Caribbean Export | Jamaica Observer | Trinidad Guardian Caribbean News Now Contributors: Lokesh Singh | Dr. Didacus Jules| David Lawder Shelton Daniel | Sulal Matai | Dr Chris Bart Samuel Rosenberg | Dr Keith Mitchell | Anushka Singh Dr Timothy Harris | Claude Paul | Judith Ephraim Dr Lorraine Nicholas | Allister Mounsey | Murielle Lesales Nyus Alfred | Dr Gale Archibald | Alex Holder | ECCO Ricardo Marcus James | Michelle Stephens | ACCA Sir Ronald Sanders |Jamaica Observer |Trinidad Express Trinidad Guardian | Demerara Waves | Antigua Observer Caribbean Export Editorial, Advertising, Design & Production: Advertising & Marketing Services P.O. Box 2003, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 453-1149; Fax: (758) 453-1290 email:, OECS Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialized fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright. OECS Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication. ine for OECS

rly magaz

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makers Issue No. 4

Happy Reading

y One Communit Growing Together

On The Cover:

Lokesh Singh Publisher/Managing Editor

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct

Aug/Oct 2016

OECS 35th Anniversary |



S OECial Feature Spec

m inessfo Commission www.o ecsbus n of the OECS

An official publicatio


Antigua Grenada

Barbados Saint Lucia © 2016 Axcel Finance. All rights reserved.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




ACCA Sets Out Attributes for Business Success


n optimum blend of skills, experience and intelligence is now needed by professional accountants, finds an in-depth global research project from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Speaking at the launch of the report, Helen Brand OBE, ACCA’s chief executive said: “The accountant’s role has been revolutionised over the past decade, with finance professionals becoming leaders, trusted expert counsel and key strategic advisers to organisations whether in the public or private sectors. “With this metamorphosis comes a requirement for a whole new set of skills. On top of technical excellence, professional accountants now require creativity, emotional intelligence and the vision to lead.” With input and insight from over 2,000 business and finance professionals around the world, Professional Accountants—The Future is the most in depth analysis of the profession and where it is headed ever conducted said Brand. “We discovered a brave new world of more regulation, greater globalisation, ever increasing risk, and of course, massive technological advancement. The accountancy profession has to be ahead of the curve on all fronts— trained to the highest of professional standards, looking beyond the numbers and with a global mind set.” To define what the 2016 finance professional must look like, ACCA has developed a set of seven Professional Quotients, a mix of technical knowledge,

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



skills and abilities formed with interpersonal behaviours and qualities: •

Technical and ethical competencies (TEQ): The skills and abilities to perform activities consistently to a defined standard. Often based on a professional qualification.

Intelligence (IQ): The ability to acquire and use knowledge: thinking, reasoning and solving problems.

Creativity (CQ): The ability to use existing knowledge in a new situation, to make connections, explore potential outcomes, and generate new ideas.

Digital quotient (DQ): The awareness and application of existing and emerging digital technologies, capabilities, practices, strategies and culture.

Emotional intelligence (EQ): The ability to identify your own emotions and those of others, harness and apply them to tasks, and regulate and manage them.

Vision (VQ): The ability to predict future trends accurately by extrapolating existing trends and facts and filling the gaps by thinking innovatively.

Experience (XQ): The ability and skills to understand customer expectations, meet desired outcomes and create value.

According to Brand, her message to current and aspiring accountants is that a blend of all these attributes makes the

Helen Brand

perfect finance professional, ready for the global business challenges they will face. “These ‘magnificent seven’ strengths show the way ahead. They are the means by which accountants use their technical knowledge, skills and abilities blended with the interpersonal behaviours and qualities to put them to use,” she said. “Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The key is to recognise where you excel and where you need to work to build your competency through the continuous professional development which professional accountants already know so well. ¤

commercial lots

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OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct





Region Facing Savings Crisis

atin America and the Caribbean faces a savings crisis, with fiscal and demographic realities making the outlook worse in the coming years, according to a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The region faces major fiscal challenges in the years ahead and the report argues that more savings is a key element to ensure both economic growth and resilience. The gross national saving rate in Latin America and the Caribbean was just 17.5 per cent of GDP between 1980 and 2014, far below the 33.7 per cent for Emerging Asia and 22.8 per cent for advanced economies. Only sub-Saharan Africa saved less, at 13.8 per cent. The report analyses the reasons behind the region’s chronically low savings by households and governments, and its economic impacts, from behavioural biases among individuals to structural inadequacies in financial systems and fiscal budgets. It also looks at inefficiencies in savings by firms, which invest too little. On the upside, the book provides a roadmap for policymakers and other key actors to reverse the situation to bring savings rates more in line with successful economies. Even small gains in savings could have big impacts. For instance, for every 1 percentage point increase in national saving, domestic investment in the region increased by almost 0.4 percentage points. This means US$20 billion in more money available to finance vital infrastructure projects. “We can’t just shrug off our poor savings rates by saying we are bad at putting money away,” said IDB chief economist José Juan Ruiz. “This study shows governments, businesses and even families have it within their power to ensure we have the

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



IDB Chief Economist José Juan Ruiz resources we need during the bad times and the good times, and to care for an aging population.” The book labelled “Saving for Development: How Latin America and the Caribbean Can Save More and Better” is part of the IDB’s flagship Development In the Americas series. It lays out the big gaps in the savings system in the region. The median banking system has grown to provide around 30 per cent of GDP in loans to the private sector, much lower than the banking systems of the median OECD or Emerging Asia economy, which provide over 80 per cent of GDP in loans to the private sector. Households, especially poor ones, have limited access to financial instruments to save and face high costs when they do. The problem is compounded by low trust in formal banks, widespread financial illiteracy and labour informality. Only 16 per cent of adults report savings through a bank, compared to 40 per cent in Emerging Asia and 50 per cent in advanced economies. Pension systems are another savings constraint. Less than half the population in Latin America and the Caribbean saves for retirement through a contributory pension system, a problem that, unless corrected, will get worse as the population ages. The savings crisis means the region is struggling to find the resources needed to finance new and much-needed airports, ports, roads and other infrastructure that can boost future growth. The region must increase investment by between 2 and 4 percentage points of GDP per year (depending on the country) for decades to loosen this binding constraint to growth, or by between US$100 billion and US$200 billion a year. Fiscal policy has also impacted savings. Governments spend too much on current expenditures such as subsidies, and too little on

capital investments. Recent economic downturns have made this worse as governments have opted to cut investment spending. The book identifies key areas where governments could save more and spend in smarter ways. Social assistance, tax expenditures and energy subsidies suffer from high “leakages,” meaning they end up benefitting the rich more than the poor, to the tune of US$100 billion per year. Inefficiencies in health and education account for another US$50 billion in potential lost savings per year. The magnitude of leakages is so important that they can provide sufficient funds to bring the region’s infrastructure up to par with advanced economies. In addition, governments are struggling to collect taxes, with evasion estimated at 52 per cent of potential tax collection in Latin America.

Soufriere Regional Development Foundation

The book outlines how to increase savings in ways that are sustainable, but stresses six important steps that should be tackled first. • Governments need to address broken pension systems, looking beyond whether systems should be based on individual accounts or pay-as-you-go, but rather by rectifying the underlying deficiencies in each option. • Governments need to focus on infrastructure and capital spending, in part by designing fiscal rules and targets that direct a higher share of total expenditures to public investment, and working to reduce leakages in transfer programmes that end up benefitting those that don’t need it. • Tax policies need to be better targeted, by avoiding double taxation of savings, first when they are generated by the firm and then when distributed to households as dividends, and ensuring taxes on income, corporations and other actors work to increase the tax base and fall in line with international standards.

Thank you for your interest in the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation and our picturesque community of Soufriere, St. Lucia. We are a stellar development organization located in the heart of the most beautiful place on earth; Soufriere, St. Lucia. The Soufriere Foundation is a non-profit company established by the people of Soufriere to promote, encourage, support, facilitate and coordinate local development initiatives in the Soufriere region. P.O. Box 272, Bay Street, Soufriere, St Lucia Tel: (758) 459-7200/7201/5212 • Fax: (758) 459-7999

• Governments (and banks) need to promote household savings by addressing the multiple bottlenecks that distort savings, including tailoring saving products to the demand of potential clients, creating incentives to use the formal financial system, and ensuring governments pay social transfers through bank accounts, and using technological innovations to help save, among other measures. • Research shows that incentives to save are higher when productivity grows faster. One way of promoting productivity growth is by eliminating distortionary taxes and regulations that generate small, informal and unproductive firms. This would ensure that savings are channeled to productive investment opportunities. • Banks need quality information about potential borrowers, and the high cost of enforcing financial contracts needs to be reduced. “The agenda to get countries to save more can seem overwhelming, requiring us to act on many fronts,” said IDB lead economist Eduardo Cavallo, one of the book’s co-ordinators and editors. “It may seem more convenient to rely on foreigners to provide us with their surplus savings. The book shows this is not a viable option anymore. Saving more and better will allow us to stand on our own two feet and provide resources for people to achieve their aspirations.” ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




IMF Says Some Small Countries Could Suffer as Banks Cut Ties


By: David Lawder ajor global banks’ elimination of correspondent banking relationships could threaten growth and financial stability in some small countries, the International Monetary Fund said in a report released at the end of June.

IMF researchers found that smaller states in Africa, the Caribbean, Central Asia and Pacific islands have been among the most affected by global banks’ decisions to withdraw some of these relationships, known as CBRs. Among reasons for the moves, they cited banks’ desire to reduce risks associated with money-laundering or terrorism financing, to comply with international sanctions or reduce regulatory compliance costs that had made such business unattractive. The reductions in CBRs could lead to fewer channels for some countries to receive remittances from overseas workers and for business transactions in dollars or other reserve currencies, and could ultimately hamper lending and economic growth. In Belize, the IMF study showed that only two of the nine domestic and international banks serving the country have managed to maintain full correspondent banking relationships, forcing others to turn to non-bank providers of payment services. It added that even Belize’s Central Bank has been cut off by two global banks. Termination of money transfer services in small Pacific states due to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism finance compliance has hurt foreign remittances, undermined financial inclusion and

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



increased the hand-carrying of cash in the region, the IMF study said. In some countries, such as Samoa, remittances amount to one-fifth of gross domestic product. To address the issue, the IMF researchers said that regulators in major economies should pursue greater outreach to banks to make clear their expectations for anti-money laundering compliance and address legal impediments to continuing CBR arrangements. Regulation in smaller jurisdiction should be strengthened and brought in line with international standards, which would help reduce risks. The IMF said industry initiatives can help mitigate compliance costs associated with CBRs. It said one potential solution would be for global banks to bundle other financial services, such as credit card clearing, letters of credit and wealth management products with CBRs to spread compliance costs over more services. The IMF also has addressed CBR withdrawals in annual policy reviews of major economies that are home to global banks. In a recent U.S. review, the fund suggested that U.S. banks could pool compliance resources or build common transaction platforms or share more information about customers. Caribbean banks and economies are heavily exposed to major negative economic fallout due to this situation and the Governments and Central Banks of the region are in major discussions to find a solution to this problem. ¤

Lighting the Way Driven by integrity and objectivity KPMG professionals have the insight and experience to guide you in the right direction to reach your strategic business goals. Our organizational structure, established regional network and access to international resources allows us to operate seamlessly across the globe. It also allows our outstanding professionals to offer consistent quality, coordinated efforts and efficient services to our local, regional and multinational clients. For more information on how KPMG can help guide you to safe harbour contact any of our regional Partners. Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, and St. Kitts & Nevis Cleveland Seaforth +1 268 462 8868

Saint Lucia and Dominica Frank Myers +1 758 453 1471

Barbados Lisa Taylor +1 246 434 3915

St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Grenada Brian Glasgow +1 784 456 2669

Jamaica Raymond Campbell +1 876 922 6640

Trinidad & Tobago Dushyant Sookram +1 868 623 1081 © 2016 KPMG, an Eastern Caribbean partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved. The KPMG name and logo are registered or OECSBusinessFocus Aug trademarks / Oct | 11 trademarks of KPMG International. Printed in Saint Lucia.


New World Bank Procurement Framework Promotes Strengthened National Procurement Systems Flexible approach will help countries make the best use of public spending


he World Bank’s new Procurement Framework became effective July 1, 2016. Aimed at helping countries make the best use of their public spending, the new Framework will enhance the strategic role of procurement in development effectiveness.

“The new Procurement Framework reflects the views, knowledge, and expertise of a wide range of stakeholders from across the globe. The Bank can now offer a more modern and nimble procurement system to help promote sustainable development,” said Hart Schafer, World Bank Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services. The new Procurement Framework will allow the World Bank to better respond to the needs of client countries, while preserving robust procurement standards throughout Bank-supported projects. It provides an expanded range of procurement tools to enable a better fit for varying country contexts and client needs. “With this modernization of the procurement system, the Bank looks forward to working together with its partner countries to strengthen efficiency in public spending and to strengthen procurement systems around the world. This will help assure that public resources are being well used, and countries can better deliver critical services such as education, health, and infrastructure” says Deborah Wetzel, Senior Director of the Governance Global Practice. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors initially approved this new policy framework in July 2015. It governs procurement in Bank-financed projects in 172 countries worth about USD 56 billion. This new Framework is a result of an extensive review and three-year consultation process involving over 5,000 people in 100 countries including partner countries, CSOs, and private sector. “Reflecting the latest thinking in procurement, including greater use of technology, the new Framework emphasizes greater choice and flexibility, quality, and accountability while enabling greater adaptation to country contexts,” said Robert Hunja, Director, Governance Global Practice. The new Framework enables the Bank to work more closely with country partners in improving their own procurement systems. Furthermore, under this framework, clients can use the procurement arrangements of other multilateral development partners or of national agencies in some circumstances. The new Framework will introduce an ICT based tracking and monitoring tool Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement (STEP) to make procurement processes speedier, while promoting transparency and accountability. The Bank will also step up its approach to resolving procurement related complaints. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct






Rodney Bay is at the heart of the tourist area in St. Lucia with its fine beaches, eleven hotels, two shopping malls, numerous restaurants, etc. It is home to the modern IGY Rodney Bay Marina and an 8 minute drive to the 18 hole championship golf course on nearby Cap Estate.


A chance to own a prime piece of waterfront real estate in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia on the exclusive marina waterfront owned by Rochamel Development Company Limited now in liquidation.

The assets now for sale comprise of 2.94 Acres of prime water-front land located in the heart of Please see our advert on page 1 St. Lucia’s Rodney Bay together with some existing buildings. The site, which has approximately 515 feet of water-frontage, includes two developments, known as Marlin Quay and L’Avant Mer. Marlin Quay, which occupies 2.13 acres, consists of two substantial apartment buildings on the water-front and the foundations of a third building by the roadside. The L’Avant Mer Development which occupies 35,547 Sq. Ft. (0.82 acres) of waterfronting land, includes an incomplete concrete building on four levels with designs for 38 freehold apartments. Some development plans are available. The two developments can be purchased either separately or jointly. Sealed bids are to be submitted to the liquidator on or before September 28th, 2016.

For further information and to arrange a viewing please contact the Liquidators’ office on: +1 (284) 494-6162 or or their agent Home Services in St. Lucia Jonathan Everett on 1 (758) 452-0450 or OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Dominican Republic Micro-Finance Bank Eyes Other Caribbean Countries


Products Coordinator for Banco ADOPEM, Mariano Frontera Martinez. Dominican Republic micro-financing bank that targets small farmers is eyeing the rest of the Caribbean, a senior official of that financial institution stated.

Products Coordinator for Banco ADOPEM, Mariano Frontera Martinez said Caribbean countries are attractive because of the need for small loans. “It’s possible that we will expand to the Caribbean. At least the BBVA Micro-Finance Foundation has plans to expand to all of the American countries,” he said. Martinez could not set a date when Banco ADOPEM would open its doors in any of the Caribbean countries. He was among several delegates attending the Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum held at the University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill Campus, Barbados from November 2 to 6, 2015. Currently, the bank is working with The Netherlands-based Technical Centre for Agricultural Development and Rural Development (CTA) in supporting value-chains for plantain and banana production by small farmers in the Dominican Republic. ADOPEM (originally a non-governmental organisation named the Dominican Association for Women’s Development) is also working with the CTA on a range of technical issues including the integration of processing associations and training clients to make them resilient to droughts, floods and other conditions caused by climate change.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



“You need to give support to them. You don’t win anything if you are not supporting them and training them,” said Martinez. Founded in 1982 as an NGO, ADOPEM also provides specialized training to small farmers in managing cash flows, improving sales and making good investments. Touting the attractiveness of his bank, the Product Coordinator said regular commercial banks do not understand the needs of small farmers. “Big commercial banks will treat them as consumers and require statements of account. ADOPEM prepares the statements during the evaluation,” he said. The bank also deploys representatives to farms across that Spanish-speaking Caribbean country on the island of Hispaniola, processing applications, collecting payments and issuing receipts with high-tech handheld gadgets. “We go to the client. The others expect the clients to go to them. The client doesn’t need to move from his location,” he said. Of their 300,000 clients, ADOPEM has about 20,000 farmers on roll who are currently beneficiaries of small loans. He explained that no collateral is required for very low loans but the interest rates are higher than those for higher loans. ¤

TCCEC: Built Specifically For The OECS Using “Partnered Care”

At The Medical Pavilion Antigua, Michael’s Mount, St. John’s, Antigua Tel: 268-460-6000; Fax: 268-460-6000 Email: Website: The Chairman and Board of Directors, Management and Staff of The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean Extend Warmest Congratulations To The Organization Of Eastern Caribbean States on Its 35th Anniversary!!! WE ARE PRIVILEGED TO SERVE.

Cutting the Ribbon at the Grand Opening of The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean, 6/26/2015: Chairman Dr. Conville Brown, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Former Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Then Sitting Chairman for CARICOM, Prime Minister Perry G. Christie of The Bahamas.

Dignitaries and State Flags: Dr. T. McGowan, Medical Director, Dr. C. Brown, Chairman, PM Gaston Browne, PM Perry Christie, Min. of Health Dr. P. Gomez {Bah), Fmr. PM Baldwin Spencer, Bill Yaeger, EVP of Elekta, Min. of Health M. Joseph, and Amb. B. Percival, Chairman of Mt. St. John’s Med. Ctr.

The Hub and Spoke Partnered Care Model of The Caribbean Cancer Centre Network (TCCCN) and Associated Foundations.

TCCEC's State-Of-The-Art Linear Accelerator OECSBusinessFocus Aug /Capable Oct | of15 IMRT, IGRT, VMAT, SRS & SBRT.


Bahamas to be Hub for Trade in Chinese Currency

A Clerk bundles Chinese Yuan notes at a Bank in Central China.


he Bahamas has been earmarked as a hub to trade the Chinese currency, according to Bahamas Minister of Financial Services Hope Strachan, who announced the initiative as one of several in the pipeline.

“In recent times, the Government of The Bahamas has taken advantage of several opportunities for project financing from the Chinese Government and from Chinese corporations,” said Strachan in her contribution to the recent 2016/17 budget debate. “As a result, the establishment of a hub for trade in Chinese currency is an attractive prospect that the Government of the Bahamas has approved, and my ministry is diligently pursuing this initiative as a viable project.” Strachan said the success of this project would “translate into an entirely new frontier” of financial services and trade business for the country and would be a “monumental achievement” in making The Bahamas the Renminbi Trading Hub for the entire region. “The rationale is that the Bahamas Government, Bahamian businesses, financial institutions, as well as those throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region, would have the ability to engage in less costly and less time-consuming processes related to transactions involving the direct clearing and payment of the Yuan currency in The Bahamas,” the Finance Minister said. OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



“It would eliminate reliance on the US dollar and the transacting of business through the United States. The creation of a platform for the Yuan to trade freely with the Bahamian Dollar will allow for international trade finance and trade and investment to increase significantly.” She added that as foreign businesses set up shop in the country, the potential to increase business activity would be further enhanced. It would also allow for an efficient business framework underpinned by factors ranging from The Bahamas’ position as a respected international financial centre to its strategic geographic location to the North American and Latin American markets; and it would facilitate trading without the hurdle of an additional layer of foreign exchange cost and currency risk and have transactions settled within a favourable time zone. “An increase in international trade finance, trade and investment would create jobs for Bahamians and strengthen the Bahamian economy. Economic slowdown in the United States magnifies the importance of the need to diversify cross-border trading with other markets around the world. Further, new financial institutions would be established in The Bahamas, including the introduction of the first Chinese bank to the country,” Strachan said. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Thought Leadership in Action!


By Sulal Mathai

eaders are under constant watch! In a relentlessly evolving global arena, leaders endeavor to transform their organisations competing for the future.

Recent research on world class organisations and the leadership programs at KPMG portrays that transforming people is a key factor to accelerating growth. Fundamental research built on leadership over the last 10 years describe three key aspects of leadership: Innovative, GLocal and Agile.

1. Innovative Leadership Innovation is the catalyst for growth, it is instilled in every bone of an organization such as product, service, culture and processes. Organisations revamp their face every time embracing change. Today

and 62.5 billion. Or how mobile banking is disrupting traditional branch based banking. Disruption is the new business reality. With smartphones and internet being pervasive, customers have access to better and cheaper alternatives – as a result customer loyalty can no longer be taken for granted. On other hand, we find meeting platforms moved from seminars to webinar and now whatsappinar, a complete integration of professional and personal aspects of life. With data and analytics playing crucial role in the way forward, organisations are able to tailor made services to their customers as well as employees.

2. Glocal

the threat is higher from entirely new business models than from your own competitor gaining market share over you. Look at how Uber has disrupted local transport – 66 countries, 450 cities, OECSBusinessFocus Aug Jun //Aug Oct | | 18 18

In September 2015 edition of HBR, an article written by Andy Molinsky explains that “Companies Don’t Go Global, People Do”. With the geographic shape of business is changing, needs of future business are evolving. People with global knowledge are able to foresee challenges

and lead local action. It’s common that persons from different strata is able to drive innovation due to their technical advancements and questioning mindset. These glocal mindsets will lead future businesses and makes them effective influencers. We already see examples of young generation C Suite at Microsoft, McDonald’s and Google. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “There goes my people, I must follow them for I am their leader.”

Sulal Mathai is a Certified Human Resource Professional (CAHRI) from Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI). He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Sadhana Centre for Management & Leadership Development, India. He leads the People, Performance and Culture function and provide Markets support at KPMG Eastern Caribbean.

3. Agile Agile leaders comes with a combination of skill sets to the organisations. They are the leaders who demonstrate superior performance in all occasions and learn new competencies required to perform. Agility has the following five dimensions: Mental – this dimensions talks about the ability to explore possibilities with any extend of challenges and uncertainty. They go beyond their comfort and reach new arenas. Change – Constant tinkerer (never satisfied), it comes with breaking down the uneasiness effectively by experimentations. The contact thought processing ability will bring novel perspectives and takes up any heat on its way. People – a purpose driven leader who inspires people and relate and support them in any given circumstance, to collectively bring the level of performance high. They are dynamic in their communication and resolves any conflicts. Results – delivers results constantly and build high performing teams with confidence with their presence. Self-awareness – an insightful soul reflects well. The awakening to one’s purpose will make them know themselves and their impact on others. The concept of Agility has been validated as a measure to identify future potential. By developing yourself as an agile leader will activate enduring human and strategic potential for a better world.

Conclusion Leaders with such traits are able to take their inapt personal or professional life to a stage of “ONE life”. Once an individual finds their true calling in their profession or occupation, there is no more question of quitting or giving up. The time has come where organizations take care of the Physical, Spiritual, Social, Emotional and Intellectual needs of employees, by helping them to find their purpose. Hence, having an employee centered culture will continue evolving and benefiting both the organization and its people. Ref: KPMG Global CEO Outlook 2015, Global talent and Succession Management at KPMG ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Jun / Aug



Pulling Back The Board’s

“Green Curtain”


By: Dr Chris Bart s corporate governance issues continue to take a spotlight in the media, defining ‘good governance practices’ and knowing whether firms are achieving them is of considerable interest to many investors/ shareholders, regulators/legislators, academics and other stakeholders. One particular governance issue that is gaining increasing attention concerns the principle of ‘transparency’ – but especially the transparency between the board and the firm’s external stakeholders. While the transparency of management has been increasing over the years with a variety of new public filings, and disclosures (e.g. Management Discussion and Analysis), the same cannot be said about the boards that supervise them. Indeed, there is very little published information available on the topic. And the results publicly available are discouraging. For instance, one recent study reporting on voluntary corporate governance disclosures in annual reports found that the extent of disclosure varied widely. This lack of appropriate board transparency and accountability to shareholders has been

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



called “the missing link” in corporate governance. Until recently, though, there was actually very little incentive or requirement on the part of boards to report directly to shareholders – unlike management - on their own activities or performance. There seemed to be almost a tacit understanding that when firm performance was “good”, the board tucked itself under management’s wing and shared the spotlight with them. Yet, the same could not be said to occur when firm performance was “bad”. In this latter situation, boards would conveniently forget the role they may have had to play in “creating the mess” and typically sought to distance themselves from management – perhaps even firing the CEO and other officers. The directors would then pat themselves on the back for having acted in the shareholders’ best interests. Fortunately, with increased regulatory requirements for board transparency, directors are under greater scrutiny and under greater pressure for disclosure. In

Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA is a recognized global governance authority and Co-Founder of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. The Institute is the first to offer throughout the Caribbean an intensive 3 day governance program leading to the prestigious and internationally recognized Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http://www. or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500

Canada, corporate governance disclosure guidelines are spelled out in its National Policy Instrument 51-201. Nevertheless, much work still remains to be done. A survey on corporate governance practices conducted by Ipsos-Reid revealed that only 38% of the directors interviewed thought their companies had a formal policy regulating the relationship between the shareholders and the board. When asked whether they agreed that the board of directors has adequate communication/ contact with shareholders, only 20% of the interviewees chose “completely agree”, 56% said they were “neutral” and 17% said they “completely disagree”.

Even the Mundane is “Confidential” I have since conducted my own survey of boards and have made a number of interesting, perhaps shocking, observations indicating that there appears to still be much room for improvement. For instance, it seems almost inexplicable as to why there continues to be significant resistance on the part of some firms in disclosing what might be considered routine, ordinary information. For example, with respect to board members biographies, 16% of the firms surveyed refused to supply this information and 26% resisted revealing the ‘other boards’ on which their members sit. One can only speculate as to why this should occur: obstinacy?; embarrassment? However, it shows the degree to which transparency – and its concomitant disclosure requirements – need to be placed higher on the corporate governance reform agenda if there is to be progress made in this area. Greater pressure seems especially warranted for those firms who have resisted explaining why they are not in compliance with regulators’ disclosure guidelines or those who have difficulty reporting even the attendance records of individual board members. Interestingly, it is a sad commentary that it took the creation of a national securities regulation to force the mandatory disclosure of a company’s board attendance record, something that should be considered routine information.

Board Evaluations Given the difficulty that firms have with the “low hanging disclosure fruit” such as board bios and attendance records, it was not surprising to find extraordinary

levels of non-disclosure when it came to such items as the boards’ selfevaluations. Yet, shareholders need to know what their boards are doing once the boardroom door is closed. What do they talk about? Who does what and just how good are the men and women elected to simultaneously represent the shareholders and to also act in the best interests of the corporation? Shareholders know about the firm’s performance through the financial statements and other reporting requirements. But what about the behaviours, practices and processes of those elected to provide “oversight, foresight and insight”? These things are essentially unobservable. And so, without being in the room, it is virtually impossible for shareholders to know what boards are doing or if they are doing their jobs properly. Are they sufficiently prepared? Engaged? Sleeping? Reading emails? Yet, gaining access to the performance information that boards collect (or should be collecting) about themselves (e.g. self/peer evaluations), may be just the ticket that shareholders need to fulfill the promise of transparency (i.e. to gain knowledge about an organization’s corporate governance practices in order to make an informed assessment of Directors’ individual and collective roles and performance). At a minimum, revealing the specific questions that directors asked themselves would give shareholders and others the opportunity to gain reasonable assurance that the evaluation process is reasonably thorough and constructive, as opposed to a perfunctory self-congratulatory exercise.

Bafflegab Reigns Although the companies I studied claimed to follow most – if not all – of the disclosure guidelines promoted by their stock exchanges, their interpretations were often quite different. Indeed, many firms did not quote their regulator’s guidelines precisely when reporting compliance against them. As a result, it was sometimes not clear (or the firms may have been given the benefit of the doubt – or not) as to which disclosure criteria they were adhering. This only serves to highlight how there can be wide discrepancies between disclosure of corporate governance practices and the written dialogue which attempts to either explain the decisions taken or describe the judgment calls made.

