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THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS BY ELCOTT COLEBY 4-8 JULY

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Prime Minister Christie leads delegation to CARICOM

Prime Minister Christie led a delegation to Georgetown, Guyana on Sunday where they participated in the regular Inter-Sessional meetings of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean (CARICOM).

Crime dominated the agenda and the community grappled with ways to rescue our young black men from a life of crime, driven largely by gang, small firearms and illegal narcotics.

Also high on the agenda was BREXIT and its trade and general economic implications for CARICOM. The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on the 23rd June 2016 after forty-three years. As for CARICOM, it is widely believed that the CARIFORUM-EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) with the European Union is likely to be impacted in the long term.

Another agenda item addressed was the De-Risking issue and its impact on locally owned banks that are losing their corresponding international partner clearing banks. This latest trend in the financial services sector will clearly affect international trade as many CARICOM countries have small, vulnerable and highly integrated economies, mostly with the industrialized world.

Government heads formally paid tribute to the life and work of former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister the late Dr. Patrick Manning, one of the champions of CARICOM and the Caribbean Common Market. In his tribute Foreign Minister Mitchell pointed out that Dr. Manning was the first and only foreign head of government to address a joint session of Parliament. He also recalled that after the passage of Hurricane Jeane and Frances in 2004, Dr. Manning visited The Bahamas and donated $500,000 to hurricane relief on behalf of Trinidad. Mitchell described Manning as a “friend of The Bahamas.”

Dr. Manning passed away on Saturday, 2nd July at the San Fernando General Hospital after losing his battle with leukemia.

CARICOM heads officially welcome its two newest government heads – the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Rt. Hon. Andrew Michael Holness and the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Rt. Hon. AllenChastanet – both of whom won general elections and formed new governments earlier this year.

Accompanying Prime Minister Christie in Guyana were Foreign Affairs Minister the Hon. Fred Mitchell, Education, Science and Technology Minister the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald and CARICOM High Commissioner HE Picewell Forbes.

The delegation returned home late Wednesday night.   CLICK HERE TO READ MORE…