Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne on Wednesdayarrived in Guyana for the 28th Intercessional Heads of Government Meeting of CARICOM which is expected to discuss among other things, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), crime and security and correspondent banking.
According to Prime Minister Browne, who is accompanied by CARICOM Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry, the two-day meeting to be held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara on February 16 and 17, will be very important as there are a number of decisions that must be made if the regional grouping is to advance the CSME.
He said that an update will be given of a recently commissioned review of the CSME which most believe is the way forward for economic growth and development of the region.
The Heads of Government will also be briefed by the Committee of Central Bank Governors on how to further address the issue of correspondent banking. CARICOM has mounted an active advocacy initiative, and has raised awareness among the United States, European Union, World Bank, International Monetary Fund and other parties in relation to the Region’s plight.
Correspondent banking impacts the Region’s financial transactions, and by extension trade and remittance in the CARICOM countries affected by the pullout of banks. The Chairman of the Committee on Correspondent Banking, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who hosted a global stakeholder conference last October with relevant parties will update heads on progress made in this area.
Trans-border crime will be discussed at the two-day meeting with the drafts of the Arrest Warrant Treaty and Return and Sharing of Assets examined by Heads.
The Heads of Government will also look at how to enhance tourism in the region to assist in economic growth. The areas to be discussed include marketing, human resource development, strengthening linkages in other sectors and transportation.
Another aspect of the meeting will see the presentation of a road map on the way forward in developing a regional Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.