It’s Not their Money! It was particularly interesting to observe that none of the firms studied mentioned how much directors were paid for socalled expenses. Yet, shareholders would probably be keen to know how much money directors – either collectively or individually – spend on consulting fees, travel, education and business dinners. The amount of compensation that directors receive – when it is disclosed – does not mean much unless the ‘other expenses’ for which board members are reimbursed accompany it.

In Conclusion Clearly, my findings suggest that board transparency is a fairly major problem that lies with the quality and quantity of information exchanged by the board to shareholders. Ironically, while board members in my survey often professed to be devotees of good governance, my results also showed that most were strictly limiting their disclosure to what was only required by the regulator’s (or media’s evaluation) guidelines. So here’s the big uncomfortable question for Caribbean directors: to what extent are you coming to terms with the new reality that your board must be more transparent with and prepared to meet the increasing disclosure demands of shareholders and other stakeholders in terms of how you do your job? If not, then boards – which have been described as the darkest corner of the governance black box – are going to get an ever increasingly bright spotlight shone upon them. In other words, to coin an old phrase, ‘you can run, but you can’t hide!’ Accordingly, if you think that there is room for improvement in the way your organization approaches its board transparency and disclosure practices, you might want to consider sending your directors to one of the corporate governance training programs currently available in the region – like the extraordinarily unique 3 day Chartered Director Program (“C. Dir.”) currently being offered by The Caribbean Governance Training Institute. After all, it’s not education which is expensive, but rather ignorance. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Grow Your Business


nless you are lucky enough to be in a business that holds a monopoly in your village, town or even country, most businesses face stronger competition as a variety of distribution and sales methods are deployed in modern times. In particular, many retailers are struggling against online shopping and car dealers are consistently fighting against the lower cost of imports from Japan. There are two areas where business owners and managers will need to investigate regularly in order to grow your business income and in difficult times, just to stay in business. You will need to understand the market conditions and location, as well as fully appreciative of your consumer or client. Consistently, your business will be affected by the overall economic conditions of your environment. With changes in new technologies and social trends, business owners consistently research consumer preferences to understand how they have changed so you can update and redesign your products and services to suit them better. There is no doubt that it is difficult to understand your customers sufficiently well, so you are able to predict what they will purchase and when. Customers have become less loyal, than previously, because discounts and coupons are easily available to attract a customer to purchase online or elsewhere. Many items

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



and goods that were purchased faceto-face previously can now be bought online. There is almost no need to enter your bank, travel agent or utility provider because all of your dealings can be implemented through the Internet. The power is in the hands of the consumer. They get to make the choices that affect how your business is run. There are ways in which you can understand what your customer wants and how they make their choices. By standing in your customers shoes, you can see how they look at your business. Do you make it easy for customers to buy from you and offer a range of payment methods to suit the circumstances of the individuals and the financial climate? There is no sense in trying to sell goods that customers no longer require. Not only do you have to learn to live with ever-changing technology, but your customers are consistently being offered goods that are only available elsewhere, perhaps overseas. How can you anticipate what your customer wishes to purchase tomorrow? To grow your business income you have a variety of options. You can increase the number of customers that buy from you as well as increasing the revenue from each sale. You may be able to increase profit margin on the services or goods that you provide. Also, by making your business more efficient you may be able to reduce your own business expenses. Another area which may help your

customer is to consider other services or products that you can offer and that your customers are likely to purchase from you, rather than going elsewhere. Each idea needs careful consideration because any business that chases all of the possibilities that exist, may struggle to be in business next year. All of these options to grow your business have advantages and disadvantages depending upon how you manage them. Keeping up with industry information and regularly talking to your customers will help you understand how your business should make changes to your future planning, providing you with every opportunity to grow your business both short-term and into the long-term. ¤

Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to


iv e rs ar y


OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Accelerate the Agenda for Regional Integration 35th Anniversary Address By: H.E. Dr. Didacus Jules Director General of the OECS,

One Community Growing Together

Fellow Citizens of the OECS, On 18th June 1981, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States was formed with the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre by leaders of the Eastern Caribbean who represented a wide political spectrum. Among the persons signing were Maurice Bishop of Grenada and Eugenia Charles of Dominica who, despite the wide ideological divide between them, were visionary enough to embrace the things that could unite us. Today we celebrate 35 years of that historic initiative. In the wake of this anniversary in 2016, we are also celebrating 15 years since the formation of ECTEL, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, and 5 years since the signing of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. Then in February 2017, we will be celebrating 50 years since the formation of the OECS Supreme Court. The great vision of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre is the creation of a single economic and domestic space. This involves the free movement of people, goods, services and capital across the member states; the harmonization of policies in trade, monetary policy, social welfare, health and a range of areas. In other words, it is about bringing together our collective strengths to overcome our individual weaknesses. Look at what is happening all over the world. In Asia, the Pacific and Africa, advancing economies, who are intense competitors, are creating regional trading blocs and defining new areas of cooperation so that they can be more competitive in the wider global space. This is the name of the new global game: building regional cooperation in order to be more globally competitive. In every phase of our own history we have learned that we are stronger together; that a house divided against itself cannot stand, but we continue to maintain the illusion that each of us can stand alone and succeed.

trade, social development, youth, education, health, legislation and justice, as well as economic development. We are leveraging information and computer technology to work more efficiently and cost effectively. The OECS Commission is embarking on new and innovative ways to communicate with all OECS citizens through a range of new measures. Coming soon is a new interactive website, regular e-news sent directly to different groups of stakeholders, and a Regional Citizens Question & Answer Forum that will focus on burning issues in the OECS, and be telecast throughout all Member States on all media. As we work steadily towards the full functioning of the Economic Union, it will be very important that we communicate our accomplishments in this area so that you know where we are in our collective journey towards driving stronger economic growth and thus delivering a better standard of living for every OECS citizen. But it is not only about telling our story. It is equally about LISTENING to the voices and concerns of the OECS public and interest groups. As a listening organisation, the Commission is eager to hear your views; and to that end, our Communications system will create new avenues to solicit your views and opinions on the things that matter to you and your families.

What are We Doing to Make Us Stronger Together?

A good example of the new approach to regional cooperation is in the area of health. Ever since the emergence of the Ebola threat in 2014, we established the OECS Council of Health Ministers and every Tuesday since, the health policy makers (ministers and/or Chief Medical Officers and key officials) have been video conferencing to share information and take joint action against Chikungunya, Zika, and to achieve compliance with the international health regulations. Key regional and international partners PAHO and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) are standing participants in this process.

The OECS has been engaged in many exciting initiatives aimed at realizing the dream of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. At the level of the OECS Commission, we have been undergoing a process of organizational transformation and renewal that seeks to make the Commission an efficient and effective facilitator of regional integration. We have repositioned ourselves as an enabling mechanism for ever closer collaboration between the key policy makers in Member States in the areas of foreign affairs,

The free movement of people is a reality and citizens of the OECS can travel freely to lime, live and work between the Member States using simply a government issued photo ID and with the ability to use a valid driver’s license from any OECS country to drive in any other. We are however deeply conscious that there is still work to be done to make travel within the OECS cheaper and more hassle free, and we are working to remove some of the remaining barriers to this goal.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Working groups involving Customs, Immigration, security, port and other officials from all Member States have been working together to design new systems for the free circulation of goods and services within the single space. Our ultimate objective is to have goods and services move as freely from Member State to Member State as they now do from a capital city to any village in one country. In the past 35 years, some of the initial successes of the OECS have gained institutional permanence. Fifteen years ago from the combined effort to liberalize telecommunications and break the burden of monopoly, ECTEL was born. Those old enough to remember those days of monopoly can attest to the intensity of the battle that was successfully waged to give consumers of the OECS the right of choice, and to reduce the cost of telephone access. An initial experiment in joint procurement of medicines led to the establishment of the Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS), which has brought major benefits to the health sector since 1986. The PPS now supplies over 800 prescription medicines and a wide range of medical supplies, contraceptives and radiological consumables at prices that average between 20-30 percent less than individual Governments can purchase, with annual savings of about EC$4 Million. The OECS model has now become a global best practice that is being copied by other regions around the world.

The OECS continues to make climate change, environment and disaster management important priority areas for joint and collective action by Member States. We are clear that sudden and unexpected disasters such as Tropical Storm Erika are likely to be the new climate normal and that we need to completely redefine our early warning systems, disaster response mechanisms, and post disaster recovery capability. Associated with this is the need for new building codes and standards, environmental protection rules, stronger insurance arrangements and more secure risk safeguards.

Facing the Future As small vulnerable states we face a world that is unsentimental and brutal in its competitiveness. To survive we must learn to cooperate as intensely as we have competed, and we must make the most of whatever we have that is deemed of value in today’s world. We must find our niche and occupy that niche so securely that it would be difficult to dislodge us from it. While the record of accomplishment of the OECS in these past 35 years has been outstanding, it is important to understand that there is no time to rest on our laurels. What worked for us in these past years can no longer work today nor will it succeed tomorrow. We need to find new approaches that empower us to accelerate the pace of change if we are to get ahead of the global tide.

We are finalizing a Growth & Development Strategy for the OECS, which would provide a common framework for economic growth and national development across the OECS. Within this strategy we are seeking to address several key problems and identify many vital opportunities that can open new globally competitive possibilities for us. For example addressing the problem of the food imports into the OECS totaling about half a billion US dollars is also an opportunity to revitalize agriculture by becoming selfsufficient in food, create agro-businesses and jobs, and change to healthier lifestyles with organic food. In other words, a lifestyle revolution by growing what we eat and eating what we grow.

Our best opportunity to survive and thrive in today’s world is to make a reality of the single space; to unify the chain of islands from the Virgin Islands in the north, to Grenada in the south, inclusive of the French and the Dutch-speaking islands in between. Already the entry of Martinique has opened many new windows of wider cooperation in health, education, community tourism and trade. The new President of the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique, Hon. Alfred Marie-Jeanne, has already proposed a concrete program of accelerated cooperation between Martinique and the other Member States. The creation of this single space in the Eastern Caribbean archipelago is being pursued in a manner that is also consistent with the wider regional integration agenda.

Aligned to the Growth & Development Strategy is a Youth Strategy that we have just initiated. Under the brand OECS YES, Youth Empowered Society, we are seeking to engage and empower our youth to define their own future. Through a variety of means – block raps, focus groups, online meetings and a massive social media campaign – we are inviting the youth of the OECS, who make up 34 percent of the population, to tell us what this strategy should involve. The 7 pillars which form the framework for the Youth Strategy are:

The democratic process is alive and well in the OECS, and we have seen a free exercise of the sovereign will of the people. The outcome of this has been to bring new faces and fresh perspectives to the governance bodies of the OECS. We draw on the historical inspiration of 1981 when OECS leaders shaped singular purpose despite wide and deep differences, and we pray that the simple aspiration of Caribbean people to move, work, play and create sustainable livelihoods freely across these islands will be realized.

• Education & Training – branded as YES I Learn • Entrepreneurship & Employment – branded as YES I Earn • Creativity & Culture – branded as YES I Express • Child/Youth Protection – branded as YES I Matter • Citizenship & Identity – branded as YES I Belong • Health Lifestyles – branded as YES I Move • Environment & Sustainable Development – branded as YES I Inherit We invite you to join us in this journey towards a Youth Empowered Society by linking with our social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Even as we celebrate the accomplishments of the past 35 years, let us commit to achieving more in less time. Let us emphasize the things that unite us rather than punctuate the differences that divide us. Let us resolve in the words of the Black Stalin to: ¤

“… push one common intention Is for a better life in de region For we woman, and we children Dat must be de ambition of de Caribbean man”

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



OECS DAY ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE OECS AUTHORITY The Rt. Hon. Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada


ellow citizens of the Member States of the OECS, I bring you greetings in my capacity as Chairman of the OECS on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary of our organisation. Every year on June 18th we commemorate the historic signing in 1981 of the Treaty Establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, commonly referred to as the Treaty of Basseterre. On that day, the representatives of seven small island states in the Eastern Caribbean took the bold step of linking the destinies of their territories together in a very formal way. This decision was not only far-sighted and far-reaching, but reflected a strategic vision of a unified and strengthened Eastern Caribbean, capable of ensuring sustained improvements in the welfare of every citizen. On this special day, therefore, I ask you to join with me in celebration of the proud legacy we have inherited from those who, by signing the Treaty of Basseterre 35 years ago, launched us on this incredible journey. I ask you to join me in celebration of the phenomenal successes and achievements which we have witnessed over the years, and which are reflected in the longevity of the institutions and arrangements that have become such an integral part of the fabric of our daily lives, and which we have all come to take so much for granted. Among those are:

One Community Growing Together

- the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the single authority that lies beyond the dictates of any single government or country, and that has regulated and managed our entire banking and currency system so successfully since 1983; OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



- the single currency, the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, in existence since 1965, and noted for its strong reputation for stability; having been tied to the United States Dollar at a rate of exchange that has remained fixed for the last 40 years, since 1976; - the single judiciary (the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court), which has been fully functional for the last 47 years, since 1969, and which ensures that the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitutions is guaranteed and upheld without fail; - the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority that has safeguarded the integrity and safety of the airspace and of civil aviation within the OECS for decades; - the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority which has negotiated the liberalisation of our telecommunications sectors and has allowed consumers across the OECS to exercise choice when selecting a service provider; and lastly, - the Joint Pharmaceutical Procurement system which allows us the facility for access to more affordable medications. The expansion of the stature and scope of the OECS within the last few years is also a source of great pride, and provides ample cause for celebration on this 35th anniversary of our organisation. The signing of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre on June 18, 2010, and the operationalisation of the OECS Economic Union in January 2011 ushered in a new phase in the evolution of the OECS, and gave concrete expression to the

aspirations of the people of our region to further deepen and strengthen the process of integration. As a result of these developments, we are well on the way to realizing a single financial and economic space within the OECS – a space characterized by the free movement of the factors essential for the creation of sustained wealth and enhanced well-being; the ability – indeed, the right – to mobilise immovable property for productive purposes; and the free movement of labour, capital (including financial capital), entrepreneurship and ideas. While progress on the creation of the single space is proceeding purposefully, one of the more notable and successful outcomes of the process has been the achievement of freedom of movement of persons and of labour. Since August 1st 2011, OECS nationals have been able to travel freely within the single OECS space to search for employment opportunities, to work without having to obtain work permits, to send their children to school, to seek medical attention, to set up businesses, to stay indefinitely, and to be

treated as nationals wherever they travel within the Economic Union area. Every OECS citizen is therefore in a position to benefit from the creation of the single space that is a manifestation of the OECS Economic Union. Ladies and gentlemen, the success of the OECS is something that cannot be denied. It continues to attract the attention of international institutions and countries of global stature which are all eager to partner with our Organisation in the ongoing effort to enhance the living standards of the people of our region. Indeed, throughout the greater Caribbean, the successes of the OECS have been attracting attention, so that just over a year ago, in February 2015, the Organisation admitted its newest and 10th member, Martinique, into the fold. Concrete steps are currently being taken in response to applications from Guadeloupe and Saint Martin for membership in the Organisation. These developments are reflective of the bold and visionary leadership that has characterized our organisation since its inception, and points to a deep

appreciation of the nature and depth of the changes that are taking place in the world. Fellow citizens, the OECS and its institutions continue to be the means through which much has been achieved by the small and vulnerable island states of the Eastern Caribbean. It has been the means through which our countries have been able, through the pooling of resources and the sharing of risks, to face the ever daunting challenges of the global environment, and to aim for sustainability and success. As we continue on this remarkable journey, may the successes of the last 35 years serve to motivate and to inspire us. I remain confident that ours is a bright and promising future, and it is in this spirit of optimism and pride that I take great pleasure in wishing you a very happy and productive OECS Day. ¤

I wish us all a Happy 35th Anniversary.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



One Community Growing Together

ABOUT THE OECS The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean

of the organisation the Economic Affairs

States (OECS) came into being on June

Secretariat was merged into and became

18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean

a Division of the OECS Secretariat in

countries signed a Treaty agreeing to

St Lucia. The OECS is now a ten member

cooperate with each other and promote

grouping comprising Anguilla , Antigua

unity and solidarity among the Members.

and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands,

The Treaty became known as the Treaty

Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada,

of Basseterre, so named in honour of the

Martinique , Montserrat, St Kitts and

capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it

Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the

was signed.


Following the collapse of the West Indies

The original Member Countries and Signatories to the Treaty of Basseterre are: • Antigua and Barbuda Hon. Lester Bird, Prime Minister

Federation, and prior to the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre, two caretaker bodies were created: the West Indies Associated States Council of Ministers (WISA) in 1966 and the Eastern Caribbean Common Market (ECCM) in 1968.

• • • • • •

Dominica Hon. Eugenia Charles, Prime Minister Grenada Hon. Maurice Bishop – Prime Minister Montserrat Hon. Franklyn Margetson, Minister of Government St Kitts and Nevis Hon. Kennedy Simmons, Prime Minister St Lucia Hon. Winston Cenac, Prime Minister St Vincent and the Grenadines, Hon. Hudson Tannis, Minister of Government

Revised Treaty of Basseterre Establishing the OECS Economic Union The Revised Treaty was signed on June 18th, 2010 in St. Lucia, during the 51 Meeting of the Authority of Heads of Government of OECS Member States.

As the islands gained their independence from Britain it became evident that there was need for a more formal arrangement to assist with their development efforts. So it was that the OECS was established. The WISA Secretariat became the central secretariat of the OECS and the ECCM, the Economic Affairs Secretariat. In mid 1997, as a result of restructuring OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



The Treaty establishes the OECS economic union, making possible the creation of a single financial and economic space within which goods, people and capital move freely, monetary and fiscal policies are harmonized and countries continue to adopt a common approach to trade, health, education and environment, as well as to the development of such critical sectors as agriculture, tourism and energy. Significantly, the Treaty paves the way for the introduction of legislative competence at the regional level, so that Member States of the Organisation act in concert to develop and enact legislation in certain areas specified in the Treaty.

Structure & Organisation The OECS is administered by a Central Secretariat called the Commission located on Morne Fortune, Castries, Saint Lucia. The Secretariat is headed by the Director General who is responsible to the Authority. Over the years several subsidiary and autonomous institutions have been created. The Islands share a single currency, the Eastern Caribbean Dollar ($2.70 ECD = 1 USD). The operation of the currency is overseen by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the monetary authority for the seven OECS governments and the government of Anguilla (The British Virgin Islands uses the US Dollar as their de facto currency). The Islands also share a common Supreme Court: The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, with its two divisions, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court is headed by the Chief Justice. High Court judges are based in each Member State, but the judges of the Court of Appeal are resident in Saint Lucia and travel to each territory to hear appeals from the High Court. Final appeals go to the Privy Council in the UK. Other institutions of the OECS are the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

The OECS Authority The OECS Authority consists of Member States represented by their Heads of Government. This body is the highest policy making Organ of the OECS and is responsible for general direction and control of the performance of the functions of the Organisation. The Authority has the power to make decisions on all matters within its capability, and may make recommendations and give directives as it deems necessary for the achievement of the purposes of the Organisation and for ensuring the smooth functioning of the Organs of the Organisation. The Authority grants final approval for the conclusion of treaties or other international agreements on behalf of the Organisation and for entering into relationships between the Organisation and other international organizations and third countries. The chairmanship of the Authority changes every year, rotating alphabetically by country. The OECS Authority meets twice yearly, and from time to time in Special Session as and when required.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Current Heads of Government of the OECS Member States

Anguilla: Chief Minister Victor Banks

Grenada: Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell

Saint Lucia: Prime Minister Allen M Chastanet

Antigua & Barbuda: Prime Minister Gaston Browne

Martinique: Mr. Alfred Marie-Jeanne, President of the Executive Council

St Vincent & The Grenadines: Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves

Council of Ministers

British Virgin Islands: Chief Minster Dr Orlando Smith

Montserrat: Premier Donaldson Romeo

Dominica: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct

St Kitts-Nevis: Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris |


The Council of Ministers comprises of appointed Ministers of Government from each Member State and is responsible to the OECS Authority. This body takes appropriate action on any matters referred to it by the OECS Authority and also has the power to make recommendations to the Authority. The Council of Ministers has responsibility for considering and reporting on recommendations of the OECS Commission for the making of Acts of the organisation, including considering and enacting into Organisation law regulations and other implementing instruments to give effect to the Acts of the Organisation enacted by the OECS Authority.

OECS Assembly The OECS Assembly comprises Members who are representatives of the Members of the Parliament and of the Members of the Legislatures of the Member States. The OECS Assembly considers and reports to the OECS Authority on any proposal to enact an Act of the Organization, and on any other matter referred to the OECS Assembly by the OECS Authority. The Assembly also reports to the Council of Ministers in the case of any proposal to make Regulations which has been referred to the OECS Assembly.

Economic Affairs Council The Economic Affairs Council shall comprise Member States, acting through such Ministers of Government. The functions of the Council are entrusted to it under the Economic Union Protocol.

OECS Commission The OECS Commission is the principal Organ responsible for the general administration of the Organisation. The OECS Commission comprises of the Director-General, who is responsible for the day to day administration of the Organisation, and will convene and preside at meetings of the OECS Commission. The Commission will also include one Commissioner of Ambassadorial rank named by each Member State. This Commissioner will represent the OECS Commission in the Member State. The OECS Commission’s functions include the provision of Secretariat services to the Organs of the Organisation, including coordinating of meetings of the Organs of the Organisation; and acting on decisions, recommendations or directives approved at such meetings. The OECS Commission will make recommendations to the OECS Authority and the Council of Ministers regarding the formation of Acts and Regulations of the Organisation; and undertake other work and studies, and perform other services relating to the functions of Organisation as required under this Treaty or by the OECS Authority or by any other Organ.

The current OECS Commissioners are: Anguilla: Mr Kenneth Hodge Antigua & Barbuda: Ambassador Colin Murdoch British Virgin Islands: Ms Najan Christopher Dominica: Ambassador Felix Gregoire Grenada: Ambassador Patrick Antoine PhD Martinique: Ms Murielle Lesales Montserrat: Mrs Delacey V Peters St Kitts-Nevis: H.E. Sydney Osborne St Lucia: Mr Cosmos Richardson St Vincent & The Grenadines: H.E. Ellsworth John The functions of the Organisation are set out in the Treaty establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and are coordinated by the Commission under the direction and management of the Director General. The work of the Secretariat is constantly informed by considerations of cost effectiveness in the context of the need to respond to the increasing challenges placed on it, taking into account the limited fiscal capacities of its members. The Secretariat consists of four main Divisions namely: Division of the Office of the Director General, Social and Sustainable Development Division, Corporate Services Division and Economic Affairs Division. These four Divisions oversee the strategic direction of the Organisation, as well as the work of a number of specialized institutions and missions located overseas in the Commonwealth of Dominica, Switzerland, Belgium and Canada. In carrying out its mission, the OECS works along with a number of sub-regional and regional agencies and institutions. These include the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat, and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

St Kitts-Nevis First Prime Minister Named First Living National Hero

Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds was formally conferred with the Honour of the Country’s First Living National Hero by the Governor General Sir Tapley Seaton an official ceremony hosted at Government House in Basseterre, St Kitts on June 28. Founded in 1998, the Order of the National Hero is the highest order of merit awarded by the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Recipients of the Order are bestowed with the honorific “The Right Excellent.” In 1998, Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, the first Premier of Saint Kitts and Nevis, was named the country’s first National Hero. In 2004 the nation’s second Premier C.A. Southwell and politician and trade union leader Sir Joseph Nathaniel France were named to the Order. Simeon Daniel, the first Premier of Nevis was bestowed with the honour in 2013. Other Awards conferred at the ceremony were Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) to Ms. Clarita Richards for services to Education, Music and Public Administration, and Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.) to Mr. Keith Ian Scarborough, for his contribution to cultural development. The Orders of the British Empire were awarded in the 2016 New Year’s Honour List.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct






Dr. Didacus Jules - Director General, OECS

e have all been saturated with news and views on the British vote to exit the European Union in the past week and there is much more to come by way of analysis and revelation as things unfold. Not unexpectedly, the Brexit has created the opportunity for those who are opposed to regional integration efforts all around the world to find comfort. Not unexpectedly in the Caribbean there are also those who seek to mimic the British and are also calling for exit of sorts from regional integration. These calls are nothing new – almost fifty years ago Sir Arthur Lewis, the intellectual author of OECS integration, was very clear about the main impediments to the realization of regional integration: “What has stood in the way of Federation is not the sea… The real stumbling block has been the opposition of small local potentates. The larger and more far seeing capitalists realize the immense advantages that would flow from Federation, and advocate it. But it is the small potentate – planter or merchant [one might add: politician] – fearful that his voice, a big noise in a small community will be unheard in a large federation and has so far succeeded in preventing it.” Whatever position one may hold on the Brexit question, it is now becoming painfully clear that this divorce will be a long, protracted, painful process in which much will be lost. Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group summed it up adequately: “You are talking about the diminishment of the most important alliance of the post war order, the transatlantic relationship which was already before Brexit at its weakest since World War II. You’re talking about not only the removal of the UK from the EU but you’re also talking I think reasonably likely about the eventual disintegration in further part of the UK itself. And you’re talking about a severe diminishment of what the European Union actually means, its footprint globally, its common values, and its ability to continue to integrate.” There is much work to be done to determine the implications and impact of Brexit on the Caribbean’s relations with Europe OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



and with Britain but the situation provides us with a special opportunity to reflect on the lessons of Brexit for regional integration in the Caribbean and in the OECS in particular. Lesson 1 – Connecting the people to the process From all of the analyses of the post referendum public sentiments, it is clear that Brexit was a rejection of an integration

process that the average person in the street did not apparently understand. Google’s announcement that the most searched queries in the aftermath of the referendum were “What does it mean to leave the EU?” and “What is the EU?” is a very disturbing indication of the failure of public education on the matter. A referendum assumes that the electorate is provided with extensive information with the pros and cons thoroughly argued so as to arrive at an intelligent decision. As electoral campaigns tend to go, the battle is often to win the hearts more than the heads of voters and the results of referendums do not always suggest that there has been that deep introspection. The moral of that Brexit story for the OECS is that connecting the people to the process must be a continuous commitment not simply to giving and sharing information but also an obligation to listen to people. Integration processes must connect not only with people’s dreams and aspirations but also listen to and address their fears.

“Integration processes must connect not only with people’s dreams and aspirations but also listen to and address their fears.” The OECS Communications Strategy which is currently being rolled out in phases seeks to put this capacity to share and to listen in place. It involves among other initiatives, the launch of a new interactive website that links social media with a communications platform that enables outreach to the widest universe of stakeholders from the highest to the humblest across the full spectrum of economic and social interests. Lesson 2 – Engaging and Empowering the Youth One of the most glaring contradictions exposed by the Brexit referendum is the near perfect correlation of age with voting position and also with educational level. The Wall Street Journal

reported that 68% of those voting to leave were persons who did not graduate from high school; while 70% of those voting to remain in Europe were college graduates. As the BBC graph shows, the relationship between voting in favour of Brexit and age is strong – young persons voted to remain; older persons voted to leave. The unfortunate reality of this situation is that those who voted to remain will have to live with the consequences of Brexit much, much longer than those who instigated it. The lesson of that reality is the importance of empowering and engaging youth. Regional integration projects are essentially about creating a very different future – by removing the barriers within the geographic space, they alter the mental geography and consequently the range of opportunities available. It also points to the difference in perception that education makes – higher education predisposed most British youth to seeing themselves as European. It can be argued that narrow insular identities are inherently restrictive if they embody a closed mentality. The challenge of that experience to us in the region is whether we are educating our youth to see themselves as global citizens with a Caribbean identity that is rooted in their national consciousness. Accomplishing this is a complex task that requires a fundamental reengineering of our education systems and how this can be done (easily) will require a separate discussion. Suffice it to note that the nexus of age and education points to an emerging global divide – older and less educated citizens have experienced the disadvantage of globalization while the younger more educated citizens recognize the opportunities that it presents. For a regional integration effort to be

meaningful to the people, it needs to connect that divide. With the world becoming increasingly smaller and interconnected through new and emerging technologies, we must work through a new education paradigm to empower youth to recognise that they are indeed the custodians of a better tomorrow. History has demonstrated the power of youth to affect change through the shaping of public debate and policy. Whether it be the Young Women’s Christian Organisation pioneering race relations, labour relations and the empowerment of women across early America, to radical student activism reviving the issue of racial-apartheid in conservative South Africa in the 1980’s, a collective youth voice has always remained omnipotent. The cost of inaction in not educating and empowering youth far outweighs the cost of action. The long term potential human cost from right wing and nativist groups across Europe being emboldened by the Brexit move illustrate this point. While the Caribbean does not share this exact same dynamic, the fact remains that until seventy years ago a fragmented European continent was at war almost continuously for a thousand years. Any moves that result in a discord to the unity enjoyed by Europe over recent years will only help fuel ill-informed nationalistic groups, present in every European nation. These groups by their very nature frequently attract pliable young people andthe disenfranchised seeking a populistcause often manifested in a myopic anti-immigration platform. It is from this platform in which they seek to vent and justify their call for isolationist policies and a homogenous society devoid of those from other cultures, ideals and backgrounds. This could have serious and direct implications for the Caribbean diaspora. Lesson 3 – Respecting the Sovereignty of Member States The issue of the sovereignty of Member States is always a touchy matter because at some point in every integration process – even when it is limited in scope – the process will necessitate a decision on whether or to what extent national priorities will prevail or yield to regional imperatives. And not every proposition may be a win-win. How this is handled invariably revolves around the calibre of political will around the table. It takes leaders of exceptional vision to look beyond the immediate to the strategic and to invest their political capital in the decision. History has recorded such moments. It was demonstrated by Nelson Mandela when he decided to throw the support of his new Government behind the South African Springboks and the sport of Rugby – both endemic symbols of Afrikaner culture. By this singular act of courage he won over many Afrikaans to the rainbow nation. It was demonstrated in the OECS in the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre 35 years ago when leaders such as Maurice Bishop of revolutionary Grenada found common ground with an infinitely more conservative Eugenia Charles of Dominica. Despite deep differences, they were able to commit to a Treaty that has stood the test of time out of which institutions of demonstrable value have emerged. OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



“As more and more people travel to work, lime and reside in different parts of the economic union, their mental geography changes and they begin to belong to all parts..”

