Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have concluded their Thirty Third Regular Meeting (Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community) at Gros Islet, Saint Lucia. The meeting was held July 4-6.
One of the outcomes of the 3-day meeting was an agreement to establish a Caribbean Investment Programme to stabilise failing economies in the region. The Communiqué issued at the conclusion of the Conference spoke to the plan and the need to identify various sectors of the economy, including tourism, agriculture and construction as areas, which offered prospects for early resuscitation of economic growth. CARICOM Heads determined that there is a need to re-examine policy approaches to growth and development and further agreed to review fiscal policy with a view to achieving a balance between taxation and expenditure to more adequately support economic growth and development in the region and for the economies, which are major markets for CARICOM goods and services.
The Commonwealth of The Bahamas was represented at the Conference by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, the Hon. Fred Mitchell on behalf of the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas. Accompanying Minister Mitchell were the Minister of State for Finance the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of State for Legal Affairs the Hon. Damian Gomez and, Nicole Archer and Charmaine Williams, Foreign Service workers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Of note, the meeting also placed emphasis on the importance of enhancing the foreign policy coordination modalities of the Community and stressed that foreign policy coordination was not only a guiding principle for CARICOM but also a necessary tool to achieve effectiveness in foreign policy outcomes.