Published on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS):
CARICOM's concerns regarding the effects of the current global economic crisis on the region are to be conveyed to G-20 Leaders, prior to their summit in London next month, Prime Minister Bruce Golding, confirmed on Monday.
Golding was speaking to JIS News after his arrival at the Norman Manley International Airport, from a 5-day trip abroad, which included attending the 20th Inter- Sessional Meeting of CARICOM's Heads of Government in Belize, Thursday-Friday, and a visit to Orlando where he met with Jamaicans in Florida, and the Tavistock Group which is investing some US$2 billion in the Harmony Cove Resort in Trelawny.
He said that at last week's meeting, CARICOM leaders agreed to pursue talks with the G-20 Leaders to address their concerns about the impact of the current economic crisis on the region, when they meet in London next month.
The G-20, or Group of 20, includes the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, Japan, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, India, and Argentina. The Leaders first met in Washington DC last November, and will be having their second summit in London on April 2. G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors met in London last weekend as a prelude to this meeting.
Golding said that the regional body would also be taking its case to a meeting being convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, in New York, in the first week of June.
One of the issues that CARICOM will be pursuing is the stance that the US has adopted towards offshore financial centres.
"We have agreed to mount a serious lobby, particularly with the United States, in relation to the aggressive, one might say hostile, stance it has adopted towards off-shore financial centres," Golding stated.
He said the US' action could hurt a number of Caribbean countries, notably The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, St Lucia, and Grenada, and could also have serious consequences for Jamaica's own prospects of establishing an international financial centre, a projection of the current Government.
Another development from the Belize meeting, the Prime Minister said, was the decision to relocate the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) within the CARICOM Secretariat, as a department of the Secretariat, reporting to the Council (of Ministers) for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).
The CRNM has suffered severe criticisms from some member countries, mainly Guyana, following the negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).
Guyana is objecting to the CRNM negotiating a proposed trade and development agreement with Canada later this year. The CRNM reports directly to Golding, as CARICOM's spokesman on trade issues.
Golding was unable to address other issues last night, including his trip to Florida, due to time constraints.
Reprinted from Caribbean Net News