In the Brexit scenario, Brussels was portrayed in some quarters as an overarching and overbearing supranational authority that trampled on the traditions and rights of national governments. Regional organizations such as the CARICOM Secretariat and the OECS Commission need to be mindful of such perceptions and to ensure that our way of working engages Member States in manner that is respectful of their differences. At the OECS Commission, the approach is to maintain an ongoing dialogue with national authorities and to shape the agenda jointly with execution being done through engagement of expertise within both Commission and Member States. Lesson 4 – A Facilitating Role for the Commission The fourth lesson is also related to the portrayal of the European Commission as an intrusive and imposing bureaucracy by the forces opposed to integration. The OECS Commission has adopted a more facilitating role in its management of the integration agenda. The Councils of Ministers meet twice a year in face to face mode but have agreed to meet as often as is necessary via video conferencing. Working Groups involving experts from the respective portfolios in Member States meet as often as needed largely via video conferencing to prepare harmonized policy briefs, develop project proposals, and define specific collaboration actions. The OECS Commission in this context plays a facilitating role in convening these meetings but the agenda is constituted by all participants prior to the meeting. By working synergistically with line ministry expertise both process and product are more acceptable to Member States. Lesson 5 – The Four Freedoms are Indivisible The fifth lesson is expressed in the warnings of the European leadership that the four freedoms on which the European Union is built are indivisible: • Freedom of movement of people • Free circulation of goods • Free movement of capital • Free movement of services. This indivisibility makes it difficult for countries to “cherry pick” those elements that they deem more favourable to them OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



while rejecting others. This challenge is also at the heart of the difficulties faced by the CSME and to a lesser extent the OECS Single Space. Big businesses welcome the opportunity for the free circulation of goods and capital because it gives them access to a much bigger demographic. In the case of the OECS, the Anglophone OECS is a demographic of 600,000 and with addition of Martinique that figure moves to 1 million. Free movement of goods and capital within such a market – in the context of the small states that constitute it – is a real boon to doing business. The free movement of people however is a different challenge as the same arguments are raised whether in Brexit or CSME – the coping ability of Member States for a large influx of persons from economically stressed parts of the union to another. Certainly the free movement of services is hampered without the free movement of people and it is the genuinely free movement of people that will ultimately create a regional mind-set. As more and more people travel to work, lime and reside in different parts of the economic union, their mental geography changes and they begin to belong to all parts. What has compounded the European situation has been the unusual wave of migration resulting from wars and instability in adjoining regions. In the case of the Caribbean, it can be argued that the prosperity and global “relevance” of countries such as (Antigua & Barbuda?), Sint Maarten and Cayman Islands is underpinned by their relatively large migrant populations. Conclusion As the drama of Brexit unfolds, it is imperative that we go deeper in our analysis of that experience for two reasons: firstly in order to better re-position ourselves and advance our interests/ relationships and secondly in order to learn the lessons of the European experience to improve our own integration effort. From the OECS perspective, there is an additional political dynamic that must be brought to center stage and that is the consequence of Brexit for the British Overseas Territories. Brexit means that they will be losing their EU citizenship and access to all opportunities that emanate from the EU because of someone else’s decision (the British Electorate). The people of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and Montserrat did not have a say in this decision and, given the extent of what is at stake here, it is incumbent on the OECS to stand in solidarity with these Member States in the assertion of their right to some self-determination on this question. ¤


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Countries Contact Nos. • Anguilla.....................222-8550 / 497-0024 • Antigua.....................484-5114 • Aruba.........................(5999) 433-8343 • Bahamas...................356-1712 • Barbados...................467-8716 • BVI............................852-9902 • Cayman....................815-2219 • Curaçao....................433-8319 • Dominica..................255-7901 • Grenada...................437-4022 • Jamaica....................935-4747 • St. Lucia....................456-2469 • St. Maarten...............542-3511 ext. 227 • St. Vincent................452-5112 • The Republic of Trinidad & Tobago....822-5051 / 822-5055 • Turks and Caicos......941-1616

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis

Dr. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis

One Community Growing Together

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that I salute our most illustrious Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), on the occasion of its 35th Birthday, being celebrated under the theme “Connecting People, Integrating Ideas, Moving Forward�. I do this with pride on behalf of the good Government and friendly people of Saint Kitts & Nevis; for it was right here in our capital, Basseterre, that the original Treaty of Basseterre which formalised the Organisation was signed on Thursday June 18th 1981.

The OECS Economic Union The OECS in its current form, an Economic Union, stands as a beacon on the hill to the process of regional integration. It touches lives through the creation of an effective single space, provides the appropriate mechanisms for policy harmonisation, and facilitates the exchange of ideas on the subjects that fall under its purview. Beyond that, it also provides an effective launching pad for us to consider strategies to strengthen existing areas of cooperation and examine new ones.

We recall with a sense of great satisfaction that one of the key signatories then, was our own Hon. Dr. Kennedy Alphonse Simmonds, the first Prime Minister of Saint Kitts & Nevis. Also signing were the Deputy Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Hon. Lester Bird; the Prime Minister of Dominica, the late Dame Eugenia Charles; the Prime Minister of Grenada, the late Maurice Bishop; Franklyn Margetson, then Education Minister of Montserrat; Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the late Winston Cenac; and Minister of Foreign Affairs of St Vincent & the Grenadines, the late Hudson Tannis. Nearly 30 years later, on Friday June 18th 2010, the Revised Treaty of Basseterre was signed, establishing the Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union. The Government and people of Saint Kitts & Nevis remain unswerving in their commitment to the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the OECS.

The OECS Economic Union provides the platform for the integration of ideas regarding the contour and direction of our regional integration process. The scope of discussion on the integration of ideas within the OECS should be expansive and inclusive, spanning all three dimensions of the Sustainable Development Agenda as discussed at the level of the United Nations. In short, the discussions must strike a balance in the achievement and treatment of economic development, social cohesion and environmental protection, with a view to ensuring a stronger economic space. In keeping with our theme, therefore, we the people of Saint Kitts & Nevis proudly acknowledge and recognise the roles, responsibilities and invaluable achievements of the key institutions within our Organisation namely: the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA); the Eastern Caribbean

Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL); the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), and; the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Our harmonized and coordinated responses to matters of aviation, telecommunications, the judiciary and common currency have borne dividends, including efficiency and effectiveness in the handling of these matters than would be derived by individual country efforts. Working together, we have created one of the world’s most stable currencies. Equally, through our Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS), we have secured the safest and most affordable prescription medicines for our people. Regionalism has been people-centered and our people in the OECS are better for it. Ladies and gentlemen, as we mark this most auspicious occasion, the hard work, dedication and commitment of the personnel within the 17 units of the OECS Commission (formerly known as the OECS Secretariat) come immediately to mind, as they continue functioning to ensure that our Governments and peoples partner in and extract joint benefit from such critical development focus areas as pharmaceuticals, tourism, trade, agriculture, competitiveness and regional integration. Our young people across the region, I am sure, will be happy to learn of the recently launched OECS Youth Development Strategy under the theme ‘OECS Youth Empowered Society’ with the acronym YES. I hasten, therefore, to challenge our young people here in Saint Kitts & Nevis and throughout the region to find out more about this Strategy. Now, as we look within each of our Member States, we cannot overemphasize the work of our Commissioners, and here I pay tribute to our own Ambassador and Commissioner Sidney Osborne. These Commissioners work together to ensure that our Governments and peoples are properly advised on and kept fully abreast of the work of the OECS Commission as it guides functional cooperation among Member States. Equally do I commend His Excellency Dr. Didacus Jules on his fine leadership of the OECS Commission, and all those before him who labored in the vineyard of OECS integration and union.

Clearly, Saint Kitts & Nevis is inspired and indeed stimulated by its continued contribution to the work of the OECS. In that regard, I am particularly pleased to point to our recent hosting, from May 10th to the 12th 2016, of the Regional Geothermal Forum with the theme ‘Opportunities and Synergies for Collaboration’. That Forum is significant, coming as it did during a period of heightened interest and ever-increasing activity with respect to geothermal energy development, not only in the OECS, but throughout CARICOM. Connecting Through Free Movement of Goods and Services The free movement of goods and services regimes also play an important role in connecting the people of the OECS. Trading relationships and networks are built on the premise that both exporter and importer would benefit from their respective business transactions, generating economic activity through the creation of employment, and linkages with other economic and social sectors. It would be remiss of me if I fail to stress the need for our integration movement to consider the establishment of an institutional framework to provide exporters with the ability to extend favourable credit terms with persons and entities with whom they trade. Indeed, there are cases where our manufacturers are competitive in price and quality, but fail in their ability to offer credit. This is one area of deficiency which needs to be corrected if we are to achieve full potential in the free movement of goods regime. I am indeed gratified to learn that trade policy harmonisation remains one of the priority areas of the work of the OECS Commission. In my role as incoming Chairman of the OECS Authority, I pledge to provide the impetus to ensure that the region achieves its fullest potential in the field of trade in goods and services. As we look ahead, let us from this day on, Governments and peoples of the OECS, commit ourselves to working jointly towards strengthening our space

individually and collectively within the Economic Union, through the facilitation of the free circulation of goods, people and services. Let us continue exploring possibilities in renewable energy. Let us continue to find creative ways of enhancing the development, promotion and sustainability of our micro-, small and medium-sized businesses. Most importantly, let us engage and involve our youth every step of the way. Let us work with them to find gainful employment, explore business opportunities in arts and culture – in particular music, drama, cinematography – thereby ensuring their participation in economic life rather than at the periphery. I would respectfully submit that our OECS Economic Union in many ways can be regarded as a stepping stone to the further deepening and strengthening of the CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME). Our vast experience, particularly in the field of fiscal and monetary policy harmonisation, is one area which can be highlighted in this regard. Moving Forward At this juncture, I would wish to discuss the last element of our main theme for OECS@35 – that of “Moving Forward”. In moving forward, it is essential that we ask ourselves the following questions: 1. What are our strategic goals regarding the effective functioning of the OECS Economic Union? 2. Should we initiate discussions on the advancement of a Political Union in the OECS? As incoming Chairman of this distinguished OECS Authority, I pledge my support and that of my Government to ensure the advancement of the work of the OECS Economic Union. May we have a successful 35th Anniversary, followed by an era of expanded economic growth, robust social cohesion, underpinned by a regime that has firm principles with respect for the environment. ¤

On behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, I say HAPPY 35th ANNIVERSARY TO THE OECS! OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Change is Underway: Building a Competition Regime in the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union By: Nicole Garraway - OECS Commission Competition defines the act or process of rivalry whereby sellers pursue the same goals, in an effort to attract sales, gain market share, and garner profits by offering the best practicable combination of price, quality, and service delivery. Competition is therefore regarded as an integral piece of the economic growth puzzle, as it facilitates the efficient operation of markets, fosters innovation, generates fairness, creates wealth and induces productivity and growth. However, small island developing nations, like those of the OECS, are often deemed highly susceptible to anti-competitive practices, which can be attributed to several factors. The asymmetry of information can be attributed principally to the segmentation of markets, formation of cartels and creation of local monopolies, thus reducing efficiency. In addition, an absence of enterprise culture further contributes to the proliferation of monopolies and creation of inefficiencies, thus retarding growth – particularly of Micro-, Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

Nicole Garraway

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



While anti-competitive conduct by firms represents the end product of little to no competition culture, the cause often lies in ill-suited policies, and weak legislative and regulatory arrangements. Accordingly, it is clear that the two main pillars of any competition regime are policy and law. Competition policy addresses the regulation of economic activities by governments, while competition law speaks to issues of controlling cartelization, preventing anti-competitive mergers, and proscribing the abuse of dominance, inter alia. At a CARICOM level, Member States take their policy directions from Chapter 8 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. This chapter sets out the overarching principles and objectives of competition policy, namely, the “promotion and maintenance of competition, and the enhancement of efficiency in production, trade and commerce; the prohibition of anti-competitive conduct that prevents, distorts or restricts competition, or constitutes the abuse of a dominant position in the market.�

The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC), as established by Article 171 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, is empowered to undertake its roles and functions pursuant to Articles 173 and 174 of the Revised Treaty. Succinctly put, the CCC applies the rules of competition in respect of anti-competitive crossborder business conduct; promotes and protects competition in the Community; coordinates the implementation of the Community competition policy; and performs any other function conferred on it by any competent body of the Community. OECS Protocol Member States, as CARICOM Member States, are also guided by Chapter 8 provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. However, given that OECS Protocol Member States are also wedded to the Revised Treaty of Basseterre and its Protocol, the general principles and objectives of the Economic Union must also be taken into consideration in developing a competition regime that reflects and responds to the realities of OECS economies. This is particularly so, given that the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union is regarded as one single economic and domestic space. Some work has already commenced in

mapping out a competition regime for the OECS. Change is underway. The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), which was established in 2000, essentially serves as a multistate telecommunications regulator responsible for regulating the telecommunications sector in five OECS Member States. One of their most recent initiatives has been a review and revision of the Telecommunications Act, resulting in the development of the Electronic Communications Bill. This new instrument is wider in scope and coverage when compared with the Telecommunications Act. It covers electronic communications, creates a liberalized and non-discriminatory electronic communications sector and enables a robust competitive environment featuring fairness, transparency and accountability. It is anticipated that through this new legislative instrument there will be increased efficiency in production, distribution and enhanced innovation, given that it directly tackles issues of anti-competitive conduct and promotes competition within the sector.

The OECS Commission is also working with OECS Protocol Member States, the CARICOM Secretariat and the CARICOM Competition Commission to address competition issues across all sectors. Thus far, a draft Competition Bill has been developed, with ongoing revisions to strengthen its scope, coverage and applicability. The Commission is also leading efforts to establish an institutional framework for the implementation of competition policy in the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union. To this end, several initiatives have been executed to strengthen human resource capabilities across the region in the area of competition. Additional activities will be rolled out within the next three to 12 months. Keep informed and remain abreast of developments in the competition policy and law regime in your Member State. Look out for Part 2 – “Advocacy to Action: Strengthening Competition Policy and Law Regimes in the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union”. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Congratulatory Message from the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority


he Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) congratulates the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on the occasion of its 35th anniversary under the theme “Connecting People, Integrating Ideas, Moving Forward”. ECCAA IN THE OECS REGION As signatories to the Chicago Convention which established the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the OECS Member States are obligated to meet the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) enshrined in ICAO’s nineteen (19) annexes. They agree on certain principles and arrangements in order that international civil aviation may be developed in a safe and orderly manner. They must collaborate to the highest degree to achieve standardisation and harmonisation in regulations, rules, standards, procedures and practices. Thus, it was necessary to establish and implement a system that enables them to satisfactorily discharge their obligations and responsibilities. Hence, in order to be compliant, ECCAA was established. As one of the institutions of the organization (under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre Establishing the OECS Economic Union (2010, Article 6, Section 6.1 (c), ECCAA provides civil aviation safety and security oversight through a system of inspecting, investigating, monitoring and licensing – as well as regulating civil aviation activities in all Member States, consistent with ICAO SARPS.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



ECCAA RESPONSIBILITIES The services that ECCAA provides include, but are not limited to: • Technical support in the area of CNS and civil aviation; • Ensure compliance in civil aviation safety and security through audits, inspections, surveys and tests; • Issuance of safety and security advisory circulars; • Flight inspections, and verification of navigation and surveillance equipment; • Engineering and maintenance services to States, with respect to procurement and maintenance of CNS; • Ensuring that civil aviation legislation are in effect and adhered to; • Relationship with ICAO and other international civil aviation authorities and agencies; • Accident and incident investigations; • Sourcing and facilitation of aviation-related training ; • Provision of civil aviation technical advice to OECS Member States; • Personnel licensing: pilots, aeronautical engineers, air traffic controllers and others; • Certification of aircraft, air operators and ancillary services; • Certification of aerodromes (airports) and ancillary services; ECCAA operates out of its headquarters in Antigua and Barbuda. It regulates civil aviation matters for and within all OECS Member States. In addition, it provides Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) services to the British Overseas Territories of Montserrat, Anguilla and British Virgin Islands. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




ECCB Supports Economic and Social Development Within OECS/Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU)

In addition to fulfilling its mandate of facilitating balanced growth and development of Member States, the Bank has initiated and implemented an extensive agenda which includes numerous programmes in areas of community outreach and public education, geared toward OECS/ECCU OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



residents from primary school age to senior citizens. Community Outreach The main goal of the Bank’s community outreach programme is to foster development within the sub-region through capacity building, collaboration and information sharing. Some of the initiatives include the OECS/ECCB Under-23 Netball Tournament; the OECS Essay Competition; the Best Corporate Citizen Award among ECCU commercial banks, the ECCB Primary School Mentorship Programme, and; the Sir Arthur Lewis Memorial Lecture. Each year since 1991, the ECCB has sponsored the OECS/ECCB Under-23 Netball Tournament. ECCB so supports the event to recognize the importance of sports in developing healthy minds, and the opportunity it provides to foster regional integration by enabling young women from Member Countries to interact with one another. In addition to the athletic aspect of the tournament,

The primary purpose of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is to maintain the stability of the EC dollar and the integrity of the banking system, in order to facilitate the balanced growth and development of its Member States, namely: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. This objective is evident in the Bank’s commitment and ability to provide a clean currency to allow for day to day business transactions within the OECS/ECCU, and to keep the EC Dollar pegged to the US dollar at a rate of US$1.00 to EC$2.70 since 1976. This strong dedication has helped to foster confidence in the EC Dollar over the years.

the netballers have the opportunity to participate in a Professional Development Session designed to enhance their interpersonal and professional skills, and to engender their personal development. In 1996, the ECCB initiated the OECS Essay Competition to elicit the perspectives and perceptions of students on current economic, financial and social issues. Their entries are judged on how well they are able to present their arguments on thought-provoking topics, which are based on situations and challenges occurring within the OECS. The initiative is also aimed at enlightening the region’s youth on current affairs and help prepare them to be active community leaders. Since its inception, the ECCB has granted over $270,000 in cash prizes to the winners and their respective schools. As part of its commitment to the well-being of residents in its member territories, the ECCB in 1997 began presenting the Best Corporate Citizen Award Among Commercial Banks which operate within the ECCU. The award recognises banks that have made outstanding contributions to the overall

development and welfare of the people they serve, through everyday business practices. Good Corporate Citizen Awards are presented to the banks that are adjudged to have carried out their corporate social responsibilities to the highest level in the following areas: • Cultural Development • Environmental Awareness • Educational Development • Customer Service • Financial Education and Empowerment • Community Outreach and Social Services • Sports The bank which demonstrates that it has made the most significant contribution to the development of the ECCU by implementing, participating in, and promoting initiatives and on-going programmes designed to improve the quality of life of the people it serves, receives the Best Corporate Citizen Award. The ECCB Primary School Mentorship Programme is executed in one primary school in each of the eight ECCB member

Mr Timothy Antoine Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). countries, and is facilitated by ECCB

representatives and guest facilitators from various government and other institutions. Over 800 participating students are engaged weekly in lessons covering a number of economic and financial topics including the role and functions of the ECCB, the economy, Caribbean trade and culture, and international relations. In 2014 the ECCB launched the Regional Transition Session for Grade 6 students of the Mentorship Programme. The session, held via video-conference, affords Grade 6 students the opportunity to interact with each other and gain information to help prepare them for the next stage of their education. The Sir Arthur Lewis Memorial Lecture was initiated in 1994 to commemorate Saint Lucian-born Sir William Arthur Lewis, the 1979 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences. Over the years, the lecture has been delivered by several reputable scholars, including Dr. Peter Blair Henry, Dean of New York University’s Leonard N Stern School of Business; Dr. Neville Duncan, Professor Emeritus, University of the West Indies; and Sir George Alleyne, who served as United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region. In addition to the Lecture, each year the ECCB presents the Sir Arthur Lewis Book Award to a community college in one of its member states. The institution receives a collection of publications valued at US$1,000.00 for its library. As part of its holistic approach to actively promote economic development within the Currency Union, the ECCB convenes meetings with networking and consultative groups throughout the year. One of the major conferences hosted by the Bank is the Annual Commercial Banks Conference, held every November. The Conference provides a forum for representatives of the 34 commercial banks operating within the OECS/ECCB Member States to share ideas and discuss solutions to challenges affecting the ECCU banking sector.

Public Education The ECCB Public Education Programme is an avenue for the Bank to build and nurture strong networks with private and public sector institutions and individuals across the OECS/ECCU. The initiatives included in this programme are ongoing throughout the year and involve all eight of the ECCB Member States. On 27 July 2002, the Monetary Council agreed to the declaration of October as Financial Literacy Month in the ECCU. The Financial Information Month (FIM) initiative, which has thus been observed since October 2002, is the Bank’s flagship programme executed in collaboration with over 140 partners throughout the Currency Union. The majority of activities under the FIM umbrella are carried out in October of each year, and include programmes targeted at government entities, financial institutions, the media, schools, churches and other community groups. The Annual Business Symposium; the LEAD Conference for Secondary Schools; the Think Tank and Hackathon for Entrepreneurs; and Train the Trainers Workshops for Teachers and Financial Institutions are some of the initiatives on the FIM calendar of events. The ECCB also demonstrates its commitment to financial empowerment of the OECS citizenry through its Savings & Investment and Entrepreneurship courses, which were launched in 2003 and 2010 respectively. To date there have been 2,786 graduates throughout the OECS/ ECCU emerging from 84 cohorts of the ECCB Saving & Investment Course, while the ECCB Entrepreneurship Course has produced 303 graduates from 14 cohorts since its inception. In addition to these courses, the Bank also coordinates a Small Business Workshop designed to assist with enhancing the skills of business operators in the Currency Union. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Message from ECTEL on OECS 35th Anniversary


he Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) extends heartiest congratulations to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) as it marks 35 years of service to people of the region. This journey has been best illustrated by the deepening of functional cooperation and harmonisation of policies in many areas including finance and economic development, civil aviation regulation, telecommunications regulation, justice, education and pharmaceutical procurement. The success of the OECS as a mechanism for policy coordination has led to the establishment and functioning of regional institutions, all of which have brought benefits to the region’s people. Among the shining lights of this integration movement are the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC), the Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (OECS-PPS). The role of the OECS Commission as the parent body serves, on the one hand, as a fulcrum in the circulation of ideas among these institutions; and, on the other, the articulation of policy recommendations to OECS Heads of Government (the Authority).

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



ECTEL represents the manifestation of functional cooperation and policy coordination in the areas of telecommunications regulation, and information & communications technology (ICT). The management of the critical resource of the electromagnetic spectrum by ECTEL on behalf of five sovereign states of the region represents just one of the bold and courageous actions for which the OECS has become known. This liberalisation process, the foundations of which were established with the signing of the ECTEL Treaty in May 2000, has led to significant expansion of investment and sector revenues, and the dramatic reduction in the prices of telecommunications services to consumers in the OECS region. The revenues from the telecommunications sector were EC$760 million in 2015, up from EC$676 million in 2005; while sector investment has been growing steadily per annum during the same period, peaking at EC$118 million in 2014. Currently, the mobile penetration is well over 100 per cent. These indicators only tell part of the story. The success of liberalisation is borne out in testimonies of the thousands of citizens who enjoy new electronic communications products and low prices, and a region which has become more interconnected than 15 years ago.

Mr. Embert Charles Managing Director ECTEL

As the OECS Commission is poised to consolidate gains in the areas of functional cooperation and establish the economic union as its raison d’etre for the next decades, ECTEL is poised to renew its commitment to further gains for consumers and to additional investment in the sector through extensive changes to the legislation which was established over 15 years ago. Together with the OECS Commission, ECTEL will ensure that new policies and new laws provide a better environment for competition and growth, and also for consumer protection. Like ECTEL’s journey, which commenced with the historic signing of the ECTEL Treaty, the mission of OECS which is now enshrined in the revised Treaty of Basseterre (2010), is unquestionably about securing and sustaining a development path for coming generations of the region’s citizens. As part of the family of institutions, we wish the OECS Commission all the success in the years ahead, as it continues to deepen the integration process and pursue a common economic purpose. Moreover, we look forward to continuing our collaborative work, as we continue to work towards advancing the cause of integration and development. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct





By: Claude Paul - OECS Commission

he Free Circulation of Goods is the next major step to be taken by the OECS in fulfillment of its commitment towards establishing the Economic Union as enshrined in the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. Free Circulation of Goods is likely to have a positive impact on intra-regional trade with the removal of all discriminatory border taxes and nontariff barriers on goods moving directly between OECS Member States. Two categories of goods will be impacted: 1. Goods from outside the OECS region, provided that they first meet the normal border formalities upon entering the Economic Union, and; 2. Goods which are produced in the OECS Accordingly, these goods will not be subjected to any further checks by Customs and Border regulatory agencies when traded within the region, except where a significant risk is identified. The regime on Free Circulation will operate within the context of a Customs Union characterized by the following features: 1. A Common Customs Tariff in respect of goods traded with third countries; 2. Harmonized Border Taxes, and; 3. Uniform Laws, Policies and Operating Procedures across Member States. These features are necessary as part of the single space, and to minimise the possibility of trade diversion, while at the same time providing opportunities for expansion of intra-OECS trade for businesses, and a wider choice for consumers. The Customs Union and Free Circulation therefore go handin-hand, and create the concept of a Dual Border for managing internal and external trade. Firstly, the external border forms the outer ring of the OECS, and each Protocol Member State becomes a point of entry into OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



the Economic Union. To be effective, this external border must operate in a uniform manner across the various Member States, particularly with increased collaboration between Customs and other border control agencies at both national and regional levels. All normal border formalities must be observed at the external border and geared toward ensuring that the interests of Member States are safeguarded in terms of revenue protection and collection, health, food safety, sanitary and phyto-sanitary matters, observance of quality standards, national and regional security concerns. Having satisfied these formalities, goods from third countries can then be allowed to circulate freely among the OECS Protocol Member States. Although goods may be deemed to be in free circulation, the conveyances (aircraft and vessels) carrying those goods must still comply with provisions of the law in terms of arrival and departure procedures at approved ports. The Port Authorities will maintain custodial responsibility for securing all cargo which go through those ports, and ensure that imported goods are delivered to the legitimate importer or owner. The Internal Border is conceptually in place to deal with goods being traded between the Protocol Member States. Customs and other border control agencies are not expected to intervene, except in situations where it is absolutely necessary to mitigate risk. Border management on the whole requires a collaborative and coordinated approach among the regulatory agencies to ensure effective control over goods and persons. This in turn calls for an integrated approach to risk management at both national and regional levels. This level of collaboration can best be facilitated by real time exchange of information through the use of information and communication technology. Fortunately in the OECS there has been significant progress made through the deployment of ASYCUDA World within all Customs administrations, and this can potentially be developed further to integrate other border control agencies – at least for the short

to medium term. Ideally, for the longer term, a common ICT platform will be required to fully integrate all the operational aspects of managing a Customs Union and Single Domestic Space within the OECS Economic Union. As noted above, the Customs Union will be underpinned by uniform laws and procedures to deal with Customs matters, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, compliance with technical standards, and other trade related matters. Every Protocol Member State must apply these laws and procedures simultaneously and harmoniously to move goods securely and safely, and to protect the collective interest of the OECS region. In particular, duties and taxes on goods must also be applied in an identical manner across all the Member States. This is necessary to minimise the possibility of trade diversion based on lower rates of duty, or procedural lapses in some Member States. The collection of revenue at the external border therefore assumes even greater importance, given the “prohibition of import duties” on goods in free circulation. Import duties are defined in the RTB as “tax or surtax of Customs and other charges of equivalent effect …except duties notified under Article 7”. This in effect means that all duties and charges levied on goods by Customs cannot be applied except for nondiscriminatory duties such as VAT or Excise Tax referred to in Article 7 of the Protocol. A workable system will be designed to ensure, the collection of VAT or Excise Tax notwithstanding, that goods may be in free circulation. The applicable Customs duties will therefore be levied on goods upon entry into the Economic Union from any country outside the OECS. To avoid the need for revenue sharing in the initial stages, a proposal has been made to adopt what has been termed the “Consignment Principle”. It essentially means that duties and taxes will be collected only in the country of consignment, regardless of whether those goods first arrived at another Member State of the Union. It must be noted, however, that revenue generated from current levels of intra-OECS trade accounts for approximately 2-percent of total annual revenue. A significant proportion of that intra-OECS trade is in originating products which do not attract import duties as a result of their CARICOM Origin Status. It means therefore that goods from third countries do not represent a significant proportion of the trade between OECS States.

