Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne is today the keynote speaker at a panel discussion organized by the Caribbean Development Bank in Grenada that will focus on the topic “Air Transport Competitiveness and Connectivity.”
In his letter of invitation to Prime Minister Browne, President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Warren Smith outlined that good air transport connectivity is vital for increased competitiveness. It boosts tourism by joining up the Region to its source markets. It also contributes to growth in the wider economy through the movement of goods and services, as well as investment and ideas.
Prime Minister Browne in accepting the invitation to speak noted that a region with excellent aviation links can improve on trade, enhance communications and business interactions; and help to improve efficiency. He said however that this level of connectivity is determined by the availability and cost of air travel.
The panel discussion, which forms part of the CDB’s 48th Board of Governors Meeting will examine the factors inhibiting connectivity and competitiveness in the regional aviation industry. It is expected that panelists will also make recommendations for overcoming connectivity deficits and, therefore, improving performance.
Prime Minister Browne is expected to speak on the importance and challenges of the aviation industry for Antigua and Barbuda and share his perspectives on the options for a viable sub-regional air transportation system.
Panelists will include Mr. Peter Cerda, Regional Vice-President in the Americas of the International Air Transport Association, IATA; and Ms. Julie Reifer-Jones, CEO of Caribbean Airline LIAT.
The 48th CDB Board of Governors Meeting will also address among other things building resilient cities and the Blue Economy.
The discussion on building resilient cities will explore how CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries can build adaptive capacity through knowledge sharing and the identification of strategic responses for co-creating urban resilience within the region.
The discussion will further seek to provoke thoughts of building resilience through behavioural change and facilitate knowledge transfer through discussions on four of the seven Urban Sector Policy, Strategy and Operational Guidelines and strategy objectives – governance; social inclusion and security; mobility and infrastructure; and urban economy.
The Blue Economy discussion will examine recommendations from a study that aim to explore the potential for ocean based industries to increase economic growth and improve livelihoods in the Caribbean
Blue Economy industries play a substantial role in global commerce, and the importance of these activities is likely to increase as a growing more affluent population places more pressure on suppliers to develop new sources of food, energy, and minerals. Although extremely small and limited in land size, the Caribbean has vast maritime resources at its disposal.