Caribbean RoundUp

Promenade at marina of Bridgetown, Barbados.
Photo via Getty Images


The Central Bank of Barbados (CBB) says the performance of the island’s economy during the first six months of the year underscores Barbados’ resilience in the face of unfavorable global developments.

“Economic activity expanded by 3.9 percent, representing the ninth consecutive quarter of economic expansion. This growth resulted in fiscal surpluses, improved employment, reduced debt to GDP ratio, narrowing gap between the value of exports and imports, and record foreign reserve levels. The increased economic activity also fed into the financial services sector, improving credit quality, as well as boosting assets and profits,” the CBB added.

CBB Governor Dr Kevin Greenidge said with respect to tourism, forward bookings for the remainder of the year are encouraging and that the return of a full crop over festival itinerary and the anticipated opening of the Wyndham Sam Lord’s Hotel, are expected to boost demand for the destination in the coming months.

“The sharing economy is also expected to contribute to the stability of tourists arrival by continuing to attract a visitor segment less interested in the traditional hotel experience. Local tourism stakeholders are attempting to addressing the airlift challenge into Barbados, a factor, which along with airline ticket prices well above pre-pandemic levels, remains one of the key barriers to the full recovery in visitor numbers.”

The CBB said that other sectors of the economy should continue to benefit from the strong tourism performance and construction activity and assist with employment growth.

“As a result, domestic inflation is expected to decrease to 5 percent or below by year’s end, should current international prices be maintained or decline over the second half of 2023,” Greenidge said.



The Dominican government says it is making changes to its Citizenship by Investment Programme ( CBI) about two weeks after the British government imposed visa restrictions on Dominicans entering the country.

London said the decision to impose the visa restrictions with immediate effect on Dominica and four other countries had been “taken solely for migration and border security reasons” and is not a sign of poor relations with these countries.

London said also said that nationals of these countries will also be required to obtain a Direct Airside Transit Visa if they intend to transit via the UK.

The British government said that “careful consideration of Dominica’s operation of a Citizenship By Investment scheme “has shown clear and evident abuse of the scheme, including the granting of citizenship to individuals known to pose a risk to the UK”.

Dominica is among a handful of Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries with a Citizenship By Investment Programme through which foreign investors are granted citizenship of the island in return for making substantial investment in the socio-economic development of the country.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who had initially described the position of the British government as “unfortunate” told Parliament that the island had been making changes to the CBI programme based on recommendations from the United States.



The Guyana government has successfully tabled legislation increasing the country’s limits of external and public loans allowing the country to access more funds from international markets, bolstering investments in infrastructure, social programmes and economic development.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for France, Dr Ashni Singh, recently tabled the External Loans Order 2023 and the Public Loan Order 2023 to increase the limit of external loans from GUY$650 billion to GUY$900 billion, and the limit of public loans from Guy$500 billion to GUY$750 billion.

Former housing minister, Annette Ferguson, said that “this is the third Supplemental Paper for the year 2023” with the government seeking billions of dollars more in addition to what the National Assembly had approved earlier this year.

She said the government is spending lavishly and the lives of citizens have not improved. She said this type of “lavish” spending is premised on poor planning by the government and a lack of competence, calling on citizens to wake up and ask, where “our oil monies going?”

But Singh told legislators that the move was necessary given the country’s development and growth needs over the next few years.



Chants of “freedom” echoed through the streets outside an aid facility in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, just days after American nurse and her daughter were kidnapped by armed men.

Hundreds of Haitians marched through the gang-ravaged zone, bursting with anger at the abduction, which has become a symbol of the worsening violence plaguing the Caribbean nation.

Alix Dorsainvil had been working as a community nurse for the religious and humanitarian aid group El Rio Haiti when she and her daughter were taken from its campus. She is the wife of the founder, Sandro Dorsainvil.

A witness told the Associated Press that Dorsainvil was working in her organization’s small brick clinic when she and her daughter were seized by armed men.

Members of the community said the unidentified men ask for $1 million in ransom. This is something that has become standard as Haiti’s gangs turn to slews of kidnappings to line their pockets and bleed the country dry.

Since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021, gangs have taken over the capital, killing, raping and sowing terror in the communities already suffering endemic poverty.

The US State Department issued a “do not travel advisory” for Haiti and ordered nonemergency personnel to leave amid growing security concerns on the same day Dorsainvil and her daughter were taken. The State Department said that “kidnapping is widespread, and victims regularly include US citizens.”

The violence has stirred anger among Haitians, who say they simply just want to live in peace. Protesters, mostly from the area around El Rio Haiti’s campus echoed that call as they walked through the sweltering streets wielding cardboard signs.



Jamaica has recorded an 11.8 percent decrease in murders during the period of January 1 to July 29 this year, as compared to the same period last year, according to figures released by the Jamaican Constabulary Force JCF).

It said that there were 786 murders so far this year as compared to 891, with almost all divisions reporting a decrease in murders.

The figures also showed a nine percent decrease in shootings this year, with 618 shootings as compared with 679 last year.

There was also a noticeable decline in rapes, with the JCF reporting 223 cases during the first six months of this year as compared with 297 for the same period last year.

The police said there were 518 break-ins during the first six months of this year, a 12.5 percent decline over the same period last year when 592 break-ins were recorded.


St Lucia

St Lucia’s Minister for Investment, Tourism and Creative Industries Dr Ernest Hilaire said another Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) is needed to fly regional skies once again.

“We need LIAT and our government is committed to supporting any effort in creating regional connectivity. A regional solution is needed,” Hilaire said.

Hilaire noted that regional governments need to treat regional travel as a strategic imperative, as when the going gets tough for the private sector, within the airline industry, it tends to fold up.

He highlighted that a regional solution is needed soon as the regional market is St Lucia’s largest revenue contributor.

Hilaire added, that the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Prime Ministers have met a few times and formed a working group to bring about a solution together with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Hilaire also highlighted that fewer seats were available to St Lucia, for the July/August/September as airlines indicated they had to service other countries since the reopening of the international borders following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The international airlines are saying we either do not have planes or we don’t have crew. Few airlines have both, because during COVID they sold their planes and did not recertify crew members. In most Caribbean territories, there has been a decline of seats compared to 2019. So due to this our numbers, would be slightly moderated,” the minister revealed.

However, Hilaire said that the forward bookings for the winter and first quarter of 2024 look very strong and he is hopeful that St Lucia will recover up to 95 percent of 2019 arrivals.