Intra-OECS trade is also restricted by several factors, including the absence of reliable and affordable transportation, low volumes of products and commodities, and the current non-tariff barriers in place. The removal of the trade barriers (including duties, where applicable) provides an incentive for traders, which might result in higher production levels and encourage investment in the transportation sector. There is some complimentary work being done in the region to organize and activate the transportation sector and improve efficiency of ports through the introduction of trade facilitation measures. The Free Circulation of Goods is a means of promoting and facilitating trade in the OECS. Beyond that, there is active consideration of a number of specific trade facilitation measures within each OECS Member State as part of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. In some cases those measures are being considered for a regional approach to implementation, as part of the effort to enhance trade competitiveness in the region. There are challenges to implementing the free circulation and trade facilitation measures, which are by no means insurmountable, as they can be achieved through dedication and support at all levels within the OECS. The support of the political directorate across the region has been expressed in no uncertain terms, and the business community is already demonstrating a keenness to explore the wider economic space. The citizens by and large need to be furnished with more information and the various officials need to be trained to help them understand and implement the new approaches to work occasioned by this bold initiative. The previous successes of the OECS in areas of functional cooperation are already heralded in many other places and may serve as inspiration for what is possible. Suffice to say that the implementation of the Customs Union and the Free Circulation of Goods are achievable milestones within the foreseeable future, if the drive and determination of the willing is supported by ACTION from the right quarters. The future of these islands is inextricably linked to a deeper level of integration, and failure to pursue this noble objective sooner rather than later will place future generations at risk. THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Geothermal Energy:

An Economical and Eco-Friendly Alternative


By: Judith Ephraim - OECS Commission

he global community is currently focused on finding sustainable energy sources and developing the right technologies to harness this energy in an efficient and affordable manner that will meet the growing needs of our planet. The drive for renewable energy and energy efficiency has remained strong despite the recent fall in oil prices, demonstrating clearly that sustainable energy is now part of the new green revolution that will fuel our future.

pursuing geothermal projects, namely: Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. At a recent regional geothermal forum held May 2016 in Saints Kitts & Nevis, governments, private sector entities and development partners involved in geothermal development outlined their plans and progress in this area, and called for closer collaboration to ensure the success of geothermal energy in the region.

For the small developing islands of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) finding the optimum energy mix is a priority to ensure economic growth and a good standard of living for all. Energy represents a significant cost to households, businesses and the countries on a whole. Within the OECS region, all countries are dependent on external energy, spending as much as 30 percent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on fossil fuel imports in some cases. This contributes to a deficit in the balance of payments, and stymies development and competitiveness. Recognising the vulnerabilities posed by this energy situation, much effort is being spent in finding new energy options for the region. This is further spurred by the global thrust towards reducing global greenhouse emissions and climate change, which can have devastating impacts on small islands.

These developments suggest the need for a deeper look into geothermal energy and what it could mean to the OECS region. Judging from the available scientific data and the interest from potential investors and donors, geothermal energy may have the biggest potential to transform the regional energy sector. The ultimate aim is to transition to an energy base that is sustainable, economically viable, environmentally friendly, and one that improves energy security. Examination of geothermal energy suggests that it fits the bill with respect to these criteria. Geothermal power plants work in a similar way to traditional thermal plants which use diesel, for instance. Both types of power plants convert heat to electricity using a turbine-generator. The difference is in the source of the heat, which, in the case of geothermal projects, is usually provided by underground geothermal fluids heated from the interior of the earth. The energy is obtained from heat of the earth’s molten core in areas of volcanic activity, or at the juncture of the earth’s tectonic plates. The chain of islands of the Eastern Caribbean is located at a subduction zone which gives rise to the volcanic manifestations prevalent in most islands. The volcanic peaks, hot springs and mud baths all point to the presence of geothermal activity in the region. If these geothermal energy resources can be affordably harnessed and developed, then the region stands to benefit immensely.

Diversifying the region’s energy portfolio will call for the wider development of solar, wind and hydro energy projects where feasible. There is growing interest in these renewable energy technologies from both the government and private sector, and efforts are being made to overcome existing barriers to the use of renewable energy. Supportive national policies, capacity building and increased opportunities for financing have led to the planning and realization of several projects of various sizes. Over the past five years there has been a marked increase in utility scale solar projects in particular, for example in Saint Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda. These projects are a positive step for renewables in a geographic region with high solar irradiation that for many years has not been harnessed to any significant extent. Most of the other OECS Member States are working on national solar energy projects which should be realized in the next 3 years; an indication that the maturity of the technology, falling prices, and growing appreciation by the local population, is providing the right enabling environment for wider use of solar. Following up on the growing success of solar energy in the region, is an increasing appetite for geothermal energy. Currently, seven out of the 10 OECS Member States are actively OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Geothermal energy presents a very attractive option to the region for a number of reasons. There are two main uses of geothermal energy: heating/cooling and electricity generation. The latter is of particular interest to the Caribbean. Here, standard well-drilling technology captures hot water or steam that is used to power turbines and produce clean, renewable electrical energy. There are three main geothermal power plant technologies used in the generation of electricity: dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle. The selection depends on various issues like the temperature and pressure within the resource or economic considerations. The electricity generated is clean with significantly less emissions being released from its development

and use as compared to fossil fuels. Further, geothermal energy projects use less land than from conventional power generation, and can be easily integrated into communities with minimal visual impact. This issue is particularly important to our tourismbased economies with limited land space. But perhaps the most important advantage of geothermal is its availability 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This contributes to geothermal power plants also having the distinction of being “baseload” power sources. Geothermal energy plants can operate continuously at up to 98 percent capacity, because they have a constant source of “fuel” and require little downtime for maintenance. The intermittent nature of some renewable energy sources such as solar and wind have been seen as a major challenge in incorporating these on to the electricity grid, with reference to the total amount that can be accommodated without grid instability issues. With geothermal energy these instability concerns are not present and it can readily displace fossil fuel generating capacity. This is of prime importance to energy planning for electricity suppliers. Added to this, geothermal energy is a mature technology with the first geothermal plant being developed in Italy in 1904. Since then, geothermal energy has been operating at the utility scale with a proven track record of over 50 years. Geothermal energy exploration is not a new topic for the Caribbean, with evidence of exploration in the region dating back as far back as the 1950s. In Saint Lucia, for example, exploration wells were drilled by the British as early as the 1970s. Notwithstanding, there currently is only one operating geothermal plant in the Caribbean – on the French island of Guadeloupe. The previous geothermal studies have generated a wealth of knowledge that can inform the current geothermal explorations and help facilitate greater success. Furthermore, the technologies for geothermal energy have advanced worldwide, and the number of geothermal projects is growing. Recent studies reveal that geothermal energy has shown an average rate of increase above 100 percent over the last 30 years. The installed capacity from geothermal plants worldwide is now greater than 13,000 megawatts, highlighting the increasing contribution that geothermal energy is making to the world energy supply. It is no wonder, then, that the OECS is keen to develop its indigenous geothermal energy sources. As with most development initiatives, cost is often the deciding factor, and the case of geothermal energy in the region presents an interesting situation. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reported that in 2014, the global Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) for geothermal energy was between US$0.04 to US$0.10 per kilowatt hour. Given the small sizes of expected projects in the Caribbean and the existing conditions of, inter alia, infrastructure and financing, it would be fair to anticipate higher LCOEs in the region. However, the general projections are that the successful geothermal energy projects should deliver electricity at comparatively lower prices than that delivered from diesel power plants. Though not directly comparable, the electricity tariffs in the region can range between US$0.30 and US$0.40 per kilowatt hour. However, the major economics and cost concerns with respect to geothermal energy in the region pertains to the cost of developing geothermal energy capacity. In general, geothermal projects require higher capital upfront investments than most other power generation projects, because the upstream development of a geothermal steam field

is equivalent to purchasing the fuel needed for the life of the project upfront. The exploratory drilling phase, which is critical to assessing the resource, is often the most expensive undertaking. Further, the average geothermal project development has a relatively long lead time from concept to production, compared with other renewable energy projects, owing to the time needed for exploration. The high upfront cost and the long lead time can have a negative impact on the cost of capital and pose challenges for debt financing. This is often seen as risky, and hence realization of geothermal projects require attractive financing conditions. Currently, OECS countries are exploring innovative financing mechanisms such as the possibilities of public private partnerships (PPPs) and donor support to address this challenge. The good news is that while geothermal power plants are capital intensive they also have very low and predictable running costs. Hence when successful, an investment in geothermal energy is a worthwhile undertaking that will produce numerous benefits for over 20 years. Developing the Caribbean’s geothermal potential for power generation can promote growth by reducing the cost of electricity and allowing other industries to operate more affordably. Given the unique advantages of geothermal energy, it will enhance energy security and improve environmental conditions. The possibility of export of geothermal energy between countries also paves the way for greater regional integration through sustainable energy. Geothermal energy presents a formidable opportunity to the OECS region. Working together, the region can share their experiences and resources, and build their capacity to facilitate geothermal energy success into their energy solutions for the future.¤

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Her Ladyship, The Hon. Dame Janice M. Pereira DBE, Chief Justice (Second from left), Justices Louise Blenman (Left), Mario Michel & Gertel Thom (Right).

Message from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Her Ladyship, The Hon. Dame Janice M. Pereira DBE, Chief Justice; judges; administrative and support staff of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC) join the other affiliated institutions and agencies of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in extending sincerest congratulations on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the OECS Commission. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success – Henry Ford. In a single sentence we can find the perfect sum-up of the OECS Commission’s history. The beginning was approximately 35 years ago to face the challenges associated with globalization, and the will to define and implement plans and projects that will benefit the people of the Eastern Caribbean. Keeping together and working together requires understanding, flexibility and hard work. But the OECS Commission achieved it! Furthermore, the success of the OECS Commission is in direct correlation with the success of its affiliated regional institutions and partners worldwide. The only thing we might add to Henry Ford’s quote is that all successes (and also failures) must be adequately celebrated.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



During these 35 years, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and the OECS Commission have had the opportunity to collaborate on projects and launch new initiatives. Difficulties are considerably eased by the existence of the OECS Commission, through which the ECSC relates with the several Member States and Territories. There is still a lot to be done, but our myriad accomplishments demonstrate that we are on the right path. With everyone’s assistance, we will be successful. Together we have provided the basic platform on which modern states must build; namely, a system of laws and a strong governance structure. We cannot, however, rest on our laurels, as the challenges previously alluded to in the international, regional and domestic arenas are of a magnitude that will test our ingenuity and fortitude. The ECSC would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to the management and staff of the OECS Commission for 35 years of remarkable growth, vision, effectiveness, credibility and success. Over the past 35 years, the host of accomplishments is a past to be proud of and the foundation of a future to look forward to. Cheers to another 35 years! ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Increased Intra-Regional Travel for Deeper Integration By: Dr. Lorraine Nicholas - OECS Commission


ourism, by any measure, is the lead sector driving the economies of the Member States within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Therefore, as the OECS continues to pursue increased economic integration, tourism is expected to play a crucial role in operationalising the Economic Union. A fundamental ingredient in the tourism growth and development strategy within the OECS Economic Union is the creation of a single shared economic space, which hinges strongly on ease of travel within that shared space. The principal aim of the OECS Economic Union is to improve the region’s economic competitiveness. Tourism represents a relatively significant proportion of the region’s economic base, hence the importance of the OECS Common Tourism Policy in seeking to increase collaboration across Member States in order to improve the competitiveness of the region’s tourism sector and consequently to increase the value that each state derives from tourism. The OECS Common Tourism Policy highlights Regional Facilitation as a priority area requiring attention, in order to enhance the performance of tourism in the OECS. The Policy states that: “enabling the free movement of people within the region is perhaps the single greatest change required to improve the region’s economic competitiveness”. To this end, the OECS Tourism Policy furnishes recommendations aimed at further facilitating movement of visitors in the OECS Economic Union area. At the 10th Meeting of the OECS Council of Tourism Ministers, the Ministers expressed grave concern over the recent OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



downturn in intra-regional travel, which has negatively impacted the viability of the small hotel sector in the OECS. Consequently, the importance of devising strategic mechanisms to facilitate easier movement of persons across the region was underscored. Pursuant to this, the Ministers agreed to call on the OECS Authority to endorse an urgent joint meeting of OECS Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministers to address issues relating to intra-regional travel. The OECS Commission’s thrust towards facilitating ease of travel is predicated on three pillars: liberalisation of air transport, travel facilitation and border management. Airline services constitute the primary mode of transport for intra-OECS travel and tourism. Notwithstanding this dependency on air transportation, while the number of international tourist arrivals in the OECS has increased significantly, there has been a downward trend in the number of persons traveling intra-regionally within the OECS. This decline reflects a number of factors, including the high cost of air travel and poor connectivity. The recent (2015) study of factors inhibiting intra-regional travel in the OECS – commissioned by the OECS Commission – points out that efforts to reverse the decline in intra-OECS air travel will require a multi-faceted approach involving actions related to fiscal, promotional and regulatory factors. In terms of regulatory measures, the study recommends the urgent establishment of a liberal framework for intra-OECS air transport, in order to facilitate intra-OECS travel through removal of commercial elements of the

existing regulatory regimes that impede full integration of the OECS travel market, as well as its integration with other States. Removal of regulatory impediments to travel within the OECS is consistent with the Revised Treaty of Basseterre which establishes a single market and economy within the OECS. Article 19 of the Protocol of OECS Economic Union of the Revised Treaty highlights “Transport and Civil Aviation” as one of the areas of focus for OECS cooperation. Among other things, Article 19 obligates Member States to establish a more integrated airspace with the creation of a “single Economic Union Area air space”. In relation to civil aviation/air transport, the overall intent of the provisions of the Revised Treaty points clearly towards the removal of obstacles to air transport as well as for the establishment and implementation, as far as possible, of common civil aviation/air transport policies and measures among the states party to the Revised Treaty – and for air service relations with third countries. Uniform laws and regulations, consistent with international civil aviation law, already exist within the OECS for civil aviation safety and security through the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA). However, no changes have been made to the regulatory structures affecting commercial rights within the OECS to reflect the single market regime. The result is that commercial operations are governed by regulatory provisions that are inconsistent with requirements for a common aviation space under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.

The present regulatory arrangements involve the Air Transport Licensing Boards/Authorities, the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA), and bilateral arrangements between OECS States and the UK and French members of the OECS. In particular, the absence of a commercial regime for civil aviation within the OECS means that intra-OECS air transport is governed by the CARICOM MASA. The MASA, developed two decades ago (1996), has been deemed to contain outdated provisions that do not reflect modern day best practices in civil aviation, and has been under review for a number of years. The MASA also contains provisions that appear to be restrictive and inconsistent with the single airspace concept enshrined in both the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. While in general OECS civil aviation authorities are believed to pursue liberal approaches to commercial operations among OECS operators, administrative hurdles have restricted operators in some instances. Some such restrictions relate to the concept of fifth freedom traffic (i.e. traffic involving third countries/parties) as well as restrictions involving “essential” routes. The importance of air transportation within the OECS regional economic and integration arrangements requires that there be an agreed legal framework governing such arrangements and giving effect to the single air space/single market arrangements. The principal activity in the OECS air service liberalization initiative was the drafting of a multilateral agreement for intra-OECS air transportation which removes all barriers to commercial operators who satisfy the licensing requirements established by law. This OECS Air Services Agreement focuses on liberalizing the commercial elements of air transportation within the OECS with a view to establishing the OECS as a single aviation and tourism space, as envisaged by the Revised Treaty. More specifically, it is envisaged that the OECS Air Services Agreement will create a framework that will address some key challenges outlined in the 2015 OECS study on ease on travel, which include more non-stop flights and higher frequency of flights between city pairs. This is considered likely to result in lower airfares and an increase in persons traveling intra-regionally.

A joint meeting of OECS Tourism and Civil Aviation Ministers was convened on February 9th 2012 in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines. At that meeting, the Ministers underscored the need to facilitate easier movement of persons throughout the OECS via elimination of multiple border control check points at ports. To this end, the OECS Commission was mandated to coordinate several interventions geared towards facilitating less burdensome travel within the OECS region. Since it was given this mandate in 2012, the OECS Commission has been working closely with the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) towards the establishment of a one-stop security regime, eliminating multiple check points within the region. ECCAA has advised that in order for this one-stop security regime to be implemented, all ECCAA Member States (Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines) must meet the required security standards at airports, starting with the enactment of relevant regulations. This is in order to establish a standard for eliminating multiple check points within OECS Member States, so as to facilitate easier movement throughout the region. While the OECS Commission and ECCAA have continued to follow up and work with Member States, some of the security requirements are still outstanding in some ECCAA states. Once the requirements are met, this means that persons (visitors and OECS citizens) making connection while traveling through the region will no longer need to take off their shoes, belts, etc. In respect of travel facilitation, the OECS Commission is also working towards the establishment of a single domestic space for travel within the OECS Economic Union area. Accordingly, work is progress towards instituting an effective framework for the proper functioning of the regime where travel is hassle-free and seamless throughout the space, including more efficient processing of travelers. A key initiative in this regard is full clearance (customs, immigration, security) at the first port of entry in the region, with no subsequent checks required while moving within the single space. Ideally, it should also support the objective set out in the OECS Common Tourism Policy to promote the region as a single destination, thus further enhancing the OECS tourism product. The Common Tourism Policy further states that facilitation of free movement of people within the OECS region is a

primary element underpinning the OECS Economic Union, since it will reduce the lengths of queues at hub airports, and accelerate clearances through customs and immigration. The harmonisation of customs and immigration processes across Member States will also enable easier movement of visitors within the region, through application of consistent procedures at each point of entry into the Economic Union area. To this end, the OECS Commission is actively considering the following in order to move forward with the creation of an OECS Single Domestic Space: 1. Systems required for a harmonized border management, including management structure for border agencies, and security procedures and systems; 2. Procedures and systems for full clearance at Immigration and Customs at the initial port of entry into the Economic Union area, including the separation of domestic and international travelers and ports of entry; 3. Mechanism for information sharing (and for intelligence gathering and sharing) among security agencies in and among Member States; 4. Requirements and implications for the application of a Common Visa Regime; 5. Procedures for treatment of goods – including passengers’ baggage – excisable goods (e.g. tobacco-based products and alcohol for personal consumption), as well as personal and household effects owned by individuals relocating to other Member States. ¤

Dr Lorraine Nicholas holds a BSc. in Tourism Management and an MSc. in Tourism and Hospitality Management from the University of the West Indies. She is a Fulbright Scholar with a PhD. in Tourism Management from the University of Florida. She is Programme Officer (Tourism), in the Economic Development Policy Unit at the OECS Commission. OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



The birth of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 1981. Maurice Bishop of Grenada (extreme right)

Reflections-OECS 35 By: Allister Mounsey - OECS Commission

Background In June 2016 the OECS as a regional organisation celebrated 35 years of existence. During this period it has progressively advanced economic, social and political cooperation among its Member States. To put this milestone into perspective: If the OECS were a human being, it probably would have been married for at least 7 years now; would have had its second child three years ago, and would have obtained a managerial position one year ago – at least so I have been reliably informed by the (UK) Mirror online. In addition to celebratory activities that accompany these notable anniversaries one should, I presume, make time for quiet and sober reflection on the past accomplishment as well as current and future challenges. This article is a contribution to the latter. While it acknowledges the varied and notable accomplishment of the past 35 years, the article does not dwell on them. Rather it focuses more weightily on the current challenges that threaten to stymie the region’s ability to further advance, or otherwise build upon the gains of the past. In doing so, liberty is taken to shift focus somewhat from the OECS as an institution to the OECS as a collective of nations. OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Notable Socio-Economic Progress OECS Member States have made considerable socio-economic progress in the decades post-1981. Notable strides have been made in health, with available data suggesting that by 2014, life expectancy in OECS Member States increased by at least five years over the 1981 average of approximately 68 years. In a number of countries there is a clear downward trend in the out-of-school rate for children of lower secondary school age. This trend is most noticeable in Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG). In the case of SVG, it attained universal access to secondary school education in 2006 after previously having an out-of-school rate in excess of 30 percent in 2001. In addition to these, GDP per capita has increased by over 150 percent during the 35-year period; which means that, on average, this generation has 2.5 times the real income of the previous generation of OECS citizens. The list can be extended to include a 10 percent increase in access to electricity between 1990 and 2012 – with current coverage hovering around 90 percent of the population – near universal access to potable water, and considerable reduction in the rates of indigence, among others. Challenges

Notwithstanding the above, a number of extant social and economic challenges threaten to put at risk the region’s ability to build on these successes. A major symptom of these challenges is that since circa 2002, GDP growth has been trending downwards. In recent times growth has been anemic, resulting in rising unemployment rates for most Member States. The declining GDP growth rates is in part conditioned on similar developments in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) - see figure 1. Compared with the deceleration in FDI to the OECS, growth in FDI globally has remained relatively steady at about 14.6 percent per annum over the 35 years under consideration. This suggests that the OECS experience of declining FDI growth may be due to factors peculiar to the region rather than wider global phenomena. Possible candidates are the Doing Business environment, incongruencies between the sectors promoted for foreign investment in the OECS and global growth sectors, as well as a real or imagined perception that the region is becoming less competitive. Figure 1: Real GDP and FDI Growth rates in the OECS Source: Data-World Bank Open Data, Estimations-author Apart from these supply-side challenges, there are demand-side constraints that in significant ways limit options for shortterm ameliorative policy responses to this secular decline in growth. The public sector debt is the most prominent of these. It not only limits current policy response options, but public sector debt and its attendant debt service requirement can pose significant downside risks to growth well into the medium term. This challenge has been adequately articulated in recent times, so it is not necessary to discuss further. One set of challenges that is less spoken of relates to internal distributional concerns within OECS economies. There

are many ways to examine the question of distribution. Income inequality is one way. Another is distribution of GDP among economic sectors. OECS data related to the former is limited, so I will restrict my comments to the latter. Figure 2 shows real sectoral output in agriculture as well as the hotel and restaurant sector (used here as a proxy for the tourism industry). Since the early 1990s, value added in the agricultural sector has declined at an average rate of 2.3 percent per annum, in contrast with an annualised average growth of 2.5 percent in the hotel and restaurant sector. The reasons for this decline in gross agricultural income has been well articulated elsewhere, hence they will not be revisited here. What is important for this discussion is the recognition that the growth in the economy over the past two-plus decades has been lopsided from a sectoral point of view. This undoubtedly would have resulted in unbalanced development in favour of more urban areas. The region, it seems, is faced with what is probably an urgent need to accelerate economic growth in the rural communities where as much as 80 percent of its population lives. Figure 2: Real Sectoral Output in the OECS Source: Data-ECCB, Estimation-author Energy use and value is the subject of the last challenge I choose to highlight here. This was chosen because it is an admixture of positive and negative talking points, so it is probably a good way of winding down this article. The good news is, compared with the world average, the OECS region gets twice as much value (GDP) per unit of oil consumed. The bad news is that the general trajectory of this value-to-use ratio in the OECS runs counter to the upward trend in the world average (see figure 3). This downward trend in the OECS is probably, in the most part, due to the sectoral shift from agriculture (a lower oil intensive industry) to tourism (a higher oil intensive industry). However one can suspect that changing individual and household energy

consumption may have also played a role. Since around 2004 there have been indications of reversal in the OECS trend. Over the period 2004 to 2007, the GDP per unit of oil ratio increased at a rate of 2.1 percent per annum in the OECS – 50 basis points below the growth in the world average. Given the fact that in the OECS context, oil is an imported resource, and its price is expected to rise in the medium term, it is important to explore ways of improving the efficiency of its conversion to value (GDP). Figure 3: Value of Energy Used Source: Data-World Bank Open Data, Estimations-author Conclusion Generally there has been significant improvement in livelihoods and the quality of life in the OECS over the past 35 years. However, recent experience suggests that some degree of structural reforms is needed to address the factors militating against higher and more inclusive economic growth. Reforms that will promote greater investment (both foreign and domestic) are critical in this regard; so too are strategic interventions targeted at the rural economy. Efforts at strengthening the nexus between agriculture and the growing tourism sector should be encouraged – as well as those aimed at facilitating greater trade in fresh produce between the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands – inclusive of Sint. Maarten and the US Virgin Islands. Continued improvement in fiscal governance is of course necessary, and positive strides are being made in that area. Finally, the region should take steps to assure its dominance in the emerging green economy. In some regards it is well placed to do so; having among the highest rates GDP per unit of oil used. Are gains attained to date secure? They probably will be, but what is done now is critical in this respect. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Historical background Martinique first applied to the OECS in 1999, at a time when the French Authorities were not ready to recognize the added value of direct representation of the overseas territories in their immediate environment and to their neighbouring countries. After years of evolution of the regulatory framework for the governance of the French Overseas Territories, the application could be renewed with the express agreement of the French Republic in 2012. From then, two years of studies, negotiations and preparatory work were necessary before the actual signing of the accession agreement of Martinique as an Associate Member of the OECS on 4th February 2015. Another year was then needed before the signed legal agreement could fully enter into force. The accession instrument was formally submitted by the French Authorities to the OECS Commission on 7th April 2016. Notwithstanding those administrative and legal procedures, functional cooperation between Martinique and OECS countries started decades ago through various exchanges in sports, the cultural sector, the promotion of languages, as well as in mutual assistance and support following disasters. The tourism sector was also a strong area for cooperation, as Statistics

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arrangements were set up between the Regional Council of Martinique and the OECS Secretariat. Multi-destination tourism packages were also developed between Saint Lucia, Martinique and Dominica. It is therefore critical to stress that the connection between Martinique and the rest of the OECS countries did not start with Martinique’s formal membership within the OECS. By integrating Martinique as an Associate Member, the OECS has actually broadened and deepened an already existing relationship with Martinique. How the relationship has been broadened 1. The geographical scope Martinique has traditionally developed and maintained cross-border cooperation and relations with the closest islands of Dominica and Saint Lucia. The exchanges with these two neighbours have been fostered and facilitated by strong family ties, as well as regular and affordable means of transportation. A bilateral framework agreement was also signed with Antigua & Barbuda in 2012 to strengthen exchanges in numerous areas of cooperation. Since Martinique’s accession to the OECS, the organisation has provided a unique framework for a renewed, stronger and (in some cases) new political dialogue

– as well as functional cooperation opportunities with the nine other OECS member states. A specific focus must be placed on the British Overseas Countries and Territories (Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat), with whom close exchanges have started, particularly in the areas of climate change and the sargassum seaweed issues. 2. The number of cooperation areas: No less than 14 distinct thematic areas have been identified and selected as sectors of opportunities for joint development during negotiations. Beyond the traditional projects that have been developed by major stakeholders around the region, the relationship between Martinique and the other OECS Member States is growing towards longer-term efforts in almost all the thematic areas that actively contribute to the sustainable development of our respective countries: education, sports, health, air & sea transportation, yachting & tourism, creative industries, development cooperation (including external resource mobilisation), alternative energy development, scientific & technical cooperation, marine resources management, agriculture, trade facilitation, disaster risk management, and easier movement of people.

