Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 21st 2018 Contents Wednesday, March 21, 2018
GEORGETOWN—Guyana and Suriname are exploring
the possibility of providing a joint tourism destination
to visitors, the Director General of Tourism, Donald
Sinclair, has said.
Sinclair said that the English and Dutch-speaking
Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries are in the
midst of finalising an accord for the joint promotion of
the countries’ tourism destinations.
“You may be aware that last year tourism represent-
atives from Guyana and Suriname worked on a draft
tourism accord that dealt with strengthening tour-
ism within the Guianas. The idea is to start with
Guyana, Suriname, and French Guyana and then
extend it to other countries of the Guyana Shield.
“That accord has not been signed as yet but
as it relates to the text of the accord, there has
been general agreement about the substance of
that text,’ Sinclair said, noting that Suriname
has confirmed its participation in the 24th Con-
gress of the Organisation of American States
(OAS) that begins here today.
“There is a presentation that is going to be
done by Suriname on the theme of strength-
ening connections within the Guianas. In
fact, it is the plan for that to be a joint pres-
entation between Guyana and Suriname,”
The two-day OAS tourism congress will
focus on the development of the region’s tour-
ism industry and will be attended by OAS Secre-
tary-General, Luis Almagro.
ST JOHN’S—The Antigua and Barbuda government
says it intends to fully repay the US$117.8
million loan given to the island by the
IMF, the international bank of last resort,
nearly eight years ago.
In 2010, the Washington-based finan-
cial institution approved the multi-million
dollar loan to the Antigua and Barbuda to
support the government’s plan to recover
from mounting government debt, weak
economic growth, and the effects of the
Last September, the country was refused
a moratorium on the debt despite the natu-
ral disaster that destroyed over 90 per cent
of Barbuda and incurred over US$150 mil-
lion in reconstruction and recovery costs.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, said then
that St John’s had only US$13 million out-
standing and two weeks ago, the government
made a payment of US $8 million to the IMF.
“I gave instructions...to the Ministry of Fi-
nance to liquidate the IMF loan on Tuesday.
We are paying it off in full,” he said.
Browne said that he is not aware of any
country in this hemisphere “in recent times
that would have borrowed as much as 10 per
cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) got bail
out” as he criticised the then Baldwin Spencer
administration for entering into the IMF agree-
“Generally speaking an IMF programme is
when the government would have failed, cannot
meet its obligations, would have had a balance of
payments difficulties and had no other way out or
other alternatives but to go to the IMF.
“Whenever you go to the IMF it signals
bad governance,” he insisted adding that
the government then “did nothing con-
structive with the money” it borrowed from
Browne is leading his Antigua and Barbuda La-
bour Party (ABLP) into Wednesday’s general elec-
tion which he called more than a year ahead of the
The party’s main challenge will come from the
main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP)
that governed the island up until 2014. In the last
general election, the ABLP won 13 of the 17 seats
with the remainder going to the UPP. (CMC)
BRASILIA—A Caribbean environmental con-
sultant says climate change has had a sig-
nificant impact on water resources in the
Caribbean as the region began mobilising
technical and financial support for its Re-
gional Strategic Plan.
Managing Director of SOLORICON, Dr James
Fletcher, who is attending the eighth World
Water Forum (WWF) here, told the Caribbean
Media Corporation (CMC) on Tuesday that
“in almost every single one of our countries,
not only do we have existing problems but
we have problems exacerbated by climate
But Fletcher, a former St. Lucia government
minister, said: “there are also things we can
and should do to mitigate those problems”.
The Caribbean Water and Wastewater Asso-
ciation, (CWWA) which started consultation
on the strategic plan in 2017 will present the
document at its 27th annual conference to be
held in Jamaica later this year.
Among the high priority issues are water
governance, the need for data and the impact
of climate change on the resource.
Fletcher has identified the absence of na-
tional land use plans as a major deficiency in
addressing water issues, noting “the agricul-
ture sector in most of our countries is rain-fed,
the tourism sector which is a major economic
driver also is a significant user of water.
Ageing infrastructure in the water sector is
already affecting development in the region.
Aged infrastructure has also been affected
by climate change and in many
countries, population growth has
placed it under pressure. (CMC)
Antigua PM: Debt
to IMF fully repaid
team up for
ROSEAU—The Dominica government yesterday
called on the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunica-
tion Authority (ECTEL) to examine the possibility
of reducing roaming rates within the sub-regional
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Telecommunications, Science and Information
Technology, Minister Kelvar Darroux, speaking
at a ceremony where the regulator body donated
EC$350,000 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) to the
Dominica government for hurricane disaster re-
lief, said it is an issue he has always brought up at
the ECTEL Council of Ministers meeting.
Darroux said this is a challenge he was giving to
ECTEL, which was established by a treaty in May
2000 signed by the governments of Dominica,
Grenada, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia and
St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
ECTEL is the regulatory body for tel-
ecommunications and is made up of
three components – A Council of Min-
isters, a regional Directorate and a Na-
tional Telecommunications Regulatory
Commission (NTRC) in each member
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