PM outlines plan for region
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has advised the Caribbean to turn to its resources to survive the current economic downturn.
“The future development of the Caribbean depends critically on human resource development, intra-regional transport, the development of our cultural industries and the use of alternative sources of energy,” he told delegates attending the 41st annual general meeting of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) at Hilton?Barbados on Monday.
He said the vision of a culturally rich Caribbean region that used its ingenuity to create a sustainable economy and a just society must begin by boosting the confidence of the people and building bridges across the sea.
Representatives from 39 CSA member countries covering the entire Caribbean, including South, Central and North American ports, met for three days to examine the business and world economic outlook for global trade, the global supply chain, maritime transportation and the Caribbean transshipment market, and business contingency planning against natural and environmental disasters.
Stuart challenged the CSA to add intra-regional transport to its international maritime mandate, saying the region needed both to prosper.
He also pointed to the need for maritime infrastructure to enable regional hubs to facilitate cargo from G20 countries being landed and transshipped efficiently and safely to destinations within CARICOM for
which he said intra-regional transport would become the lifeblood.
Ninety per cent of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry. In the case of the Bridgetown Port, the Prime Minister said more than one million tonnes of cargo was processed annually, including 88 000 containers and 50 000 barrels of personal effects. (GC)