Caribbean RoundUp

Central Bank of Barbados Governor, Cleviston Haynes.
Central Bank of Barbados Governor, Cleviston Haynes.
Photo by George Alleyne
BARBADOS
The Central Bank of Barbados said the island’s economy is on a path to recovery  and economic growth of approximately ten percent  is expected for 2022.
“However, the forecast is for slower global economic activity amid the tightening of the financial conditions in advance conditions in advance economies, the slowdown in production in China and the potential return of COVID-19 cases during the winter period,” CDB Governor, Cleviston Haynes, said as he delivered the Barbados’ economic performance for the first nine months of the year.
The International Monetary fund (IMF) global growth forecast is now 3.2 percent for 2022 and 2.7 percent for 2023, the weakest growth profile since the global financial crisis.
Haynes told reporters that based on scenarios encompassing a weaker performance of the UK tourism market, growth is forecast to reach between 3.5 percent for 2023.
Haynes said the Barbados economy continues to recover, as reflected in the double-digit growth achieved for the first nine months of the year. He said during the third quarter, the resurgent tourism sector helped to catalyze economic activity and restore employment levels.
CARIBBEAN
The  Caribbean Export Development Agency has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Trade Center Miami (WTCM) and Canning House agreeing on a framework to sustain trade and investment promotion efforts in the Caribbean.
The official signing took place at the Caribbean Investment Forum, which was held Nov. 8 -11, 2022 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Addressing the media, deputy executive director of Caribbean Export, Leo Naut, said the new business paradigm calls for increased partnerships.
“This means that Cariforum businesses, workers and producers will need to collaborate and work smarter to successfully complete globally and enter new markets for trade and the attraction of investment.
Canning House based in London, UK has the objective of building understanding and relationships between the UK, Latin America and Iberia.
Canning House is a global forum for thought-leadership and pragmatic debate on the region’s political, economic, social, health and environmental trends and issues -and their implications for business risks and opportunities.l
GUYANA
Guyana’s President Dr Irfaan Ali said the first audit report on ExxonMobil’s spending in the country will be completed before year end.
The  contract to complete the  audit was signed in May and it was expected that the reports would be completed by September.
However, the completion has been delayed.
“The delay was because of some coordination issue with the auditors themselves, which is natural in those circumstances,” Ali explained.
In May, the Guyana government hired a consortium of local and foreign auditors, with a contract value at US$751,000.
The same consortium comprise Ramdial and Haynes Chartered, Vitality and Consultant Inc, and Eclisar Financial & Professional Services.
They are partnering with Oklahoma-based Martindale Consultant Inc  and the Swiss technical company, SGS, which is leading the project, according to an Oil Now article in August.
The consortium is conducting a cost recovery audit of US&9 billion representing three years of activity (2018-2020) by the ExxonMobil subsidiary, Exploration Guyana Ltd in the Stabroek Block Liza 1 project.
HAITI
Excitement and jubilation echoed throughout the streets of Port-au-Prince last week-end as gas stations opened across Haiti for the first time in two months after a powerful gang lifted lifted a crippling fuel blockade.
“There’s is gas now! There’s gas now! People shouted now as they honked their horns and motorcycles zoomed past as Haiti’s capital slowly returned to its familiar cacophony.
Sweat rolled down as they pushing their vehicles and motorcycles to the nearest gas station and line up next to colorful mini buses known as “tap taps” emblazoned with messages including “Thank you Jesus.Thank you.”
Ever since a gang federation known as G9 seized control of an area surrounding a key fuel terminal in mid-September, life in Haiti became paralyzed, leaving millions of people temporarily out of work.
The move-aimed at trying to oust Prime Minister Ariel Henry after he announced a rise in gas prices-forced gas stations to close, hospitals to cut back on critical services and businesses including banks and grocery stores to limit their hours. It also worsened a cholera outbreak that has killed dozens and  sickened thousands, with companies unable to distribute portable water.
Earlier last week, nearly 400 trucks at the newly freed Varreux terminal in Port-au-Prince, filling up their tanks with fuel as a heavily armed police convoy escorted them to gas stations in the capital and beyond.
JAMAICA
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn has ruled that charges would be laid against Jamaica’s Opposition MP Phillip Paulwell, whose licensed firearm had been stolen from his vehicle in July.
Llewellyn is reported to have confirmed that she had ruled in the matter regarding Paulwell, the opposition spokesman on energy and a senior official of the main opposition People’s National Party (PNP).
He is also the Leader of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives.
Paulwell told the Jamaica Observer newspaper he is hoping that the person who stole his licensed firearm will use the present gun amnesty to hand it over to the police. The present gun amnesty which began on Nov. 5, ends on Nov. 19.
He told the newspaper that one evening in early July, as he was heading home, he had to make an emergency stop.
When he rushed to the car he saw the back window of his car, which had his pouch which had his firearm was gone where he would normally keep it when his security person is driving the vehicle was gone.
He told the newspaper he reported the theft to the police immediately and gave a statement to the Firearm Licensing Authority (FLA).
ST. LUCIA
St. Lucia is now exporting bananas to Trinidad after trade with the United Kingdom was suspended earlier this month.
Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere speaking to reporters ahead of the weekly Cabinet meeting dismissed suggestions that the Phillip Pierre administration had been responsible for killing off the industry.
“But they never said the important part of my statement, which was soon as this decision was taken, the very same quantity of bananas was diverted to Trinidad and Tobago,” Prospere said, adding that the UK trade suspension did not negatively impact local farmers.
“We are still exporting those 1,000 boxes to Trinidad,” Prospere said.
The agriculture minister announcing the UK banana trade suspension, said when the Pierre administration came into office in July last year it found a banana industry that had collapsed.
He said the government in recognition of the socio-economic consequences and the critical role of the banana trade in rural communities found it necessary to intervene for the sake of maintaining social peace and economic mobility in rural communities.
TRINIDAD
The United Kingdom has updated its travel advisory to Trinidad and Tobago regarding crime, safety and security, urging its citizens that there are “high levels of violent crime” in the country.
The update was made on Nov. 11 and came a few days after the US advised its nationals to reconsider travel to T&T because of the crime situation.
While the US advisory has garnered attention, so much so prompting Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, Dr. Amery Browne and Minister of National Security, Fitzgerald Hinds to meet with US Charge d’ Affaires, Shante Moore, the US advisory has largely gone unnoticed.
Murders to add to the Trinidad piece. On Saturday November 12 the murder toll stood at 529, tying the 2008 record with the deaths a Tobago Police officer and three others. Now it has now climbed to 536 compared to 378 for the same period last year.
— Compiled by Azad Ali

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