So far the relationship has been very active in the areas of health and trade facilitation, where plans of action have been formally established. Joint climate change activities were carried out in the framework of the 2015 COP-21 meeting in Paris. How the relationship is being deepened The preparatory work and the negotiation period before Martinique’s actual accession to the OECS allowed all parties to identify a specific number of thematic areas for cooperation, some of which were initially discussed with a long-term joint development perspective, rather than within a strict regulatory framework (like on border protection issues), or in a solidarity context financed by official development aid, or under a single project approach. Martinique has joined the OECS to actively contribute to and benefit from the OECS Growth & Development Strategy as a Member State of the organisation. Through the various organs of the OECS , Martinique is represented exclusively by the Territorial Authority which is in charge of all the development policies of the territory, namely: Economic Development (including sustainable development, energy, blue economy, green economy, tourism, employment policy, business support, local taxation); Planning & Transportation (including digital networks and infrastructures); Culture, Science & Sports Development (including heritage and creative industries); Education & Training (including TVET and research); Health & Social Development; and finally, Regional Cooperation & European Funds. This level of representation ensures that the political dialogue at the regional level is guided by the interest of joint development, both for the territory and the region as a whole. The Territorial Authority of Martinique then coordinates and facilitates direct collaboration with all the technical and specialized stakeholders of Martinique involved in the development policies mentioned. These stakeholders include private entities, local government authorities, as well as state agencies and services. One of the main objectives that Martinique has been focusing on along with the OECS Commission and the other Member States over the past few months, consists of setting up a favorable environment for the development of exchanges between the territories.

It is expected that the institutional

extremely helpful to mobilize and engage

relations which are being strengthened and formalized at the highest level will foster mutual trust and understanding of the various systems and procedures that are in place within the Region, so as to encourage private sector and business community partnerships.

both private and public stakeholders around the region, including Martinique.

The continued and regular dialogue among the Member States, which is remarkably facilitated and orchestrated by the OECS Commission, allows us to identify opportunities and complementarities for trade tourism (including medical tourism), aquaculture, agro-processing, etc. Beyond the statutory meetings, Martinique regularly attends working group meetings in the areas of health and trade facilitation. A plan of action has already been formalized and approved at the ministerial level to increase health cooperation and medical tourism within the OECS. It is currently being implemented through the chief medical officers along with the various health agencies and entities in Martinique. Guided by the mandate of the OECS Council of Ministers for Trade, the OECS Commission is also very active in the mobilization of a working group that includes OECS business representatives to work with Martinique on trade facilitation measures. A plan of action should emerge from the group, with particular focus on issues of joint production for better access to markets such as North America and the European Union. The challenge ahead is to convert the opportunities identified into concrete action and effective projects that will have an impact and make a difference in these various areas as soon as possible. In that regard, continued consultation with and support from the OECS Commission is

Cross-border cooperation offers the possibility to transform borders into opportunities for development. Through joint action, Martinique and the OECS Commission are also seeking to mobilize financial resources to fund the initiatives that are being identified and the projects that will derive from the increased dialogue. In that regard, discussions have been initiated with a number of donors, particularly the European Union (including INTERREG and EDF Funds) and the Caribbean Development Bank (to which Martinique is also seeking membership). ¤

Murielle Lesales is the OECS Commissioner for Martinique, with a mission which entails various responsibilities including the facilitation and promotion of bilateral and multilateral productive relations between Martinique and other OECS Member States.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



OECS Tourism – A Unique Experience By: Dr. Lorraine Nicholas - OECS Commission The OECS Common Tourism Policy was the very first harmonised regional policy developed in response to the requirements of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre. This joint policy was developed by connecting people and integrating ideas. It focuses on tourism development activities that OECS Member States can best work together on, to achieve greater benefits from tourism with regard to increased income, more foreign exchange and higher government revenues. Accordingly, the policy aims to deliver synergy throughout OECS Member States by adding value, and thereby achieve more than what states could achieve separately through economies of scale that reduce unit costs to individual states and deliver greater market impact. In that regard, a key recommendation in the OECS Common Tourism Policy is the joint promotion of OECS destinations. The rapid expansion of the international tourism sector has been supplemented by developments in the dynamics of the OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



evolution of the sector. Today, the global tourism market context is markedly different from that in which the Caribbean was a leading travel destination a few decades ago. This is mainly because the tourism map today is much richer with considerably more destination options, many of which offer products similar to the Caribbean. Countries are also trending towards consolidating their tourism promotion and development efforts to derive synergistic effects to produce growth and development in the sector. As the World Economic Forum puts it, cooperation is the new competition. The Asean region, the Baltics, Central America, Africa and Central Europe are good examples of regionalising tourism. The OECS region, comprising an archipelago of small beautiful islands in close proximity to each other, linked by the Caribbean Sea, has recognized tremendous potential for growth by connecting the destinations of the OECS. The traditional 3Ss (sun, sea and sand) which our region is so very well-known for,

is being supplemented by another 3Ss – Single Shared Space for Tourism. Linked by some of the finest sailing waters in the world, the yachting sector, with its significant untapped potential, is a low hanging fruit for the OECS to join forces to create a unique experience for yachts’ persons. The yachting sector has been identified as offering an ideal set of opportunities to operationalise the shared economic space for tourism in the OECS. In fact, the collective approach to the development and management of the yachting industry in the OECS is arguably one of the clearest and most obvious avenues to develop the Single Shared Space for Tourism. The OECS Common Tourism Policy States that: The OECS marine environment offers an exceptional yachting product with world class annual events and scope for further increasing revenues from this source … yachting visitors represent a lucrative market for the OECS with opportunities for the further development of related business services, skills development and employment. The opportunity to sail between different islands is an inherent part of the region’s appeal to yachting visitors. Recognising the promising outlook for the advancement of the yachting sector in the OECS, the OECS Commission has organised and facilitated three joint promotion activities in the yachting sector in North America and Europe. The region’s yachting sector was collectively promoted at the United States Sailboat Show (2014); the Toronto Boat Show (2015); and the Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show in Germany (2016) using the tagline: ‘Sail Clear – Many Islands -- One Caribbean’, displaying the OECS as a unified organisation in one area, with participating states having their own space. Overall, boat show patrons who visited the OECS Eastern Caribbean Village embraced the opportunity to consult with representatives from several states in a single venue, giving them the unique opportunity to conceptualise and plan their sailing itineraries to experience several islands in one trip.

As an added incentive to partake in this unique sailing experience, visitors at every boat show get the opportunity to learn about and sign up for SailClear – a common yacht clearance platform developed by the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) to facilitate easier intra‐ regional travel by visiting yachts. The SailClear service is a pre-arrival notification system that expedites the clearance process based on relevant information that is furnished prior to arrival. In respect of land-based tourism, visitors’ behavior patterns are also evolving. Today’s tourist is becoming increasingly savvy and discerning, demanding a wider spectrum of more authentic, enriching, engaging, educational experiences. A 2014 World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report revealed that the countries with fastest growing tourism sectors globally (based on fastest growth in visitor exports in 2013), attribute their strong competitiveness to a diverse mix of offerings that present the leisure traveler with a rich menu of things to do. The diversity of the tourism product offering in the various OECS destinations presents a unique experience for visitors to sample different islands on one trip. This premonition was substantiated at the OECS Road Show held in Germany from June 6th-9th, 2016. This event was organised jointly by the OECS Commission’s Tourism Desk in collaboration with the OECS marketing representatives/agents based in the marketplace (Europe/ Germany). During the Road Show, the OECS destinations of Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada and Saint Lucia showcased their respective destinations to a variety of professionals in the travel trade business in Germany. The most interesting observation revealed by the majority of participants was the realization that the islands are not all the same. This observation dispelled the myth that all islands are the same and once you see one you see all. The OECS region’s Unique Selling Points highlighted were:

• Relative pristine destinations – not overly negatively impacted from tourism development; • The population of tourists on any island is not as dense as on the large destinations – not crowded; • The sea is not as polluted as in other regions, which augurs well for activities like diving, swimming and snorkelling • Year round warm-weather with little variation in the temperature and a usual cooling sea breeze, unlike other regions like the Mediterranean where it is only warm in summer • There is a good mix of things to do (attractions); the product is diverse and can cater to a variety of market segments – beach lovers; adventure seekers; heritage tourists; eco/ nature-based tourists; wedding/ honeymooners, sports • Ideal for beach swimming unlike other warm weather destination like the Maldives where the water is very shallow for miles into the ocean. Some Unique selling points that distinguish the islands follow: • Anguilla – ‘smallness’ of the island makes amenities easily accessible; • Antigua & Barbuda – 365 beaches • British Virgin Islands – sailing capital of the world • Dominica – nature island • Grenada – Caribbean’s (possibly the world’s) only underwater cultural park • Saint Lucia - Caribbean’s (possibly the world’s) only drive-in volcano The German travel industry personnel were very fascinated by the notion of each island having its unique character and appeal; and now, equipped with insight and knowledge on the various types of accommodation and attractions on the islands, they are consequently keen and interested in selling the islands for German stay-over tourists to enjoy. OECS Tourism – Moving Forward! ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



OECS YES – Working Towards a Youth Empowered Society By: Anushka Singh


t is no foreign topic that the youth in our region are in crisis. With insurmountable rates of unemployment and a number of social issues working against the youth, the OECS believed that a regional youth strategy needed to be developed to combat these factors head on. The OECS however, didn’t want the development of this youth strategy to be a document created by the older generation for the younger generation. Young people make up over 30% of the population of the OECS. If young people are to unite to find creative solutions and can have their voices be heard; the future of our region will be in good in hands. Young people need to be involved in the decision making process - the youth strategy must be for young people by young people. And thus OECS YES was conceptualized by Digital Marketing Consultant, Anushka Singh. OECS YES - YES standing for Youth Empowered Society, was a brand created to serve as the primary mechanism for the OECS to communicate with and get a better understanding of young people in the region.

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The brand consists of 7 sub-brands also known as Pillars – which have been identified as key areas for youth development. YES I Express –Creativity and Culture YES I Move – Health Lifestyles YES I Matter – Child & Youth Protection YES I Belong – Citizenship & Identity YES I Earn – Employment & Entrepreneurship YES I Learn – Education & Training YES I inherit – Environment & Sustainable Development Growth of the OECS YES Since the launch of OECS YES on June 8th 2016, there has been resounding support and interest from young people. Currently, the initiative has been pushed solely from online with a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and a website presence through At the time that this article is published the social media accounts have 2,225 followers on Facebook, 1770 on Instagram and 450 on Twitter. In the last month

Anushka Singh is a St Lucian national with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing with a focus in E-Commerce; she is also pursuing her Master’s Degree in Business Analytics. Anushka is a strategic thinker with a passion for making a difference through Digital Marketing. She has diverse experience in her field, with knowledge of SEO, Social Media, Paid Search and Email Marketing. She currently serves as a Digital Marketing Consultant for the OECS.

alone, our reach – the number of people our content has been exposed to – is about 85,000 and our post engagements are approx. 11,800. We are clearly making and are having discussions with young people on topics that matter. Each month starting in July we have focused on a Pillar of the Month - with July being “YES I Express” and August being “YES I Move” months. As part of “YES I Express” month – young artists from around the OECS were featured. There were also a number of Twitter chats centered around the issues of Creativity and Culture. Here are some of the featured artwork from this month (all by young regional talent!)

OECS Digital Interns

Future Programming

As part of the OECS YES initiative, there is a team of 17 Digital Interns who are located in 5 different countries and are receiving training in Digital Marketing from Anushka Singh. Through this internship, interns are being exposed to marketing techniques, writing, graphic design and other skills that can make them more desirable candidates when seeking employment.

OECS 30 Under 30 - highlighting 30 young business persons under the age of 30 in the OECS

Here is the list of Digital Interns: Raejean Montoute Makaella Popo Eola Alexander Kimisha Mathurin Abigail Durand Keryn Nelson Sydel Charles Donella Power Shanya Evans Dellan Felicien Asha Nelson Bernise Springer Racquel John Jermon Ephraim Joanne Guiste Daveniel Matthery Kandice Delice

Twitter Chats across multiple topics Webinars & Video Lectures – volunteers needed! Mentorship Opportunities Currently, efforts for OECS YES are primarily online but the long term vision involves in person action spearheaded by young people and youth advocates across the region. In order to start this in person movement we are in the process of building up our youth network across the region. Getting Involved Are you a member of an organization that is passionate about making a difference for young people? Are you a skilled professional, willing to volunteer by providing webinars? Want to learn more and follow this initiative? Sign up on our “Get Involved” form on our website Follow us on our different social platforms @oecsyes OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Nyus Alfred


Sporte Avis says YES, and Focuses on the Road Ahead! Regional governments and organizations continue to stress the importance of youth in every aspect of society. The involvement of youth is repeatedly declared as critical – except, it seems, when it comes to actual decision making! I was first introduced to the OECS Youth Strategy last year(2015), and was instantly sold on the concept of a strategy crafted from the ideas of young people themselves. Where others have failed, this youth strategy aims to empower young people, giving them a platform to air their concerns. The OECS has solved what has long been a sore point in our development, by engaging young people on the matters which affect them most, and discussing ways in which these problems can be addressed. The idea of the Youth Strategy was brilliantly conceptualized within the OECS Commission, and masterfully brought to life by the genius of Ms. Anushka Singh. The Youth Strategy has been branded OECS-YES, which speaks to the inner creativity and curiosity of all young people: Youth Empowered Society! The seven pillars each represent some part of the life of young people within the OECS: Environment & Climate Change (YES I INHERIT); Employment & Entrepreneurship (YES I EARN); Creativity & Culture (YES I EXPRESS); Citizenship & Identity (YES I BELONG); Child & Youth Protection (YES I MATTER); Healthy Lifestyles (YES I MOVE); Education & Training (YES I LEARN). OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



As a young person, it is indeed refreshing to be part of the process of helping to make a difference among our young people. My fields of interest are sports and media, and I was indeed worried that the Youth Strategy would possibly not cater to these areas. Boy, was I wrong! Sporte Avis, a sports media agency which I am part of, was identified as a key contributor to the Youth Strategy. The collaboration necessitated can only help further our objectives, which are stated as follows: “Sporte Avis aims to revolutionize the sporting landscape and culture in Saint Lucia and the Eastern Caribbean. There exists no consistent medium in the islands dedicated to full-fledged sports coverage, community sports developments, school sporting activities, rising stars in various sporting disciplines, and monitoring the progression of our budding talent to internationally-acclaimed sporting giants. Sporte Avis seeks to resolve what has been for generations a sore point in our history, by recognizing outstanding Saint Lucian and OECS sports personalities, immortalizing them in written text and visual material via its various platforms. Most importantly the Sporte Avis endeavors to inculcate a culture that celebrates sports as a culture and lifestyle, and as an essential part of everyday life and not occasional periods of the year.”

When we reexamined our objectives and that of the Strategy, there was no question about whether or not Sporte Avis should get involved. It was a must! The beauty of this Strategy is that it targets every young person within the OECS, whether they are involved in sports, arts, music or any other field. I am frequently approached with the question: “What’s in this strategy for me?” I always smile, because without even asking about the interests of the persons who ask, I answer with utmost confidence and assurance that OECS-YES has something to cater for everyone. It was no surprise that the team was drawn towards the Pillar ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ (YES I MOVE). This pillar will undoubtedly help unleash our creative brilliance, as we seek to contribute ideas which will benefit persons, not just in sports, but youth on a whole. In sticking with the goals of the Strategy, programs and initiatives suggested by us will be those of participation and education. Sports is one of the single biggest causes of peace and unity, and it continues to be imperative that the small island states of the OECS unite to face the increasing challenges of neighbours who can boast more economic muscle. We see the potential of using the Strategy to bring our young people together, as we hope to instill a culture not just of nationalism, but one of regionalism. Through sports we can create a culture where people recognize and support young persons from the various member states as their own. With the help of youth across the OECS, Sporte Avis hopes that OECS –YES will help break the mental barriers that have for so long chained the potential of our young people. Through our love for sports, we hope to inspire engagement and pride. Through the efforts of the OECS, we can now move freely between the various Member States; indefinite stay granted upon entry to any OECS territory. Isn’t it time that our minds and ideas begin moving just as freely? As the OECS celebrates 35 years, Sporte Avis celebrates the introduction of the Youth Strategy, and commits to assisting in any way as the strategy is rolled out for the benefit of young people. As a representative of Sporte Avis, I am proud to endorse OECS-YES. I ask that you pay particular attention to the seven pillars and see how you can find ways of using them to enrich the lives of young persons you may know. Say YES to a Youth Empowered Society. Say YES to Youth Involvement. Congratulations to the OECS on 35 years of existence; 35 years of changing lives across the region. It is my sincere hope that we can continue to work together for the benefit of our youth. (The author is co-founder and director of Sporte Avis) ¤


Stanza 1 Inspired by a treaty that connects us And by integration to protect us Excellence will be our guide We pushing mediocrity aside (Harmonized) Chorus Moving on together, forever and ever To higher heights we’ll aspire for a brighter future One People, One Region, Committed to Success Rise Up! Stay Up, OECS! Stanza 2 Embracing a Caribbean Union One vision and one common mission Marching on to the same melody and preserving peace through prosperity(Harmonized) Chorus Stanza 3 The power lies in our people When we put them first we’ll win any battle So let us shout it out with acclamation… May God bless our region!! (Harmonized) Chorus CODA Coming from a distant drum since 1981 Rise Up! Stay Up, OECS! The beat of new persuasion, Inspired by integration Rise Up! Stay Up, OECS! Building capacities for our communities Rise Up! Stay Up, OECS! Togetherness is the key for lasting prosperity Rise Up! Stay Up, OECS! Written by: Earstien Mallet Edwards, Raymond O’Keiffe, Peter A Murray, George Alcee and David Peterkin Arranged by: Raymond O’Keiffe and David Peterkin Scoresheet written by: Capt. Nigel Williams of the Saint Kitts-Nevis Defence Force Band OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Strengthening the Evidence Base for the OECS Economic Union’s Integration Agenda: Requirements for a Regional Statistical System By: Gale Archibald PhD - OECS Commission

Introduction A successful integration agenda requires good quality information which in turn depends on a healthy operation to produce it. A body of evidence can be built scientifically using rigorous methods and tools, or, in today’s ICT- enabled world, built un-systematically by turning imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information. Thus evidence can be official or unofficial, and include, for example, data, statistics, expert knowledge, policy evaluation, research, feedback from stakeholder consultations, and the untapped explosion of high frequency digital data. An evidence base is therefore a rich variety of quantitative and qualitative observations, systematically or unsystematically collected, processed and disseminated. Sources include individuals, households, businesses, government departments and agencies for systematic collection; and the internet, customer logs and transactions, and satellite images to name a few, for un-systematic collection. Notwithstanding the sources, issues of quality, credibility, relevance and cost are essential to determining the statistical OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



requirements for the region’s integration agenda. The Revised Treaty of Basseterre provides for deepening integration among 10 OECS Member States, establishing the Economic Union as a strong regional bloc for attainment of collective developmental objectives in a single economic, social and environmental space. The regimes are the free movement of people, goods, services and capital among the Member States effected with imperatives such as common policies and strategies, uniform legislation and comparable data. Focusing on the latter, the integration agenda would require an operation that is authorised and resourced to collect data from an array of sources that produces an assortment of evidence, for a diverse set of users, for multiple uses to inform and to measure progress toward full integration. This operation must have well-connected elements and be capable of harvesting ideas to move the Economic Union forward and towards its ultimate goal. This operation likens a well-structured, inter-dependent and coordinated configuration.

The aim of this article is to identify the features and attributes of a system to provide the requisite official statistics to inform the design of and adjustments to regional programmes, policies and strategies, and to monitor the progress of the Economic Union towards full integration. Concept of a statistical system The concept of a statistical system is ubiquitous in the lexicon of statistical development. Leaning on systems thinking theory, a system is described as a set of elements or components that work together in relationships for the overall goal of the whole. These elements are usually described as actors, roles, rules, inter-relationships, feedback loops and boundaries, with each having a limited and defined function. Additionally, the theory posits a system is goal-oriented, assumes a holistic view and is more than a sum of its parts. That is, when the elements interact with each other they are able to produce results that could not have been achieved outside the system. Applied to the world of official statistics, the system would be the many elements that are organised and regulated to output a high quality product, to use it, and to provide feedback on its utility. These elements include legislation, regulation and policies; principles and codes of ethics; and oversight, coordination and consultation mechanisms. Also included are a statistical organisation, all the bureaux, offices, agencies of the government; all government-owned or controlled corporations that are engaged in statistical activities either as their primary functions or as part of their administrative or regulatory functions; central bank; individuals, households and businesses that are both data suppliers and users of official statistics. Defining Official Statistics Statistics are fundamental to good government, to the delivery of public services and to decision-making in all sectors of society. Official statistics are those statistics produced by the government infrastructure using data that are systematically collected using surveys or extracted from administrative

registers. According to the United Nations Fundamental Principles of Official States, “official statistics are an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the Government, the economy and the public with information about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation.” This is one of 10 principles for official statistics that have been subscribed to for just over 25 years. Developed by the Conference of European Statisticians in 1991, the principZles were endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2014. They are considered a basic framework that all statistical activities developed by national and international organisations must follow in recognising official statistics as a public good. In so doing, the UNGA noted that: “the essential trust of the public in the integrity of official statistical systems and confidence in statistics depend to a large extent on respect for the fundamental values and principles that are the basis of any society seeking to understand itself.” In that regard, official statistics are compiled and made available on an impartial basis to honour citizens’ entitlement to public information. Authority to Produce Official Statistics Official statistics is a public good, the production of which is provided for in statistical legislation. Most countries authorise a national statistical office (NSO) to collect, compile, and disseminate statistics. The Revised Treaty supplements this authority by requiring Member States to coordinate, harmonise and undertake joint actions and pursue joint policies in statistics and in institutional arrangements for economic consultation and information dissemination. The Treaty also stipulates the development sectors for which the Member States should collaborate to produce the requisite statistics to inform and measure the Economic Union’s progress. Among the sectors are agriculture, tourism, education, health, energy and telecommunications. Though these provisions are a necessary condition to pursue a regional approach to build and upgrade the statistical architecture that informs and measures

progress towards full integration, it is not a sufficient condition. Essential regulation, relationships, roles and resources are just some of the requirements that extend the adequacy of these national and regional provisions for statistics, and bind these elements into the notion of an empowered and resilient national statistical system. The RSS Concept The national statistical system (NSS) represents the ensemble of interdependent elements that interact to identify, prioritise, collect, process, analyse and disseminate official statistics on behalf of a government. The NSS is led by the NSO and operates within the overall administrative, legal and constitutional framework of a country. The regional statistical system (RSS) - the whole – itself a sub-system in a global statistical system, would be the wider structure or space within which the attendant national statistical systems (NSS) operate. Both the RSS and the NSS are concepts, and currently exist neither in legal nor physical terms. The RSS is more than a collection of the NSSs. As discussed earlier, a system is more than the sum of its parts. Thus, the statistical systems would have externalities, positive and negative, that are unintended consequences of its processes, interactions and information flows. For instance, irresponsible use of statistics such as adjusting values to support an ideology is a negative externality that the system’s processes did not intend. Attracting high levels of investment from development partners is a welcomed and positive consequence, albeit destined for a weak statistical system. The RSS does exist, conceptually, by cooperation with the NSS. In the pursuit of this wider architecture to deliver the requisite evidence to inform and measure progress towards full integration, the OECS Commission intends to use its influence and authority to advocate for and model an empowered, resilient and visible regional statistical system that delivers statistics that are actionable, accessible and available anywhere, anytime, anyhow. As the RSS leader, the OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



OECS Commission will take a holistic view of the RSS to determine its role and valueadded proposition. Understanding its role and purpose will help to define and formalise an architecture that is capable of responding to the requirements of government, people and institutions of the Economic Union. Designing the Regional Statistical System The desired RSS must deliver trusted, high value, quality statistics that are not only regionally comparable, but nationally relevant and internationally obligatory. National relevance acknowledges that as sovereign countries, the Member States would demand of their NSSs the statistics to inform, design and measure their respective national development agenda. International obligation comes with an expectation that countries that sign on to global initiatives commit to produce the associated data and statistics - the latest being the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the SDGs. Given a mandate that covers 10 countries, this three-fold requirement may immediately seem insurmountable. However, with a shared vision and good leadership, a formalised regional statistical system is attainable. The design process will involve consultations and answering questions such as: What is the authority and purpose of the OECS RSS? What value does it offer that the NSSs do not? Which and whose needs does it fulfil? How will it allow information and resources to flow? What resources does it need, and which resources can be shared? What products or services does it offer? Who are the actors? What types of partnerships are necessary? What data does it need? What role will the Commission play? What feedback mechanisms should be established? The Utility of Data Comparability The answers to most of these questions are premised on the utility of data comparability. Data comparability is defined here as an approach of ensuring that there are little or no variations in the OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



technical and programmatic activities for developing, producing and disseminating statistics. When regional data comparability is pursued, the difficulties and costs for the NSS are considerably decreased, compared with the NSS pursuing a unique process. No single NSS in a regional context, where the discipline of statistics is neither prioritised nor professionalised in the education system, should be expected to have the resources to become experts in all aspects and domains of statistics. So how is comparability achieved? According to the idiom, how do we avoid comparing apples and oranges? Technical comparability is achieved by subscribing to the harmonisation rule – the process of creating commonalities by reducing differences in concepts, definitions, methodologies and classifications to get some degree of similarity in the resulting product. For example, the definition of poverty, unemployment, or small to medium enterprises (SMEs) should be the same if the Economic Union is to have quantitative values that can be aggregated from the national to regional level. Programmatic comparability is achieved when data collection, analysis and reporting are synchronised. That is to say, while there may be technical comparability, it matters too that all the NSOs would agree to a time-table for field work, data processing and dissemination such that there is symmetrical release of statistics throughout the Economic Union. It would be a situation where, for instance, all the Member States harmonise and synchronise their operations such that they can all release unemployment data with the same frequency, say quarterly, and at the same time, say, 15th of the month following the end of the quarter to which the data refer. This is how an evidence base in an Economic Union should serve its people and citizens. A resource or asset that moves from one Member State to another should be measured the same way in the originating country and as it is in the destination country to preserve the utility of data comparability. Admittedly, it would be impossible to account for every single technical and programmatic difference among the Member States. But

the narrower the dissimilarity, the higher the quality of official statistics. To pursue data comparability, the actors such as the OECS Commission, NSOs, key public sector leaders, development partners and subject matter experts should work collaboratively to design an empowered, resilient and visible RSS. Requirements of the OECS RSS To summarise, there are seven broad requirements for the regional statistical system that can effectively build and sustain the evidence base to support the OECS Economic Union’s integration agenda. These requirements are: • It must have the authority to regulate, steer and oversee the operations of its attendant national statistical systems cooperatively, consultatively and transparently; • It must be led by the OECS Commission, taking a holistic perspective and articulating a vision to make available high quality actionable statistical information, that is accessible anywhere, anyhow, anytime; • It must be empowered with sufficient resources, partnerships and expertise such that it serves the needs of the people and institutions of the single economic, social and environmental space; • It must be resilient such that it can respond to changes in statistical needs to reflect the characteristics of its national context, the common regional pursuits; and international initiatives designed for global benefits; • It should pursue data comparability utility such that the evidence base has little or no variation in its description of the context of its Member States, individually or collectively; • It must have the appropriate mechanisms to avoid negative externalities and harvest positive externalities such that its visibility attracts the level of investments from government and development partners; • It must have responsible and compliant actors - data suppliers, data producers and data users and excellent feedback arrangements to ensure the system does not succumb to inertia. Where do you fit in the RSS? ¤

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When I saw that there was a competition for the theme or slogan for the OECS 35th Anniversary, I decided to enter. I have worked at the OECS for eight years, heading the organization’s Geneva Mission since May 2008. Before that I worked for the Government of Dominica in the Ministry for Trade since 1995. I am therefore very familiar with the OECS and its progress towards deeper regional integration. The guiding principles for theme proposals were as follows. It had to be: • Succinct, but relevant and catchy; • Reflecting the OECS proven track record in regional integration; • Capturing the two milestones in the OECS 35th Anniversary and the 5th Anniversary of the OECS Economic Union; I sat at my desk and pondered these guiding principles, and how I could capture those three elements. I guess my thought process was influenced somewhat by who I am and what interests me. I love electronics and things associated with information and communication technology (ICT). So my mind settled on the Internet. I am on the Internet every single day of my life without fail – whether it is on a computer, tablet or smart phone. I thought about what the Internet is, what is does, and how it has changed our world. It occurred to me that what the internet does is in some ways similar to what the OECS was seeking to do. I Googled the Internet and the World Wide Web to read their OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



definitions and descriptions. I wanted to find key words that are associated with this global network of networks, or information superhighway. I noted that the Internet and the World Wide Web are about connecting. They are about integration, bringing together, unifying. These are the things that the OECS has sought to achieve – and has achieved – over the past 35 years. I figured the theme should have the word “connect” or “connecting”; as well as “integration” or “integrating”. I needed a third and final element. The theme could not be too long or unwieldy. But I needed a forward looking element; one that spoke of continuing progress. I thought about “advancing” or “moving forward” to reflect the OECS’s continued march into the future – like the Internet! I started thinking about the construction of the theme, which I wanted (in its written form) to have elements associated with the Internet and the World Wide Web. Initially I thought of a web page link or Internet address and how it is constructed. I also pondered the use of keyboard characters such as “@”, the forward slash (/) and the underscore (_). I Googled those as well, and learned some interesting facts about how they came to be used and why. Finally I wrote down the following:

• •

//OECS@30.five/connecting_ people/integrating_ideas/ moving_forward. //OECS@30.five/connecting/

uniting/integrating/advancing These seemed to capture all elements of the guidelines. Though pleased with my creation, I wondered if it was too nerdy or geeky. My colleague at the Mission was not sure about the slashes and the Internet page look but I submitted anyway. When the list for voting was sent out, I did not see my submissions – at least not the way I submitted them. They had become:

• •

OECS @ 35: Connecting People, Integrating Ideas, Moving Forward OECS @ 35: Connecting, Uniting, Integrating, Advancing

Apparently, someone assumed that all those slashes and underscores were formatting errors (a virus maybe); so they were removed to be easier on the eye. At least the “@” remained. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that one of my slightly amended submissions had won. I felt proud and honored. Part of that pride and honour should go to Mr. Cosbert Woods who removed my slashes and underscores. Perhaps if he hadn’t, it would not have made the winning cut. Who knows? In the end I guess it won because it reflects where the OECS has been (35 years), where it is now (connecting and integrating), and where it is going (moving forward). Happy 35th Anniversary to the people of the OECS!

The Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Lucia congratulates the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in the observance of its 35th Anniversary which is another milestone for the region in terms of the process of integration. It is worth noting the legacy of the OECS, spearheading and promoting Co-operation and Unity between its member countries in order to face the common challenges of the past, present and future – together. The work done so far is exemplary, as today many in Latin America and the Caribbean are – together – embarked upon a journey in the international arena, with other newly created, diverse and innovative institutions such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our Americas (Alba), Petrocaribe, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). As we celebrate this landmark occasion in the history of the sub-region we wish, on the behalf of the Government and People of Venezuela, for Strength and Prosperity for the people of the Eastern Caribbean Islands and all the best for the Organisation in its present and future endeavours.

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BREXIT Creates EU-Britain Nightmare for the Caribbean


By Sir Ronald Sanders

he 12 English-speaking independent countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have at the most two years to formulate a plan for dealing with the serious consequences of the British Exit (BREXIT) from the European Union (EU). Indeed, the time may be less if the current mood of the leadership of the EU intensifies. They want Britain gone “as soon as possible”. The presidents of the European council, commission and parliament – Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz respectively – and Mark Rutte, the prime minister of the Netherlands which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, are reported as saying any delay to Britain’s exit would “unnecessarily prolong uncertainty”. Once Britain finally leaves, the 12 Caribbean countries will have no structured trade relationship with that country. When Britain joined what was OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



then the European Economic Community in 1973, it transferred all authority for its trade agreements to the Community. Ever since then, the formal trade, aid and investment relations between the 12 Caribbean countries has been with EU. These relations were formalised successively in the Lome Convention, the Cotonou Agreement and the Economic Partnership Agreement. Key to the terms under which the Englishspeaking Caribbean countries entered – and continued – the relationship with the EU, was Britain, their former colonial ruler. Up to the time of British entry to the EU, trade between Britain and the 12 Caribbean countries was conducted under a Commonwealth preferences scheme. That scheme fell away once Britain joined the EU and negotiated the extension of some of those preferences to the Englishspeaking Caribbean by the European body.

Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the USA. He has also served as Ambassador to the EU and the WTO and High Commissioner to the UK. Responses and previous commentaries written by Sir Ron visit:

However, even though these Caribbean countries have been notionally trading with the EU, the majority of their exports has been going to the British market. Now that the EU will no longer be representing Britain, the EPA will not cover trade with Britain. That is an issue, however much on the back burner it will be for Britain, that will be important to the Caribbean – at least for trade in services, particularly tourism. British tourists comprise a significant number of the annual visitors to the region. More worryingly, once Britain leaves the EU, there will be several troubling consequences for the 12 Caribbean countries. Not only will the British market disappear from the EU, but so too will the British contribution to official aid and investment. It is most unlikely that the 27 EU countries, which had no historical relationship with, or colonial responsibility for, the English-speaking Caribbean, will want to maintain the level of official aid and investment that now exists. Importantly, it should be recognised that the EU-EPA is the only such formal comprehensive arrangement that Caribbean countries have with any other country or region of the world. It is vital to maintain as much of it as possible.

In effect, once Britain officially exits the EU, Caribbean countries will have no trade agreement with it. Indeed, Britain will have no formal trade agreements with any country, having subsumed its authority for trade matters to the EU. Its first task will be to negotiate trade terms with the remaining 27 EU members, hitherto its biggest trading partner. Those negotiations will not be easy. Britain will then have to try to formalise trade agreements with other countries. The United States will be uppermost in its priorities, but President Obama had warned during the debate on BREXIT, that the UK market of 64 million people would not be high on the US agenda. The EU, with a population of 450 million (without Britain) was a far greater target. In any event, a trade agreement with the 12 small English-speaking Caribbean countries (total market of approximately 7 million) will also not be high on Britain’s list.

There had been some speculation in Britain during the BREXIT debate that Britain could resuscitate trade among the 52 other Commonwealth countries. But, that idea, rooted in Empire, is not only impractical, it would not reap for Britain the trade rewards it derives from the EU. Britain’s earnings from exports to the Commonwealth, is not huge, representing only 9.76 per cent of its total exports in 2014, while its merchandise exports to the EU represented a hefty 45 per cent of its total exports. In any event, total Commonwealth trade in goods has declined over the years. And, even its share of world trade is owed to the trading capacity of only six of the Commonwealth states – Singapore, India, Malaysia, Australia, Britain and Canada. Moreover, that trade is not between themselves. For instance, China is Australia’s biggest trading partner, and the US and Mexico are Canada’s. In 2014, the six countries accounted for 84 per cent of all Commonwealth exports; 47 countries combined, including South Africa and

Nigeria made up only 16 per cent. Not surprisingly, the 36 Commonwealth small states, including the 12 in the Caribbean, enjoy only a tiny share of Commonwealth exports. As for the notion that Commonwealth countries could fashion a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement (FTA) under which they could give preferences to each other to expand intra-Commonwealth trade, while this is technically possible to make it compliant with WTO rules, it is enormously difficult from a legal, administrative and even political standpoint. Certainly, Cyprus and Malta would have to leave the EU customs union. Other Commonwealth countries would also have to review their commitments to other countries with which they have joined in FTAs to ensure that the effect of Commonwealth preferences does not violate their existing agreements, which, in many cases, it must do to make the Commonwealth FTA beneficial to many of its participants. Finally, the benefits of improved preferential access to all Commonwealth States within an FTA would be exploited by the major economies such as India, Malaysia and then by the developed Commonwealth countries, Britain, Australia and Canada. The Commonwealth’s 36 small states would not get much of a look-in. Other options have to be explored by the Caribbean countries for dealing with the twin-problem of no formal trade relationship with Britain, and an existing EPA with the EU that is now skewered and ripe with problems. The Caribbean has known for over a year that the referendum on BREXIT was coming. The result could only have been one of two things – either Britain would stay within the EU in which case it would be business as usual, or Britain would leave. In the latter case, the scenario described above would be the reality with which the Caribbean would be faced. Plans for dealing with it should, therefore, have already been thought through. If not, the Caribbean has at most two years, and the clock is ticking. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




CAIPA Elects New President and Executive


GM of Regional Investment Agencies Hosted in Curacao

A new President and Board of Directors have been elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) to serve for the period from 2017-2019. Hosted in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), on 7-8 June 2016 in Curacao outgoing CAIPA President Mr. McHale Andrew (CEO of Invest Saint Lucia) in opening remarks noted the continued importance and relevance of Caribbean investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to the region’s economic development and encouraged members to persevere despite the continued challenges of declining budgets and governmental changes that often adversely affect the continuity of investment promotion programmes. The elected representatives to the CAIPA Board of Directors include: CAIPA President, Ms. Diane Edwards of JAMPRO, Ms. Racquel Moses of Invest Trinidad &

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



Tobago, who will serve as the 1st Vice President, Ms. Bernadette AmbroseBlack, 2nd Vice President, while the 4 Directors are: Mr. Ramon Koffijberg of CINEX, Ms. Rhoda Joseph of Invest Dominica Authority, Mr. Owen Verwey of GO-INVEST and Mr. Ronald Theodore of the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation. Speaking at the event, the Chairperson of the Board at Caribbean Export, Ms. Donnalee Bowe encouraged the CAIPA Members to celebrate the work that has been successfully implemented under the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme that comes to an end in July 2016. She also encouraged the members to learn from the mistakes to improve on future expected programmes. Opening remarks were also delivered by the Ismail Ersahin, Deputy Executive Director of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), Ramon Koffijberg, Executive Director of CINEX (Curacao’s Investment and Trade

The Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) is an umbrella organization of investment promotion agencies in CARIFORUM as well as Curacao, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Association is dedicated to the strengthening of its members and the promotion of the region as an ideal location for investment. Caribbean Export serves as the Secretariat for CAIPA. For further information on CAIPA, please contact Ms. Suzette Hudson at or visit the CAIPA website at

Promotion Agency). As a prospective member of CAIPA, brief remarks were also delivered by the Honourable Marlon Penn, Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion of the Government of the British Virgin Islands. Under the theme “Expanding our Reach, Strengthening our Impact” Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) officials, sought to focus attention on the work undertaken during the 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme (10th EDF RPSDP), to evaluate its successes and achievements and highlight the main lessons learnt during the execution of the programme. The members also focused attention on the development of impact assessment models for the tourism and business process outsourcing sectors in an effort to provide valuable information on the potential impact on jobs, taxes and GDP of investments into the aforementioned sectors. The CAIPA Annual Meeting 2016 also saw the members making a special commitment to collaborating with WAIPA in a meaningful way with an agreed work programme that will draw on WAIPA’s experience and knowledge of good practices in investment promotion. The members also committed to expanding the reach of CAIPA and encouraging the participation of non-CAIPA

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Caribbean Overseas Countries (OCTs) and territories of the European Union in an effort to strengthen the CAIPA brand and the Caribbean’s value proposition. In this regard the meeting committed to continued collaboration with the COSME Programme (which is an EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises of the OCTs). The CAIPA Annual Meeting was made possible with the support of the EU under the 10th EDF RPSDP and the Haiti-Dominican Republic Bi-national programmes that are managed by Caribbean Export. Participating CAIPA member states were Barbados, Belize, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos Islands. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




New Unit to Boost Caribbean Creative Industries


he process of cultivating a buoyant and sustainable cultural and creative economy in the Caribbean moved a step closer with the development of a plan to establish the Caribbean Creative Industries Management Unit (CCIMU). The Unit is proposed to foster creativity, support development of businesses, create opportunities and improve trade. Central to the success of the unit will be the legal framework, ensuring the rights and obligations of stakeholders are respected and legally protected. Experts reviewed plans for the CCIMU during a recent session at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, spearheaded by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Speaking on behalf of Pamela CokeHamilton, executive director, Caribbean Export, Gayle Gollop, special adviser, Trade and Legal Affairs, reiterated: “We OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



still face the challenge of the lack of strategic and focused management in the development of the region’s creative and cultural industries. This lack of a coordinated regional approach has hindered the sector’s ability to contribute to sustainable development in the region. “The biggest gap has been the absence of structure that addresses the monetisation of the creative industries in the region.” Caribbean Export has been assigned the lead role in the development of the CCIMU. The CCIMU is to be the premier provider of evidence-based services to enhance the performance and competitiveness of the creative industries across the Caribbean. This can only be achieved through taking a leadership role, facilitating an enabling environment through the enhancement of value chains, strengthening of regional networks and building capacity of the Caribbean creative industries to grow and be more competitive internationally. Speaking on behalf of the CDB, Edward Greene, division chief, Technical Cooperation Division, expressed gratitude

to Caribbean Export for the collaboration and taking the lead on the initiative. “CDB is pleased to be a partner in the creation of the CCIMU. We know that the CCIMU can play a critical role in addressing the needs of the regional creative industries—by fostering creativity; developing businesses; creating opportunities and improving trade; and ensuring that the rights and obligations of stakeholders are respected and legally protected,” he said. CDB is providing funding for technical assistance to support establishment of the CCIMU through the staging of stakeholder consultations and development of a business plan. Central to the discussion at the meeting of key industry stakeholders were the priority sectors within the region’s creative industries. These were identified to be music, animation, fashion and festivals in view of their potential to deliver the most growth and value-add across the wider economy. ¤

Caribbean’s Agriculture Sector to Undergo “Rapid Scan”


Senior Programme Coordinator for Agricultural Policy and Value Chains at the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Development (CTA), Juan Cheaz Pelaez

he agriculture sector in several countries in the Caribbean is being analysed to help improve the production and marketing of highly nutritious food, according to a top official of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). Senior Programme Coordinator for Agricultural Policy and Value Chains at the CTA, Juan Cheaz Pelaez said “the rapid scan” would help policy-makers craft the best approach. The rapid scans are focusing on the initiatives and challenges facing agriculture and nutrition, with a view to approaching consumer groups, private sector, ministries of agriculture and education and scientists. The CTA official noted that most produce lose their nutritional value after they have been harvested. “It is in the post-harvest handling that you experience most of the losses in terms of nutritional and economic value, so definitely the issue of post-harvest handling is important,” he said. He said the focus would be on priority crops such as roots, tubers, small ruminants and herbs and spices. The rapid scan is also trying to ascertain whether consumers are buying foods because they are cheap or nutritious.

The countries being targeted for rapid scans are Barbados, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, and St. Lucia. The full report is expected by mid 2016 after which stakeholders are expected to craft a strategy. The mini-studies have been already conducted in Haiti, St. Lucia and Suriname. Four Pacific Island nations including the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea are also being studied. “The end-game of this is that this doesn’t stop with the scan and the report. The end-game is that those reports would suggest what are the capacity building areas that are most critical at the national level and we would support those national capacity building efforts towards the building of a platform and the role of those platforms at the national level would be for those concerned to establish their own nutrition agendas,” said Cheaz Pelaez. The findings from the Caribbean and Pacific would be shared with 50 experts with the aim of building national strategies in enhancing nutrition, modernizing business and tackling climate change, said the CTA official. CTA’s Associate Programme Coordinator, Samson Vilvil Fare told the news conference that the Pacific has also shared its knowledge about droughtsmart crops such as dasheens with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and

CTA’s Associate Programme Coordinator, Samson Vilvil Fare

Development Institute (CARDI). “The Pacific has really developed a very good drought-smart crop in dasheen and they are very interested in having it in the Caribbean,” he said. In exchange, the Caribbean is expected to provide information about yellow yams. The Caribbean-Pacific Agri-Food Forum, which was held at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, is focusing on value-chain development and inclusive business models, the agriculture-nutrition nexus and the way forward, policy analysis and advocacy for farmers’ leaders, access to finance, building partnerships and alliances to scale-up climate smart and adaptation solutions in the Caribbean and linking agriculture and tourism. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Development Banks Seek Greater Economic Empowerment of Women in the Caribbean


ore than 200 leaders from the private sector, governments, multilateral development banks, bilateral agencies and civil society in the region met recently in Washington to share successful and innovative initiatives to help shape the gender equality agenda in the coming years. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which collaborated with the World Bank in convening the two-day Sixth Summit of the Working Group on Gender, said the challenges being faced by these institutions were among the questions discussed at the event. It said that the goal of the summit “Stereotypes & Opportunities: Women’s Economic Empowerment, is to facilitate the exchange of best practices and evidence-based approaches to advance the economic empowerment of women worldwide. Specifically, the female labour market participation, the wage gap, selecting no studies or work in traditionally female sectors, entrepreneurship and women’s leadership, were among the topics discussed in depth during this event, the IDB said. Despite the growing recognition that economic empowerment of women is essential to achieve development objectives, such as reducing poverty, promoting inclusive economic growth and productivity-increasing, many women around the world continue to see limited their ability to achieve economic change in their lives, the IDB said. “These challenges threaten our ability to create economic opportunities for both women and men,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “For this reason, we have prioritized an ambitious gender agenda at work within our institution and in the region.” Panellists at the summit, included experts from the five multilateral development banks that form the gender working group, namely the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the IDB, as well as representatives of numerous regional governments. ¤

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CARICOM and ILO Sign Significant



he Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is closer to setting up a labour market information system for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). On Thursday, June 16, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRoque, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The MOU allows CARICOM Member States to utilise a software tool developed by the ILO for the facilitation of labour market analysis and other related functions. The MOU was signed at the CARICOM Secretariat’s headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana. The software, called .Stat, was first presented by the ILO at a regional consultation hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat in October 2015. This was attended by representatives of Ministries of Labour, Statistics and Social Security from the Member States. Coming out of subsequent meetings with Member States, it was decided that the software tool was appropriate for setting up a CARICOM Labour Market Information System (LMIS). Apart from facilitating labour market analysis, the software tool allows for the monitoring and reporting on policies as well as information sharing and coordination. The MOU authorises CARICOM and its Member States to use the software free of charge for the implementation of an LMIS both nationally and regionally. ¤

An OECS Regional Integration Index:

By Michelle Stephens Jules

Why we Need a Transparent Framework for Measuring Progress in our Integration Efforts.


Michelle Stephens is a Chartered Marketer, Certified Strategy and Business Planning Professional and the Chief Strategy Officer at Caribbean Strategy Inc. She has over 15 years experience in marketing, business development and strategic planning across the Caribbean, and holds a MBA from the Edinburgh Business School. You can follow Ms. Stephens on Twitter at michellestephens@Michst22.

fter 35 years, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has in large part achieved the goals of the Treaty of Basseterre. Signed in 1981 and later revised in 2010, the Treaty aims to promote cooperation and maintain unity amongst member states, harmonize positions on foreign policy, establish a single economic and financial space, as well as facilitate constitutional, political and economic changes to support member states to successfully compete regionally and internationally. The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and common currency the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority – ECTEL and the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority (ECCAA) stand as testament to the OECS’ accomplishment. But in spite of this celebration, there is a lingering discontent with the pace and perceived value of the integration process; the citizenry seldom embrace the ideals of a one OECS save in the euphoria of sporting wins or solemn camaraderie when natural disasters hit. In the midst of Britain’s June 23rd 2016 vote to exit the European Union (EU), and Jamaica’s establishment of a CARICOM Review Committee – to research and evaluate the cost and benefits to Jamaica of its membership in CARICOM before deciding its future as part of the community, the OECS in 2015 officially welcomed its newest member Martinique and is considering the membership of

at least two (2) other islands. For the OECS, are the membership interests a signal of the progress of its integration movement? Do we need a measured and objective means of quantifying the integration progress? A tool that will tell us which countries are implementing the necessary policies to deepen the integration agenda, which countries are falling behind and why, which regional institutions are proving most effective in facilitating and promoting the goals of the Treaty and what is the value of all the integration efforts to the average OECS citizen, to avoid a similar call by member states to review its membership in the OECS? After 35 years, if one criticism can be laid against the OECS’ (and some might argue that of its bigger sister CARICOM) regional integration movement is the lack of clear, consistent and cohesive updates to the citizenry of the sub-region as to the progress of the integration movement. What the sub-region has benefited from over the years are celebratory sound bites of achievements. Given the growing need for accountability from national and regional agencies, an OECS regional integration index is indeed needed to further the integration agenda and inform the citizenry of its progress and value to them. The call for quantifying integration efforts is not new. The EU has its own index for measuring economic integration for certain member states which also allows them to rank members on their integration into the EU. This index measures four (4) primary indicators each with its own sub-indices – single

market, EU homogeneity, EU symmetry and institutional conformity. Similarly, the African Union, the African Development Bank and the Economic Commission for Africa launched the African Regional Integration Index in 2016 to present a cross boarder and multidisciplinary view of their integration efforts. It measures five (5) different dimensions: trade integration, regional infrastructure, productive integration, free movement of people and financial and macroeconomic integration with sixteen (16) sub-indices used to calculate the index. While a copy and paste model is not advocated, gauging the OECS integration progress using a similar practical and results focused tool can be customized and developed using the best practices from the EU and African Union with technical and financial support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). This OECS Regional Integration Index will then act as a status report for policy makers at the national, sub-regional and regional level, an on-the-ground reality check and evaluation framework for the OECS Commission, an accessible and usable reference guide for businesses and the wider citizenry and finally a comprehensive accountability tool to facilitate action on the strengths and weaknesses of the entire integration movement. References: Inching towards integration by Carlos Lopes for the IMF’s Finance and Development Magazine and the EU-Index Measuring European Economic Integration Tool. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Prepare for Impact of Brexit but Don’t Panic, CARICOM Told


ir Hilary Beckles urges CARICOM to avoid a wait and see approach

A University of the West Indies (UWI) forum held in Jamaica to discuss the impact of the UK’s pending exit from the European Union brought some advice for CARICOM – prepare for the potential fallout. At the same, there’s a suggestion that there won’t be any crisis. During the forum, the UWI Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles offered recommendations to CARICOM in response to the development, popularly referred to as Brexit. He said that CARICOM must move as a matter of urgency to reinvent the scenario post emancipation, which saw Caribbean indigenous people networking freely across the region. Sir Hilary urged CARICOM to avoid a wait and see approach, and immediately establish, with the UWI, a Task Force to research, monitor and report on the weekly developments that will take place over the next two years. It’s important, he said, that leaders in government and the private sector have access to factual, detailed information on an ongoing basis in order to guide their thinking and decisions. The Vice Chancellor stressed that the university is already in the field on every relevant front and can become the agency through which leaders are provided with the information and insights to craft the Caribbean journey through the changing environment. His second recommendation is that CARICOM set up a Regional Research and Development Fund in order to facilitate innovation within the private sector that is required to strengthen entrepreneurship. Commenting on the failure to take advantage of the opportunities of the Economic Partnership Agreements with Europe, Sir Hilary noted that the regional economy is at a stage where it can only compete at the level of innovation, and it is failing to do so because of inadequate research and development within production.

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Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles (second right) makes a point at the UWI Forum on Brexit. With him are (l-r) Bruce Golding, Chair of Jamaica’s CARICOM Review Commission; British High Commissioner to Jamaica.

The UWI Vice Chancellor contended that the region “must also strengthen the conversation around and renegotiate the various agreements that can strengthen and expand the CARIFORUM (EU Economic Partnership Agreement), including pacts negotiated by the African Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) which the Caribbean has not taken full advantage of over several years and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).” Sir Hilary noted that even before the Brexit vote, the EU had graduated most Caribbean countries, with the exception of Haiti, into a mid- income designation level “that denies us the support we are entitled to”. In this regard, he said CARICOM should insist that a vulnerability index should be used instead to more accurately gauge the needs of the various countries in the region. “Britain has skillfully managed its relationship with this continent over the past 800 years. They refused to fund our plans for a Federation and left 80 percent of our people illiterate when they finally granted us Independence in 1962. That sent the entire Caribbean into hyper-spending mode to clean up the mess and now we have insurmountable fiscal problems. Instead of financial help we were offered preferential treatment for our raw materials. Then Britain joined the EU in the 1970s, leaving behind the Caribbean and CARICOM. We had the same discussion then as we are having today – what are we going to do now?” Sir Hilary queried. “You are well positioned as strategic leaders to help steer the region on the right path”, he told newly appointed chairman of Jamaica’s CARICOM Review Commission, Bruce Golding who was on the panel. Golding said that while the exit by Britain from the EU may have some impact on the Caribbean he did not think it would reach crisis proportions. He predicted that “the British economy will take some blows, possibly even go into recession, but I don’t think it is contagious.” The former Jamaican prime minister pointed out that Caribbean

trading with Europe has been “at best anaemic” in the recent past and even then, there has typically been more activity with countries other than Britain. “In any event, most of the agreements we have signed are with the EU and not Britain and these should not be adversely affected,” he said, noting that new agreements may have to be negotiated with Britain, in due course. However, Golding added, “these arrangements will not absolve us from the need to fix our own domestic problems.” British High Commissioner to Jamaica, David Fitton , another panelist said he did not see why there would be a negative change in the relationship between Europe and Caribbean as a result of the exit, but noted that “Britain has been one of the main champions of the Caribbean at the EU and the Caribbean must work very hard to maintain those trade relationships that have benefitted them over several years.” Meanwhile, Executive Business Development & Research, Jamaica National Building Society, Dr. Dana Dixon, predicted that Brexit will have “profound implications for Caribbean businesses”. Noting that immediately following the vote, the British pound depreciated by over 10 per cent and plunged to its lowest value in 31 years and stock markets were negatively affected”, Dr. Dixon added: “Brexit has caused all of us to look at our investments in sterling and our exposure. We are concerned about remittances, which for Jamaica is approximately 16.7 percent of our annual GDP, and there is a real threat to tourism earnings, especially for countries like Barbados which is a prime destination for British tourists”. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Making the Most of Caribbean Spectrum A Valuable Invisible Shared Commodity International delegates take a photo call at the Regional Radiocommunications Seminar for the Americas, organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), held in Port of Spain from July 18 to 22, 2016. Seated in the front row, left to right, are Nigel Cassimire, Telecommunications Strategist, CTU; Francois Rancy, Director, Radiocommunication Bureau, ITU; Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General, CTU; and Eduardo Sierra, Financial Markets Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank


aribbean countries have found an interesting way to extract value from one invisible shared commodity.

The valuable resource is known to telecommunication industry insiders as spectrum. That’s the simple term for the complex range of electromagnetic frequencies used to transmit sound, video or data over the airwaves. Spectrum is vital to everyday life. It’s what carries voice between mobile phones, television shows to screens, and data from one computer to the next, wirelessly. It supports a growing number of important electronic and digital services, from weather forecasting and road safety applications to national emergency broadcast systems. But because radio frequencies propagate across borders, transmissions from one country can cause what is known as harmful interference in another country. And when two transmitters get their signals crossed in this way, it can be very frustrating for paying customers in both countries, who experience lower overall quality and reliability of service. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) coordinates the shared global use of spectrum, but the question of how spectrum is managed within the small, close spaces shared by Caribbean islands is largely one for regional governments and agencies to hash out among themselves. As they’ve been working together to figure out how their national frequencies should get used and who should benefit, regional officials have struck on the value of spectrum harmonisation.

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“We work with national, regional and international organisations to increase the capacity and expertise of our Caribbean practitioners in the space of spectrum management,” said Nigel Cassimire, Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), an intergovernmental organisation that advises officials on technology and telecommunications matters.

“The ITU and the CTU were pleased to work together to bring this forum to the Caribbean,” said Cleveland Thomas, ITU regional representative for the Caribbean.

Through initiatives like its Harmonised Caribbean Spectrum Planning and Management Project, the CTU has helped member-states to pool resources and join efforts to synchronise their spectrum policies.

As part of their effort to avoid harmful interference in the use of spectrum, the ITU holds the World Radiocommunication Conference every three years. Thomas said more Caribbean voices need to be heard at such international fora, if the interests of the region are to be protected on the international stage.

