Ramotar courts agri ventures at Antigua CARICOM Summit
With companies from Trinidad and Barbados investing in the agriculture sector here, President Donald Ramotar is expected to push for more joint ventures at the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Antigua. Guyana holds responsibility for the agriculture in CARICOM< and the president is expected to further discussions on food security, with the focus being on getting the region to produce the food it needs, instead of importing.
The countries of the regional trade and integration bloc import close to US$40 billion in food annually; Guyana itself hopes to cash in on some of the market if it can ramp up production of key products.
This year’s Summit is being chaired by the newly elected Prime Minister of Antigua, Gaston Browne, who said his country was “fully” and “passionately” committed to regional integration as an important and vital instrument for development.
Underscoring his commitment to regional integration, Prime Minister Browne pointed out that one of his early decisions since winning elections on 12 June 2014, was to abolish, with immediate effect, the work permit fees for CARICOM nationals for the remainder of 2014.
HE called for “a coalition of the willing” to move the integration movement forward; He spoke of the the harmonisation and synchronization of national and regional tracks to development; and the establishment of a Commission to focus on the matter of youth unemployment in the Region with a view to taking urgent action to tackle that challenge.
He also sounded the call for a commitment to the removal of all barriers to free movement; and the strengthening of the CARICOM Secretariat to advance the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).