“For years, we’ve had a situation of harmful interference in the Eastern Caribbean, among the English-speaking, French and Dutch islands. But the CTU’s Spectrum Harmonisation project brought together the relevant parties, and there is now a draft agreement between stakeholders in the French territories and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. They are now seeking to harmonise their individual use of frequencies, such that they minimise harmful interference and improve efficiency in their use of spectrum for mutual benefit,” he said. As part of the ongoing effort to harmonise member states’ use of spectrum, the CTU and ITU organised a weeklong Regional Radiocommunication Seminar from July 18 to 22, facilitated by experts from the ITU, and held with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank. About 50 delegates from the Caribbean, Central and South America gathered in Port of Spain, Trinidad to learn more about the best practices regarding the use of national spectrum, and the current regulatory framework for international frequency management.

“Forums like these bring together regional regulators, government officials, technical community and academic researchers, and create a space for professional networking and relationship building.”

Cassimire agreed and pointed out that events like the joint ITU-CTU workshop represented a tangible effort to amplify the Caribbean region’s voice on the global stage. “Meetings like this help us to increase regional awareness of the important issues being discussed at the global level, to encourage governments to send delegations to significant international meetings such as the World Radiocommunications Conference, and to prepare regional delegates to better represent national and regional interests at those multi-lateral gatherings,” Cassimire said. Caribbean countries have their work cut out as they seek to get the most out of their use of spectrum. In the meantime, the ongoing regional collaboration makes for an interesting case study in the power of pooled resources and joint effort.

UKCIF Funds to Rehabilitate Road Networks in AntiguaBarbuda and Dominica


ntigua and Barbuda, and Dominica are the first countries to access funding from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF), as the board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of £186,000 (US$245,000) to assist Antigua and Barbuda in the rehabilitation of its road network. A grant of £794,000 (US$1.047 million) was also approved to assist Dominica with post-Tropical Storm Erika recovery efforts. “The road networks of Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica, play a fundamental role in the promotion of inclusive growth and sustainable development. The passage of Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica clearly illustrated the threats that are posed by the impacts of climate change related events on road infrastructure. We are pleased that this grant funding is available to facilitate the development of a more sustainable and climate-resilient approach to the design, construction and maintenance of our road networks.” said Andrew Dupigny, head, infrastructure partnerships at CDB. The Antigua and Barbuda grant will assist the government in conducting a feasibility study, as well as the preparation of design specifications and bidding documents for the rehabilitation of eight road corridors, amounting to 49.2 miles of road network. Particular attention will be paid to possible future effects of climate change, which could have wide-ranging impacts on the country’s roads – including damage due to flooding; overloading of the existing drainage systems and damage to street infrastructure.

The study will also consider the capacity of the existing road network to accommodate increasing traffic flows, as well as support standards, guidelines and systems to manage and implement road maintenance, rehabilitation and construction activities effectively. In Dominica, the funds will be used to prepare a feasibility study and detailed designs for the rehabilitation of the Loubiere to Bagatelle Road. This stretch of road is the primary link between the capital city, Roseau, and the southern communities of Bellevue Chopin, Pichelin, Grand Bay, Bagatelle and Fond St. Jean. The study will also consider, among other things, rock fall protection systems, slope stabilisation, replacement and rehabilitation of bridges, culverts and river training for the respective river crossings which intersect the road. A road safety assessment on the entire road network will also be carried out. This assessment will inform infrastructure investments, to determine those that will have the greatest impact on reducing road fatalities and injuries. The funds are being provided through the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF), which became operational earlier this year, and provides grant financing to eight Caribbean countries eligible for overseas development assistance, and UK Overseas Territory, Montserrat. This technical assistance intervention is consistent with CDB’s strategic objective of promoting broad-based economic growth and inclusive social development within its borrowing member countries; and CDB’s corporate priority of strengthening and modernising social and economic infrastructure. OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Ericsson to Provide World-Class Managed Services for Flow Mobile Networks in Caribbean Three-year contract for managed services of the Flow mobile network in the North Caribbean region


IAMI, FL– July 12, 2016 -- Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) will extend its long-term relationship with C&W Communications, which operates the retail brand Flow, and its new owner, Liberty Global (LiLAC Group), to provide world-class managed services, including operating and managing the Flow mobile network and field services and monitoring the network management for Flow in the Northern Caribbean region. C&W and Liberty Global’s strategic partnership extension with Ericsson further strengthens their commitment in improving the quality and reliability of its services and strong network performance to customers. The three-year contract will include top-of-the-line field services (including corrective and preventive maintenance of the mobile core and radio equipment) and a Network Operations Center (NOC) to monitor and maintain the mobile network for Flow in the Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Turks & Caicos markets. With these enhancements, Ericsson will help Flow deliver a best-in-class level of performance, such as higher network availability and reduced outages. As a result, customers will see improvements in data and voice quality and overall mobile experience, aimed at helping Flow further improve their Net Promoter Score (NPS); a measure which gauges a customer’s overall satisfaction with service as well as brand loyalty.

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Covers field services and a cutting-edge Network Operations Center (NOC) to monitor traffic in twelve markets “This partnership with Ericsson is part of C&W’s strategy to continually invest in our network, improve the quality of service and innovate technology for our customers throughout the region,” said Carlo Alloni, Executive Vice-president and CTIO, C&W. “With this long-term business relationship with Ericsson, they will bring best practice processes, tools and methods to significantly improve our customers’ experience throughout our mobile network.” “Continuing to provide managed services for Flow’s mobile network builds on our regional leadership, supporting our customers so that they can capitalize on innovation to increase their operational efficiencies and explore new go-to-market models. Ericsson will maintain the network at a superior quality so that subscribers enjoy the best experience available,” said Jean-Claude Geha, Head of Managed Services at Ericsson. Ericsson is the global leader in telecommunications managed services, managing networks for multiple operators worldwide via a combination of global and local network operations centers. Ericsson employs 66,000 services professionals in 180 countries, and provides managed services for networks that serve more than 1 billion subscribers. In addition, Ericsson is present today in all high-traffic LTE markets including US, Japan, and South Korea, and is ranked first for handling the most global LTE traffic. Forty percent of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. ¤

OAS and Private Sector to Boost Digital Connectivity in the Americas


he Organization of American States (OAS), several leading companies in the field of information and communications technologies (ICTs), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and a group of universities from across the

region today signed the “2030 ICT Alliance for the Americas” to expand connectivity in the region and to democratize the preparation of young people for participating in the modern economy. The 2030 ICT Alliance for the Americas initiative is to be implemented by the OAS’s Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). The agreement is a corollary to the forum “ICTs and the eradication of poverty in the Americas: The role of public-private partnerships,” organized by the OAS and the government of the Dominican Republic in its capacity as Chair of the Permanent Executive Committee of CITEL on the occasion of the OAS General Assembly. The Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, emphasized that “it is vital that we give our young people the opportunity to compete, that our citizens are able to access high-technology services. At the present time, democratizing access to them is an essential mechanism for expanding more rights for more people.” The project is aligned with the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and it seeks to provide internet access to 1.5 billion people across the world by the year 2020; to ensure that all public schools in the Americas are connected to the internet over the coming 15 years; and to strengthen democratic participation in the Americas through ICTs. The companies participating in the project are, to date, Millicom, CISCO, América Móvil, and Telefónica. ECLAC has also joined the initiative. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




CTO Looks to Multi-Destination Tourism


aribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) chairman Richard Sealy wants his membership to embrace multi-destinational travel when offering vacation packages to potential visitors as a way of keeping the region competitive.

He said although the state of the industry was positive and the Caribbean got off to a fast start in 2016 with a 7.3 per cent increase in the first quarter over 2015, tourism officials should not get comfortable with current strategies deployed and the subsequent conversion of such plans into meaningful business. He is using them to seek new partnerships while staying true to product innovation. Tourist arrivals to the region this year are projected to surpass the 30 million mark for the first time ever. This follows a record 28.7 million arrivals in 2015. Sealy, who attended the recent 43rd Annual Caribbean Week New York, referred to memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominica Republic for multidestinational packages and called for similar arrangements to be explored by other Caribbean nations “We all know that some visitors, especially the more adventurous ones, will not be content to simply visit an island. They may want to visit a couple islands. We have to be prepared to facilitate that. The Aviation Task Force of the CTO is doing

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CTO chairman Richard Sealy with Debra Roach, head, USA for Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, centre, and Melanie Brandman, of Brandman PR, at Caribbean Week New York. Photo: Sean Nero.

some very good work and reaching out to the airlines in the region—CAL, Insel Air, Liat. We are looking at how best we can facilitate more regional movement, as well, so that we can have these various multi-destinational offerings. “And Cuba is very much part of that mix. Cayman Airways is already going into Cuba and bringing people out in some very significant numbers. We think that we are in a good place with respect to Cuba’s reintegration in the Americas. They have always been backed by Europe and Canada and we are happy to see the attention that Cuba gets,” he said. Sealy emphasised that “attention for Cuba was attention for the Caribbean” and rather than being threatened by what had been happening with regards to the opening up of Cuba, it was seen as a very positive development for the Caribbean and the CTO. He said: “Cuba is a member of the CTO. The level of activity has varied over the years, but Cuba is a part of CTO and of course has been for many years—a major player in Caribbean tourism. Cuba gets more tourists than anyone else here and that has been the case for several years. We are talking about over three-and-ahalf million tourists. Of course that is going to increase over the coming years, but it is not anything new for us at the CTO.” He expressed satisfaction at the news that the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) headed by Karolin G Troubetzkoy is engaging tourism officials in Cuba. ¤

Cave Hill School of Business


Preparing the Region’s Leaders for the Future

or over twenty-five years, The Cave Hill School of Business Inc.- The University of the West Indies (CHSB) has been renowned for its high quality delivery of programmes geared toward advanced learning and professional development throughout Barbados, the OECS and the wider region. Through its academic programmes and professional development initiatives, CHSB has equipped a cadre of middle to senior level managers with the knowledge and skills required to effectively propel their organizations to success. As a trainer of managers, CHSB has a natural flexibility that enables it to easily address current needs of organizations and individuals in the region. Academic Programme Director, Dr Ann Wallace, explained “We very smoothly migrated to the digital delivery of our programmes, so that we can meet our customers where they are, help them to build marketable skills and contend with the deep-pocket competition from distant lands.” “While we started with Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, we have gone international. We have participants from the

UK, Central America and North America. We are constantly working to ensure our relevance through the modernising of our programmes”. Emerging from humble beginnings, CHSB has experienced exponential growth in the quantity of programmes offered as well as the organizational linkages it has established at various levels within the business community. Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jeannine Comma stated “We understand the needs of the region because we consistently engage with the private and public sector to identify the issues they are facing and their strategic visions for their organizations.” Looking beyond 2016, Dr Comma speaks of, “creating an expanded School of Business within the context of Cave Hill, seeking to ensure continued relevance.” With CHSB’s academic and non-academic programmes, business professionals can look forward to becoming immersed in flexible programmes, exciting and interactive professional development initiatives that help them become better in their leadership, customer service and human resources functions on the job. CHSB has designed a comprehensive and interactive programme Leadership Development core programme that includes its Executive Leadership Programme and Women in Leadership. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Caricom Makes Progress on Renewable Energy


aricom leaders will sign an agreement at next month’s Heads of Government Meeting, to officially launch the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE) in Barbados. This was confirmed yesterday by Devon Gardner, programme manager at the Caricom Secretariat. The CCREE was first inaugurated in October 2015. Gardner said while regional leaders have not agreed on some issues, renewable energy is one they are inclined to agree upon. “If we look at renewable energy as one aspect of integration, it means its one aspect of integration that we could get right,” he said. “We might not have gotten the free movement of people and the CSME, so there are still a lot of things to be worked out in that sense. Look at some of the successful institutions like CXC. Nobody talks about GCE or O’ levels anymore. CXC is a creature of Caricom and part of the regional integration process.” Gardner said the issue of renewable energy is being taken seriously by the Caricom leaders.

Network of NGOs for the Advancement of Women Co-ordinator Hazel Brown, left, speaks with Caricom Secretariat Energy Programme Manager Devon Gardner and Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Foundation Myn Garcia during the first day of a National Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Energy at the UTT John Donaldson Creativity Campus in Port-of-Spain yesterday. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON Gardner said funding of renewable energy projects continues to be a challenge and to achieve Caricom’s renewable energy targets successfully, US$30 billion is required “That US$30 billion would not have all been all new investments because some of it would have been to replace existing power plants which would have required an investment anyway,” he said, adding that US$15 billion would be for new investments and US$15 billion for repairs. He said Caricom countries are “financially stressed” and funding does not exist in the public sector, so it should be taken from international funding agencies.

In an interview during the coffee break at a National Policy Dialogue on Sustainable Energy at UTT’s Creativity Campus in Port-of-Spain yesterday, he said: “In terms of the interest and having it implemented, that interest continues and it is very high.”

“With the right kind of governance arrangement which is the planning, the policy framework and the legislative framework, some of international partners such as the World Bank and the IDB which could provide some of the public financing that could support some of the early stage work which would attract investments from the private sector,” he said

In early May, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley attended the US-Caribbean-Central American Energy Security Summit in Washington D.C. and told leaders that given the “enormous scale” of resources in the region, renewable energy should be contributing more to the energy needs and increasing prospects of energy security.

Gardner said setting targets for renewable energy goals is good regardless of whether a country achieves them or not since they give Caricom something to work towards. Political will to drive renewable energy projects varies from country to country, he said. ¤

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



CARICOM Climate Change Institution Wins International Award


The team at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). he Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has been awarded the 2016 Energy Globe for a project submitted on Belize.

CCCCC won from over 1,500 projects submitted from 170 countries and according to a statement issued here, the Energy Globe Award is a prestigious environmental prize worldwide. It distinguishes projects regionally, nationally and globally that conserve resources such as energy or utilize renewable or emission-free sources. The 2016 National Winner of the Energy Globe Award in Belize installed a mobile biogas laboratory at the University of Belize’s Belmopan Campus in order to build capacity in the biogas sector. The submission for the Project “Biogas Laboratory at UB” was made by Henrik Personn, the Renewable Energy Expert at the CCCCC and was designed and implemented by the regional organization. CCCCC said that since its installation, University of Belize’s Faculty of Science and Technology has made strides in

incorporating the Biogas Laboratory into activities that are contributing to educational activities through research and teaching. “Currently, a collaborative effort to assess the biogas potential of several waste biomass including banana and citrus is being executed. A student in the university’s Bachelors of Biology Programme recently conducted thesis work in the lab and presented his findings at the UB Biology and Chemistry Symposium held in May 2016,” the CCCCC said. The regional organization said the university is also actively engaging stakeholders to determine how the biogas lab can contribute to solving some environmental concerns. “To achieve those goals, the University is seeking partnerships that can help support the initiatives of the Lab. Therefore, the Laboratory is exploring the possibility of expanding its research capacity through participation in the Red Mesoamericana de Investigacion y Desarrollo de Biocombustibles (RMIDB) and will be submitting a proposal for funding consideration from the network,” it said. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




CDB Approves Funding for a More ClimateResilient Caribbean Transport Sector


he Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding to address the high incidence of damage to the road infrastructure in Caribbean countries by natural hazard events and the potential for the loss of roads by rising sea levels. Through a technical assistance project, the bank will fund a study on approaches for mainstreaming climate resilience into the road transport sector in its borrowing member countries (BMCs). Each year, transport infrastructure in the Caribbean, and particularly road infrastructure, suffers substantial damage as a result of natural hazard events, with flooding being among the most frequent and costly of events. Also, the threat to road transport infrastructure is heightened by the projected effects of climate variability and climate change, particularly increased intensity of rain storms, sea level rise, and increased ambient temperatures. The bank is providing US$768,000 for the project, which will develop and pilot approaches for constructing road infrastructures that are resilient to natural hazards and climate change. The study will be done in two countries, which will be selected on the basis of geography and risk profiles that would allow for the outputs of the study to be transferable to other countries. CDB’s director of projects, Daniel Best, noted that most of the road agencies across the bank’s BMCs have OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



not mainstreamed changes in their approaches or requirements for the design, construction and management of road infrastructure that enhance resilience to the threats from natural hazards and climate change. “This is, in part, due to the limited availability of tools tailored for their particular use, as well as the limited data and capacity within the responsible agencies with regard to the assessment of the vulnerability of infrastructure to climate risks and the determination of appropriate response strategies,” Best noted. “The differential impacts on women and men, youth, the aging population and persons with disabilities arising from the vulnerability of road infrastructure have also not been adequately considered across the BMCs. Issues of inclusivity and gender must be integrated into the operation of the road transport sector, in infrastructure and in road transport services,” he said. Activities to be completed under the project include: •

a sector-wide, gender-sensitive climate risk and vulnerability assessment;

the assessment of relevant policies, plans, strategies, legal and regulatory frameworks and proposals to build capacity to implement resilience measures;

the development of an index to measure the level of resilience in the road transport sector

the development and piloting of the application of adapted decision support instruments for climate change adaptation and resilience building climate;

the identification of sector investment needs for climate change adaptation and resilience building; and

the facilitation of associated regional training workshops for increasing awareness of the outputs of this study and its objectives, and the training of assessors of road resilience.

This study will draw on established adaptation approaches and tools as well as other instruments to contribute to a systematic framework for strengthening transport sector resilience in the Caribbean context. The project is being implemented under the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union-Caribbean Development Bank Natural Disaster Risk Management in CARIFORUM Countries Programme. It aligns to CDB’s corporate priorities of strengthening and modernising social and economic infrastructure, and promoting environmental sustainability.

Caribbean Civil Society Delivers Strong Results for Biodiversity Conservation


US$6.9 million fund supported 68 civil society organisations working across eight Caribbean countries to deliver results for increased protection and enhanced management of key biodiversity areas, mainstreamed biodiversity into development processes and enhanced stakeholder involvement and benefits to community livelihoods. A second phase of funding for at least another five years of work has just been approved. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a global programme that provides grants to civil society to safeguard the world’s biodiversity hotspots. CEPF’s first investment in the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot awarded US$6.9 million through 77 small and large grants implemented between October 2010 to July 2016 across Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and The Bahamas. In its role as the regional implementation team (RIT) for the CEPF Caribbean Islands programme, the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) provided strategic leadership for implementation of the fund and supported the 68 civil society organisations that received CEPF grants. Anna Cadiz-Hadeed, RIT manager in CANARI, was enthusiastic about the results and the announcement of further funding. “We are very proud to have had the opportunity to work with such a strong contingent of civil society organisations and partners in government, private sector and the donor community throughout the Caribbean to achieve on the ground, innovative conservation and sustainable development results. CEPF’s decision to reinvest in the region is a testament to the strong performance of the first phase and an incredible opportunity to pick up on the momentum established,” she said.

Results achieved during CEPF’s first phase in the region ranged from innovative work piloting the Caribbean’s first carbon trading scheme for El Zorzal Private Reserve in the Dominican Republic to creating Haiti’s first marine and municipal protected areas to improving local capacity to manage invasive species in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia. Eight key biodiversity areas covering 111,496 hectares in The Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Haiti were brought under legal protection. Twenty-five key biodiversity areas covering 593,967 hectares have improved management as guided by management and operational plans. Nine publicprivate partnerships were built to engage local and international businesses as partners in conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Six co-management arrangements between government and civil society for management of biodiversity were established or strengthened in The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. Fifty-eight civil society organisations have strengthened institutional capacity enabling them to conserve biodiversity more effectively. CEPF is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. In June 2016, the CEPF Donor Council approved a second phase of funding for the Caribbean Islands Biodiversity Hotspot expected for implementation during 2017 – 2022. A regional assessment of new strategic directions and investment priorities will be completed in 2017 and used to determine the budget for the second investment by CEPF.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Richard Branson Launches New Push to Save Caribbean Sharks


Branson with Caribbean Leaders at the Sonesta Ocean Point Resort in St Maarten n recent years, there has been perhaps no better advocate for the Caribbean’s natural environment than one of its most famous residents: Sir Richard Branson.

And while Branson’s biggest advocacy has come in favour of the green energy movement in the Caribbean, the Virgin mogul’s latest push involves another environmental treasure: the Caribbean’s shark population. Branson’s ocean advocacy was on full display on a recent visit to St Maarten, where it was announced that four new “shark sanctuaries” had been created in the region. The Cayman Islands and St Maarten announced that their exclusive economic zones had been completely closed

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to commercial shark fishing, while Curacao and Grenada announced that they would establish legislation this year that will protect sharks in their waters. “We applaud the steps taken by Caribbean island governments to conserve sharks in their waters,” said Branson, who now resides on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. “To these governments, sharks are worth far more alive than dead. We are delighted and encouraged to see this bold action being taken to protect Caribbean ecosystems and bolster ecotourism industries.” Branson’s ocean advocacy was on full display on a recent visit to St Maarten, where it was announced that four new “shark sanctuaries” had been created in the region.

The Cayman Islands and St Maarten announced that their exclusive economic zones had been completely closed to commercial shark fishing, while Curacao and Grenada announced that they would establish legislation this year that will protect sharks in their waters. “We applaud the steps taken by Caribbean island governments to conserve sharks in their waters,” said Branson, who now resides on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. “To these governments, sharks are worth far more alive than dead. We are delighted and encouraged to see this bold action being taken to protect Caribbean ecosystems and bolster ecotourism industries.” ¤

Providing a weekly service from the UK & Europe to the Caribbean, as well as inter-island services between these islands: Antigua (St. John’s) - Barbados (Bridgetown) - Dominica (Roseau) - Dominican Republic (Manzanillo) - Grenada (St. George’s) - Martinique (Fort de France) - St. Kitts (Basseterre) - St. Lucia (Castries/Vieux Fort) - St. Vincent (Kingstown) - Trinidad (Port of Spain).

UK Office: +44 (0)1489 873 500 OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




CXC Adds Nine

New Generation Subjects


Inclusion of Green Engineering as a Subject is Timely

he Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) has added to its portfolio - Green Engineering as a subject being one of nine new generation subjects added to CAPE through the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) in 2016.

Thus far, Tourism, Financial Services, Physical Education and Sport, Entrepreneurship, Animation and Game Design, Performing Arts and Agricultural Science have been added. The Green Engineering Syllabus has two units which students must embark on to successfully complete the syllabus; Introduction to Green Engineering and Application of Green Engineering and Principles.

Subject Panel Member, Paulette Bynoe who gave an overview of the syllabus said that it was designed in such a way that ensures that students are not only able to recall what they learn, but also will be able to fully comprehend the studies they will undertake. “This will allow students to really exercise their problem solving and critical thinking skills which are very important for engineering, so it is not a case where a student will cram and pass the exam,” Bynoe explained. The syllabus provides for lectures, research, laboratory experiments, debates, use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) and case studies.

Guyana’s Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, speaking at the launch of the new subject, said that he welcomes the new subject, pointing out that it is a challenge that is accepted and urged students to “apply the principles of green engineering as a new paradigm that allows for the incorporation of the concept of

Guest speaker, Chief Electrification Officer, Horace Williams, said that the introduction of the new subject will encourage students to pursue a career in renewable energy. According to Williams, there is a small group of engineers, technicians and firms operating in the renewable energy sector in Guyana. “We need more renewable energy professionals to support our drive

sustainability and the application of science and design solutions to problems created by conventional engineering.”

to adapt renewable energy technologies including wind, biomass hydropower and in some cases geothermal,” Williams stated.

Bartica has been specifically identified as the “First Green Town of Guyana”. Hence, Minister Roopnaraine stated that “green engineering is therefore of immediate important application to Guyana. The offering of a course in green engineering is most timely from the standpoint of developing as required by Guyana for the implementation of a green economy.”

A section of the audience at the launch of the Green Engineering Syllabus The ultimate goal, according to Williams, is to minimise people’s activities on the environment, adding that it is necessary to promote green thinking.

Subject Panel Member, Dr Paulette Bynoe giving an overview of the Green Engineering Syllabus OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



The study of Green Engineering will enhance the quality of life for the present and future generations while providing the creation of new and innovative job opportunities

Eight Caribbean Youth Receive Queen’s 2016 Young Leaders Awards

Ali Dowden - Grenada


Regis Burton - Antigua and Barbuda

Tina Alfred - Dominica

Trevis Belle - St Kitts and Nevis

Dillon Ollivierre - St Vincent

Tevin Shepherd - St Lucia

er Majesty The Queen has confirmed and presented a Queen’s Young Leaders Award to eight exceptional young people from the Eastern Caribbean at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London on Thursday 23rd June. The Young Leaders from the Eastern Caribbean are: Regis Burton - Antigua and Barbuda Firhaana Bulbulia - Barbados Shamelle Rice - Barbados Tina Alfred - Dominica Ali Dowden - Grenada Trevis Belle - St Kitts and Nevis Tevin Shepherd - St Lucia Dillon Ollivierre - St Vincent and the Grenadines As the Commonwealth celebrated The Queen’s 90th birthday, this year’s Award winners, all aged between 18 and 29, have been recognised by The Queen for taking the lead in transforming the lives of others and making a lasting difference in their communities. As Queen’s Young Leaders, they represented the Eastern Caribbean as they joined winners from 45 different Commonwealth countries in London for five days of high-level engagements, all designed to help them further their life-changing work. Before receiving their Queen’s Young Leaders Award at Buckingham Palace, the winners visited 10 Downing Street and the UK headquarters of global social networking company Twitter, and met with senior executives at the BBC World Service. They also met the Commonwealth Secretary General, took part in workshops at the University of Cambridge, held meetings with

UK business leaders, and visited projects that are changing the lives of vulnerable people in the UK. Thousands of young people from all over the Commonwealth applied to be a Queen’s Young Leader and were selected through a competitive process. Below are comments from two of the Awardees on being notified of their selection: Tina Alfred from Dominica said: “I am looking forward to Residential Week so I can learn new experiences and new Ideas and share my experiences and ideas with the most exceptional people from around the world. I am definitely looking forward to meeting such exceptional young people from around the world!” Ali Dowden from Grenada said: “I am looking forward most of all to meeting Her Majesty The Queen and receiving my Award while using the opportunity to network with fellow Queen’s Young Leaders. This is a great honour and it will change my life in a very impactful way.” This year’s Award winners are working to support others, raise awareness and inspire change on a variety of issues including education, climate change, gender equality, mental health and improving the lives of people with disabilities. The application process to become a 2017 Queen’s Young Leader opened on Friday 24 June 2016. The programme is looking for people aged between 18 and 29 who are dedicated to creating positive changes to the lives of people in the sub-region. Details about how to apply to become a Queen’s Young Leader, together with information about the 2016 Award winners and Highly Commended runners up, is available at OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




UWI Open Campus Defining the Concept of a new vision


he University of the West Indies Open Campus is on a mission to reinforce what is believed to be the original vision of the regional institution in making available quality tertiary education to Caribbean nationals. Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus Dr. Luz Longsworth says this will be best achieved through the full embrace of evolving technologies, targeted programs and firm partnerships with both regional governments and corporate giants. “It was always very clear by the founding fathers that UWI must touch all peoples of the region. Why we are here remains constant, it is how we fill our mandate in ensuring that this vision is realized despite the tools that will ensure our survival and growth over the decades,” Dr. Longsworth told Business Focus OECS in an exclusive interview. For the Pro Vice Chancellor though, her own vision she admits is rooted in the concept that the University of the West Indies must go beyond the physical increment of traditional campuses – a philosophy linked to the extra mural OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



and one that she says fits well with the founding philosophy of the University. She said the need for this diversity especially at this time is clear considering the economic standings of our islands and the effect of this on our youth population in particular. “So it is the how that I think is now gripping us in the open campus, which was first introduced in 2008. How do we get more and more of our people into higher education?” Dr. Longsworth questioned. Interestingly enough, statistics show that the English Caribbean sits among the lowest enrolment in tertiary education in the hemisphere. With this fact in mind and her own drive for the UWI Open Campus to lead the charge in the revolution in tertiary education in the Caribbean, Dr. Longsworth is engaging some nontraditional approaches to education and the employment of technology.

Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Open Campus Dr. Luz Longsworth

To begin with, the Open Campus has tailored what it dubs “access-type” programmes targeting the increasingly

large pool of high-school graduates who would not have achieved the standard CSEC qualifications for automatic acceptance into the UWI campuses. These programmes serve as assistants to matriculate students into tertiary level programs. Further to this, the Open Campus has also introduced a much lauded “prior learning and assessment” programme that assess mid-career people and their life & work experiences against a traditional tertiary qualification. This allows the University to possibly give them accelerated placement into a Bachelor’s Degree program. Journalism has been cited as a good example. Online studies is another avenue being streamlined by the UWI Open Campus which creates a flexibility in learning that empowers many people who can not be in a classroom setting but can study on par with the university from anywhere. “We don’t want the people to come to us. We want to go to them. So we are trying to find out what the people, governments and organizations need and we are creating the avenues to make this possible,” Dr. Longsworth said. But how does the UWI Open Campus online experience and cost stack up to increasing number of global institutions offering the same opportunities for learning but on a much larger scale?

is that it would be a same issue as it relates to accreditation outside of the region. “We certainly though have not had any issues that I can remember from any major university questioning the UWI’s recognition. Accreditation is of course a broader issue and is becoming a buzz word in global education,” the Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal said. FACE: Almost 50 UWI graduates have gone on to complete post graduate degrees at Harvard University The subject of accreditation has and always will be a matter for discussion in the arena of education but Dr. Longsworth assures that no UWI graduate, albeit from the Open Campus or fixed campuses, are on par with universally accepted standards. “I don’t thing that there is any particular negative international stance towards UWI. I think that we have a wide network. With a UWI degree there are no difficulties. UWI Open Campus understands however that the concept on flexible learning through online platforms are becoming increasingly popular and as such encourages Caribbean nationals to explore their options for learning but to stull be mindful about the institutions they choose. “Clearly we can’t hog a market and as I said before we need our people to be enrolled and do good quality tertiary education. We have no difficulty with external providers. We do caution though, even when it is a named university, that the program itself is recognized not just the university,” Dr. Longsworth warns. UWI has for the most part of a decade developed what most would consider to be an exceptional share students studying online. Today, that number stands at more than 5000. And as the University of the West Indies in its entirety moves into a new era of growth and transformation, it is geared to addressing the issues of becoming a truly global institution. For this, Dr. Longsworth says the role of the Open Campus must now be pivotal in that transformative process. She believes the Open Campus’s core strengths in online and distance delivery, as well as the key role that the physical sites play in bringing the University of the West Indies to the communities across the region, must now be harnessed for the benefit of all campuses, further underlining the ultimate benefit of an even more integrated and united Institution.

To this, Dr. Longsworth assures that a UWI Degree, wither earned through online or campus learning, is in no way different from what would be provided from any other institution any where in the world, since UWI undergoes and passes the same levels of accreditation as any other tertiary institution. “That is a general question. When you get a UWI degree online or physical there is nothing that differentiates it. It is a full MA, BS or MBA because of our quality assurance process. The truth

“Having been a part of its evolutionary phase, it is an honour to serve, no matter how briefly, to build a team not only within the Open Campus, but across The University and the region to begin this transformation which will successfully position the entire university as a key player in the 21st century’s global higher education landscape,” Dr. Longsworth said in a recent statement.

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But how accessible is the University to the thousands of Caribbean nationals hungry for knowledge and particularly how accommodating is its online facility considering this being the most crucial platform for the Open Campus? Well, to this, the Pro Vice Chancellor said UWI has sought to ensure that its course development is done in such a way that it minimizes the amount of bandwidth required for download, recognizing the challenges in the Caribbean. “Its simple but still intense as necessary,” she assured, adding that the online facility is supported by physical sites on the various islands to accommodate students having challenges with internet access as well as those who might simply need a physical location for general support and that could accommodate quiet study. “It really provides multiple modalities. We do use the standard collaborates for the online interaction and what we find is that our students like to have a component that is synchronous. So our programs all have a proportion of the classes using the synchronous feature to allow for the direct interaction with tutors in real time.

Now with the need for change and diversification being identified and embraced, the subject of financing at the university level becomes an even more pressing thought. So naturally Business Focus OECE sought the insights of the Pro Vice Chancellor on this also. “The entire university has been affected by the financial challenges of the region. The university itself if moving from a model from 80% dependence from the governments of the region with Mona Campus not standing with under 30% of its budget being funded by government,” the Pro Vice Chancellor began. She went on to note that from the perspective of the Open Campus, which was started with the vision of wheeling itself from the dependency of the government, is doing favorably well on its own feet. Generally, Caribbean Governments have had considerable difficulty, post the Global Recession of 2007-2008, to keep up even with the nominal committed amounts to the University. Today UWI is working with governments to regain some semblance of normalcy within the support chain, understanding the challenging climate. These challenges, according to the Pro Vice Chancellor, has really propelled the University into a direction of self-sustenance and embracing entrepreneurial-type activities to keeping itself alive. One such initiative by the Open Campus is customized programs in partnership with the regional private sector which sees the availability of training programs for businesses and government agencies who look to the university for that technical human capacity building skills.

The average online UWI student population stands at just over 5000, with just under 5% of these being non-Caribbean students. It is believed that the latter will expand considerably as the university continues to enhance its systems and allow for a more accommodating international registration and payment process. This change is expected to take by or before the end of 2016. As our talks with the Pro Vice Chancellor continued, we sought to touch on yet another sensitive topic – affordability. This considering the consistent rise in University education cost around the world at a rate of approximately 15-20% annually. Business Focus OECS was of course pleased to learn that online students need not worry about such, since their costs are somewhat fixed. In explaining this, Dr. Longsworth revealed that the average Undergraduate Bachelor’s program will cost an online student approximately US$360 per course. This includes materials and assumes that the student does not have to do any travel, or have changes in accommodation or otherwise. “We know that it is difficult for most of our students so we have tried to keep our costs down and that has not dramatically changed over the past two years,” Dr. Longsworth said. The initial cost, she added, sits in the development of the facility but as the program goes forward and enrolment is maintained, then these costs are more likely to be reduced than increased. “The university itself sees the online modality as one key way of hedging rising cost for education and it will be used as one of the tools to keep the cost down,” she said. OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



“This is a source of revenue and I can see this increasing as more and more organizations look for less expensive ways of training their Human Resources,” the Pro Vice Chancellor said. The University of the West Indies is also looking at new ways of keeping costs down, and increasing revenue and internationalization is one of those areas it will pursue aggressively over the next few months. “For us to continue to be the university of first choice we have to be more entrepreneurial and in seeking new opportunities where organizations are willing to partner with us to build capacity. “The people reading this would be happy to know that we are going out to them and want to hear from them how we can help and partner to develop the Caribbean people and more so new industries and opportunities for the people we empower. “At this point for us at the Open Campus and across the University, it is more about being proactive than reactive and this is where we are going now and are poised beautifully with existing and developing facilities. “The Open Campus is a pivotal part I think of the UWI thrust for growth and of the UWI funding base. And we know that the regional governments are and will remain an important part in the university’s progress and the people’s growth,” Dr. Longsworth said. ¤

Spanish to be Made Compulsory at UWI


he Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Sir Hilary Beckles says that all UWI campuses will soon have Spanish as a compulsory course.

finalize a deal that would see how best this initiative can be accommodated.

Beckles highlighted the need for Spanish as a compulsory course in the tertiary institutions as a way to strengthen relations between CARICOM and Latin American territories.

“Here at the University of the West Indies, we are working assiduously to have all graduates of this institution speaking Spanish with great proficiency upon their graduation. We are in talks with the Mexican government to see how best we can accommodate this in the coming years.” Beckles said.

He was speaking in Jamaica at the “Brexit: Implications for the Caribbean” symposium at the UWI Regional Headquarters attended by a host of academics, diplomats, past and present State officials, members of the private sector and CARICOM representatives.

Similar sentiments were shared by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness earlier saying “Jamaica will have to take the bold step to make Spanish our second language and making it compulsory in schools,” and by Opposition member Lisa Hanna in the House of Representatives’ Sectoral presentation.

His declaration comes in light of the recent historic referendum in the United Kingdom (UK) – dubbed Brexit – which resulted in the UK opting to officially part ways with the European Union (EU) after a 43-year period. It is widely believed that this split will have negative consequences for the Commonwealth and Beckles believes that by implementing this feat, the relationship between the communities of Latin America and Caribbean states will be strengthened.

Beckles made this statement after a petition was made by UWI Government lecturers, Dr Jessica Byron and Dr Suzette Haughton, who both highlighted the need for steps to be taken by CARICOM to bolster its correlation with Latin America.

He expounded on the subject explaining that the institution is currently holding talks with the Mexican Government to

“It cannot be business as usual for Caricom, we need to urgently deepen and strengthen our core relations and policies with Latin America,” Haughton said. Byron added her support for the statement imploring that “we need to make the effort in order to be the controllers of our own destiny.” ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct






he Caribbean Governance Training Institute (“CGTI”) announced today an agreement to launch The Caribbean Institute of Directors (“CIoD”) for directors of Caribbean organizations. See: www. The CIoD is aimed at meeting the expressed needs of organizations in the Caribbean for a Caribbean-based approach to corporate governance. The CIoD, the first of its kind in the Caribbean, will provide practically oriented corporate governance education, networking and director placement opportunities (as well as governance consultancy services) to directors currently serving on the boards of Caribbean organizations and prospective candidates for directorships. “The Institute will not only address the ‘mechanics’ of being a competent 21st century director, but will also focus on the best practices and principles of being a director who is constructively involved in defining the role of his or her company in Caribbean society,” said Dr. Chris Bart, Chairman of the CIoD. He added “This initiative builds on my work of 13 years as the Founder of the Directors College of Canada in delivering director education, and 30 plus years of researching the practices and principles in corporate governance”.

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Dr. Chris Bart

Lisa Charles, CEO of the Institute and founding partner of CGTI stated: “With the creation of the CIoD, members of Caribbean boards will now have a common reference point with which to fulfill their on-going governance education and networking needs. It’s an idea whose time has finally come! And the Caribbean Governance Training Institute is firmly committed to making the CIoD a success by contributing significant start-up funds and professional expertise to make it happen.”

Dr. Phillip Brown - Jamaica - C.Dir., Prinicipal Sandals University

The vision of the CIoD is to establish an organization uniquely tailored to the needs of Caribbean boards and senior executives. Its intention is to promote professional standards for directors that Caribbean organizations will be proud to support and shareholders – and other stakeholders - will come to expect of their boards. To assist in that regard, CIoD is governed by an Advisory Board with members being drawn from across the region:

The faculty of the Institute’s educational arm, CGTI, already include specialists from the corporate, legal, and academic sectors. Subjects covered in the various programs include strategy, CEO succession and compensation, Board member selection, compliance, liability, ethics, auditing and internal control, and organizational behaviour. CGTI is the first organization in the Caribbean to have launched the internationally recognized Chartered Director Program, which started in January 2014.

Lennox Andrews, C.Dir. - Grenada General Manager, Communal Credit Union Trevor Brathwaite, C.Dir - OECS - Deputy Governor, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Gordon Charles - St Lucia - Chairman, OECS Business Council Augustus Etienne, C.Dir. - Dominica Deputy Director, Dominica Social Security Karen Gordon-Boyle, C.Dir. - Guyana Director, Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Soc. Sylvia Gumbs, C.Dir. - St Kitts - Dep. Fin. Secy., Financial Services Regulatory Comm.

Lokesh Singh - St Lucia - Publisher, Business Focus and OECS Magazines Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA, Executive Chairman of CGTI, will chair the CIoD Advisory Board All individuals who join the Institute will be entitled to use the post nominal “M.CIoD” after their names thereby signifying their commitment to good governance as members of the Institute.

While CGTI is the “founder” of the Institute, and leads in establishing CIoD’s vision and mission, other partners are being sought for this initiative. The Caribbean Governance Training Institute will contribute significant start-up funds and expertise in key areas of corporate governance. It also has a coterie of leading experts and advisors in the creation and development of high performance boards.

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OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

UNASUR Leads Discussions for South American Passport Guyana Attends Conference as UNASUR Member


he Guyana Government sent a two-member delegation to recent meetings with the working group of South American citizenship in Ecuador. On the agenda was how to remove visa restrictions on travel within the South American continent. Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said, “The meeting will continue work started towards the development of a plan for South American citizenship, mobility, identity and rights. Discussions also commenced on a common South American passport and council of legal assistance mechanism. We already have a Caricom passport and therefore these are discussions.” He noted that Guyana is a member of the Union of South America Nations (UNASUR), along with several other South American international organisations and is a signatory to several treaties. He pointed out that these discussions will not necessarily include Guyanese receiving a new passport, but would allow for the CARICOM passport holders (including Guyanese) to travel to these other countries without the necessity of visas. However, he hastened to add that this was his thinking on the matter. “What I can say is that these are discussions taking place on citizenship. You know that Guyana borders other South American countries. We border Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname and therefore issues which affect those countries, particularly citizenship, immigration and so on are issues which we have to pay attention to.” OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



“So any treaties which involve South American countries, we will have to be aware of. So this conference dealt with some of those issues. But I don’t anticipate, from the terms and conditions that I have seen, that they will come out with a blue print to say by 2017 that you will have these passports.” Specifically, the delegation went to the CARIFORUM/CARICOM meeting on the implementation of the 10th EU Development Fund Single Market and Economic Integration program. Back in 2012, three financing agreements had been signed that were valued at some US$110M The South American Citizenship Programme has its genesis at the Sixth Summit of UNASUR, held in Lima, Peru, in 2012. The Summit had concluded with a firm proposal to create a single South American citizenship. In February, Secretary-General of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, had invited President David Granger to join the South American Defence Council to have an input on issues of Security and Defence in relation to small States and the Caribbean and its implications on the whole region. Currently, Guyanese enjoy visa free travel to South American countries like Brazil, Suriname, Ecuador, and Peru (for tourism purposes). Other countries, such as Venezuela and Chile do not require visas once the travellers are the holders of diplomatic passports. ¤

ECCO FINALLY BREAKS THROUGH THE GLASS CEILING Steve Etienne states however, that doing business in the Caribbean is not easy, for a number of reasons including:•


Steve Etienne

hile the mention of copyright or intellectual property rights seems like a complex field of study to many, the role of the Eastern Caribbean Collective Organisation for Music Rights (ECCO) Inc. according to the ECCO General Manager Steve Etienne is quite a simple one. ‘The Copyright Act states that you need to get permission from the copyright holder to “perform” their music in public. ECCO simply takes the rights from copyright owners and license these rights to music users in one simple transaction. The money ECCO collects from music users is passed on to music creators in the form of royalties less ECCO’s operating expenditure. Simple enough?’

ECCO is collecting less revenue from Radio and Television operators as advertising revenue (the main source of a broadcasters revenue) has fallen due to an increase in Radio & TV stations operating in a stagnant financial market. Although more music is being consumed as a result of a growth in radio and TV channels, advertising revenue, however, has gone in the opposite direction and as a result less royalties are being collated overall by ECCO. The high quantity of foreign airplay in a ratio of 9 to 1 makes ECCO a net exporter of royalties leading to dissatisfaction amongst ECCO Members as 90 cents out of every dollar of distributable revenue leaves the territory.

In the face of harsh economic realities, a lack of understanding of the creative sector and a view that copyright infringement carries no legal recourse; non-compliance by commercial music users to become licensed users continues to be a major obstacle in achieving

harmony between the creators and users of musical works. ECCO believes that through the education of music users and sensitization to the plight of music creators, a climate where noncompliance will effectively be a thing of the past could be created. To achieve this desired state of harmony between the major stakeholders (creators and users of musical works), education is seen as the only effective buffer that ECCO can employ through the dissemination of accurate information on the rights of music creators as well as the role of ECCO in administering and monetizing those rights on behalf of music creators. Despite the above stated challenges ECCO has been able to achieve impressive growth especially with the licensing of major users across the OECS including recent agreements with FLOW for its cable operators in Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and CTV in Antigua. The generation of cable revenue has enabled ECCO to finally reach the 30% operating expenditure rate previously seen as the ‘Glass Ceiling’ for Caribbean societies. The success gained will mean higher returns for songwriters for their music performed in the Eastern Caribbean.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




L-R (Front Row): Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Hon. Wendy Colleen Phipps; H.E. Ambassador Sam Condor L-R (Back Row) Dr. Edward Greene; Dr. Slater

PANCAP - A Best Practice and

Regional Coordination Model for the World


ANCAP shined at a Breakfast Caucus held on 8 June 2016 to brief Caribbean delegates and to cement a consolidated regional position for the plenary sessions and side meetings of the United Nations High Level Meeting. Caribbean delegates from Government and Civil Society as well as development partners lauded PANCAP’s achievements and inclusiveness as a best practice and regional coordination model for the world; noting that the model could be adapted to address the challenges of other public health threats. Development partners at the meeting, committed to advocate for continued external donor funding and to provide strong programmatic support to assist PANCAP in addressing the needs of key populations and to fill gaps in the response. The PANCAP Director and Civil Society partner, the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), highlighted the urgency of the challenges the region currently faces in relation to reduced external funding; stigma

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



and discrimination that hinder key populations’ access to prevention, treatment and care services; and the continued existence of structural barriers such as policies and legislation. In responding to the challenges highlighted, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Sylvester Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and CARICOM’s Lead Head with responsibility for Human Resource Development, Health and HIV and AIDS emphasized the need for the region to come together to deal with these issues which he said was “the core of our development challenge”. The Prime Minister who reminded the meeting that the health of the Caribbean region represented its wealth, thanked the civil society organisations for their leadership in reaching persons who would not have otherwise been reached. He called for critical action and for “more of our leaders to become the voice for reason and compassion in our society”, as well as for a new legislative agenda. Prime Minister Harris committed to briefing regional leaders on the challenges and critical actions required

for ending AIDS by 2030, at the upcoming Conference of Heads of Government scheduled for early July, in Guyana. Dr Carolyn Gomes, Executive Director of CVC, in her address conveyed a sense of the urgency of NOW in the Caribbean as it related to HIV and AIDS. She urged Civil Society and States to work together to ensure the gains made in the Region’s fight are not derailed, and called for the leadership that the Caribbean was capable of. Mr. Dereck Springer, Director of the PANCAP Coordinating Unit, highlighted PANCAP’s achievements and outlined the priority strategies that must be funded and implemented to eliminate AIDS by 2030 in the world and specifically in the Caribbean. He defined PANCAP’s future roles as helping Member States to ensure that the funds from the Global Fund continue to protect and sustain the gains, and that action takes place to achieve the strategic priorities. He also called on all partners to take collective action in advocating for global and national HIV investment to fill the remaining gaps. ¤

events 2016 23rd Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show September 26 – 30 , 2016. Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan, Puerto Rico The FCCA Conference is a four-day event designed to foster a better understanding of the inner workings of the cruise industry and help attendees improve their cruise tourism business. Through a specialized forum that blends meetings and workshops with social functions, attendees have a unique opportunity to develop relationships with, promote products to, and learn from approximately 100 executives from FCCA’s 19 Member Lines who decide where ships call, what is sold and used onboard, and how to invest in destinations and infrastructure. For further information:

Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum, CHIEF Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2016 at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Puerto Rico. Caribbean hotel owners and managers, along with leading providers of goods and services to the hotel industry, will gather for the highly successful Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum, being conducted by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA). Owners and seniors managers from the region’s hotels will have the opportunity to network and share best practices through a series of roundtables, workshops, professional development sessions, and social networking opportunities throughout the regional gathering. “CHIEF is all about learning from one another and improving our bottom lines. In a competitive global tourism landscape, we need to leverage our resources and our thinking. We want to build upon the incredibly positive feedback we received from last year’s event and bring even greater value through CHIEF to the region’s hotels as well as those allied members who provide hotels with goods and services.” says Karolin Troubetzkoy, president of CHTA. For further information: Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) Phone: 305-443-3040 / Fax: 305-443-3005 /

Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum – CREF 2016 17-19 October 2016 at the InterContinental Miami, Miami, USA. Mark your calendars! CREF 2016, the largest annual gathering of the Caribbean energy market, is returning to Miami and will take place at the InterContinental from October 17th-19th. Joining us at CREF 2015 for what was a record-breaking event were close to 500 delegates from 41 countries. 21 Caribbean countries were represented at CREF either by their government or by their utility, or in many instances, by both. Building on those foundations, we look forward to working with the market over the course of the year, and at CREF 2016, to channel investment into the creation of a resilient energy matrix for the Caribbean. For further information:

Caribbean Association of Banks Inc – 43rd Annual General Meeting and Conference November 16 – 19, 2016 at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao. The Caribbean Association of Banks Inc. Annual Conference is the premiere event for networking with financial services professionals from through out the Caribbean and further afield. Theme: “Caribbean Banking –Fresh Tools, New Thinking” For more information: OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct




OECS Business Focus looks at Corporate Transitions

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is the new Chairman of CARICOM Dominica’s Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, will once again serve as the Chairman of CARICOM, as of 1 July 2016 replacing the outgoing Chairman Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize. Since taking up the position Prime Minister Skerrit has chaired the 37th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting which was held in Georgetown, Guyana from 4 – 6 July 2016 with an Opening Ceremony at the Guyana Cultural Centre on Monday 4 July from 5:00 pm and the plenary sessions on Tuesday 5 to Wednesday 6 July hosted at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown. CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, advised that security issues, the threat to correspondent banking, the regional single market and the still unresolved matter of stateless Haitians of Dominican descent were among items on a packed agenda discussed by the Heads.

Dr Timothy Harris is the new Chairman of the OECS The 63rd Meeting of the OECS Authority took place on Tuesday, July 12th, for the first time via videoconference from 9:00am. The meeting was held under the Chairmanship OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct



of the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who is the new Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Prime Minister Harris attended the 62nd Meeting of the OECS Authority from November 18th to 19th, 2015 in Roseau, Dominica, where he was welcomed as a new Head of Government. The thenChairman of the OECS Authority, Prime Minister of Grenada Dr. the Honourable Keith Mitchell, chaired the 62nd Meeting. The 64th Meeting of the OECS Authority will be held in November 2016. The date and venue of the 64th Meeting will be finalized tomorrow, Tuesday, July 12th. The regular meeting in November will be a face-to-face meeting where all the ceremonial procedures for the welcoming of new Heads of Government will take place,” wrote the Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules, in a May 12th, 2016 correspondence addressed to the Heads of Government and copied to OECS Commissioners. St. Kitts and Nevis’ OECS Commissioner is His Excellency Ambassador Sydney Osborne. The OECS Authority meets twice a year and its chairmanship changes every June. On Monday, June 13th, 2016, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis delivered a feature address as the incoming OECS Chairman during the press conference to launch the 35th Anniversary Celebrations of the establishment of the OECS. Heads of Government/their representatives formed the OECS with their signing of the Treaty of Basseterre on June 18th, 1981 in the capital city of St. Kitts.

He is the son of popular local businessman Michael Chastanet. The new Prime Minister previously served as a Senator and Minister for Tourism in the UWP Government during the period 2006-2011. He served for another three years as Leader of the then opposition United Workers Party (UWP) before leading his party to victory at the June 16th 2016 General Elections. A former Director of Tourism at the St. Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) and Vice President of Air Jamaica, the new Prime Minis¬ter will serve as the Leader of Govern¬ment Business in the House. Mr Chastanet has assumed the widest range of ministerial re¬sponsibilities of any Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. He is also Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service. In addition, three Ministers are attached to the Office of the Prime Minister: Choiseul/Saltibus MP Bradley Felix serves as Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibil¬ity for Commerce, Industry, Investment, Enterprise Develop¬ment and Consumer Affairs; Anse La Raye/Canaries MP Do¬minic Fedee is Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting; and Senator Ubaldus Raymond is Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Finance.

Therese TurnerJones Appointed Head of IDB Caribbean Country Department Hon. Allen M. Chastanet is the new Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Allen Michael Chastanet became the eighth citizen to be sworn-in as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia after his United Workers Party won the June 16 General Elections.

On 16 April 2016, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Representative for Jamaica, Therese Turner-Jones, became the first Caribbean woman and only the second Caribbean person to become General Manager of the IDB’s Caribbean Country Department. As General Manager of the Caribbean Department, she oversees the bank’s operations in Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago, and is responsible for the


OECS Business Focus looks at Corporate Transitions IDB’s relationship with the Caribbean Development Bank, through which assistance is provided to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). While serving as the new General Manager for the IDB’s Caribbean Country Department, she will nevertheless also continue to carry out the functions of Country Representative for Jamaica. Turner-Jones, a national of The Bahamas, will continue to be based in Jamaica, due to the IDB’s policy to get closer to their customers. After starting her career in the research department of the Central Bank of the Bahamas, Turner-Jones moved to the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department. Her first mission was to St Lucia, but she was quickly moved to work on Jamaica’s last extended fund facility (EFF) in 1993, which ended in 1996. She has served in other key positions in the IMF, leading missions to Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and several Eastern Caribbean countries. She also headed the IMF’s technical assistance centre in Barbados for three years before returning to the Western Hemisphere Department, where, in addition to working on Barbados and Guyana, she also served as senior advisor to the executive director for Canada, Ireland, and the Caribbean. She started her career with the IDB as country representative in Jamaica due to the signing of the new EFF on May 1, 2013. Turner-Jones’ vision for IDB in the region is one of “striving to improve lives in the Caribbean by creating vibrant economies where people are safe, productive, and happy”. Her first degree was from the University of Toronto, and she holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

Former Guyana President Dr Bharat Jagdeo appointed FAO Special Ambassador for Forests and the Environment Former President of Guyana Dr Bharat Jagdeo has been appointed a Food

and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Special Ambassador for Forests and the Environment. FAO DirectorGeneral José Graziano da Silva made the announcement on the final day of the 23rd session of the Organization’s Committee on Forestry (COFO) which recently took place in Rome. As Special Ambassador, Dr Jagdeo will promote the role of forests in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, raise awareness of the vital contributions of forests to food security, rural poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration, and encourage actions to support the sustainable use of forests and other natural resources. Dr Jagdeo served as two-time President of Guyana between 1999 and 2011, becoming the youngest Head of State in the world at 35. A global advocate for international actions to combat climate change, the former President launched the Jagdeo Initiative to create a more competitive agricultural sector in the Caribbean by 2015. Dr Jagdeo will also draw on his experience serving on the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Financing, as a Patron of the Delhi-based World Sustainable Development Forum, as an IUCN Patron of Nature, and President of the Assembly of the Korea-based Global Green Growth Institute. Dr Jagdeo was elected and served as COFO Chairperson for the 22nd and 23rd sessions of FAO’s Forestry Committee. “Dr Jagdeo has been working with FAO to promote environment and forestry around the world, and we are very happy he joins his voice to our efforts,” said Graziano da Silva, thanking Jagdeo for accepting the role of special ambassador. Describing his appointment as a “great honour” and acknowledging FAO’s work in “so many areas critical to life and wellbeing on our planet”, Dr Jagdeo pledged to continue to raise the profile of forests and advocate for global recognition of their importance. The United Nations has a tradition of enlisting the support of prominent individuals to underline priority issues and to draw attention to its activities.

Michael Perkins is the New Speaker of the St Kitts– Nevis National Assembly The St Kitts-Nevis National Assembly on June 30 elected a new Speaker in Mr. Anthony Michael Perkins, a former Senator and Deputy Speaker. Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris moved the motion that was seconded by Premier Vance Amory and supported by the Government’s majority benches. Mr Perkins’ was the only nomination. Mr. Perkins in brief remarks expressed gratitude for his appointment and promised to improve the Parliament’s role in a number of matters. “I look forward and would do my best to ensure that the things that have been stipulated in the Standing Orders in terms of establishing committees, such as Public Accounts Committees and others, are established. I would ensure and in quick order seek to establish a House Committee to look at and review the Standing Orders of this House which I believe have been in existence for quite some time and maybe it’s time for a review; but in the meantime Honourable Members, I would wish to state that what we have now we must work with. So until the Standing Orders of this House are reviewed we will work with them as they are.” The Opposition parliamentarians expressed concern that they were not officially informed of the resignation of former Speaker Franklyn Brand or consulted on the appointment of Mr. Perkins.

OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct





Advertising & Marketing Services


AA Laquis Trinpad Ltd.


Apotex International


Artwell Dalgliesh Ltd.


Axcel Finance


Beacon Insurance


Cave Hill School of Business


CIBC First Caribbean


Collins Ltd.


Cool Breeze Car & Jeep Rental


Crossroads Inc.


Discover Dominica Authority




Embassy of the Republic of China


Free Zone Management Authority


Geest Line


Global Bank of Commerce


Global Investment –EFCH


Grant Thornton


Hardon Hotel


Harpers office Depot


Henderson (2004) Ltd.


Home Services Ltd.

01 & 13

Innotech Services Ltd.


J Q Charles Group of Companies


KPMG Eastern Caribbean


Massy United Insurance


Medical Surgical Association


Open Campus UWI - Jamaica




Soufriere Regional Development


St. Kitts Masonry Products


St. Kitts Tourism Authority


Superior Plastics Ltd.


The Cancer Centre


The Office Authority Ltd.


Venezuelan Embassy


OECSBusinessFocus Aug / Oct





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OECS Business Focus 4  

In this our 4th edition of the OECS Business Focus Magazine we are pleased to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Organisation of Eastern...

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