Dominica News

Fund CDF projects ‘as a region’

Calls are being made for the Bridgetown-based CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), set up in 2008 to assist disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors within the Caribbean Community, to adopt a regional rather than country-specific approach to financing.

And suggestions have also been made that the CDF, now marking its fifth year and the end of its first cycle of operations, should not only raise the level of its project financing and target new types of activities, but also simultaneously seek increased support from its members and donors.

CDF chairman Dr Alvin Hilaire last Thursday noted that in the first five-year cycle, the funding arrangement consisted of contributions from member states and external partners and covered grants, interest subsidies and concessionary loans.

“The arrangement has worked well so far by initially allowing a commitment of financing of projects to the tune of U$41.9 million from contributions/donations amounting to US$100 million,” he told the fourth meeting of the CDF’s contributors and development partners at Courtyard Marriott, Hastings, Christ Church.

“A scaling up of the project financing over the next five years or so would require a commensurate expansion in the contributions from members and donors.”

Hilaire said that apart from the question of where the funding should be coming from, the organisation also has to reflect on what type of activities it should be financing.

“The Fund is already involved in a broad range of projects in the private and public sectors and in the fields of tourism, infrastructure, education, microfinance, and agriculture,” he noted. “All of these projects are linked to assisting individual eligible members to be better prepared for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

“However, there have been recent calls for financing new types of projects such as those with regional or sub-regional dimensions – to be provided simultaneously to groups of members – or venture capital activities.”

Hilaire said the list of countries eligible for financing (Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts and St Vincent and the Grenadines plus Guyana, which is classified as a Highly Indebted Poor Country) could also change given the current economic climate in the Caribbean.

“In this context,” he added, “there has been heightened focus among international agencies and Caribbean states themselves on adoption of practical projects to stimulate short-term growth while maintaining disciplined macroeconomic policies.” (AB)

 

www.nationnews.com | 9/22/14 12:00 PM
Dominica PM addresses opposition criticisms

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here . The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming.

www.topix.net | 9/21/14 11:41 PM
BEHIND THE HEADLINES: Changing the goalposts on financial services

“Changing the goalpost” is a sports metaphor routinely used in business, government and everyday life, to hint at bad faith.

Like “bait and switch” and “raising the bar”, the term suggests a constant changing of the rules of the game to prevent a competitor from scoring a goal.

So, when Evelyn Greaves, a former Minister of Trade, Tourism, Commerce and Industry, who recently stepped down as Barbados’ top diplomat in Canada complained, quite correctly, that when it comes to the offshore financial services sector Barbados, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and their neighbours can expect the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to change the goalpost.

“As a small country we have to recognise our size. We are in a situation where the OECD every year comes up with something on financial services and when a country like Barbados complies with what the organisation wants, the next year the OECD comes up with something else,” was the way the retired High Commissioner put it. “The goalpost keeps moving. It makes it really difficult for us to compete and to really get a foothold in the international arena as a small country.

“I think that in the end it comes down to building trust with partners in the developed countries,” he added.

For Barbados and other English-speaking Caribbean nations, one such key trustworthy partner is Canada, which keeps more than a watching brief for the region at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

“Because Caribbean states don’t have enough shares to qualify for a seat on the board of directors of the World Bank, the director for Canada also represents the Caribbean,” explained Charlie Skeete, a former Barbados ambassador in Washington, who once served on the Inter-American Development Bank’s executive board. “Canada has enough shares to get its own seat on the World Bank’s board. The same is true in the International Monetary Fund.  As part of the arrangement with the Caribbean, the Canadian appoints a Caribbean official to the position of alternate executive director at the World Bank. On the other hand, though, in the IMF the Canadian always appoints someone from Ireland to be the alternate director. In essence, in the IMF we don’t have a director or an alternate.

“What also happens when it comes to the World Bank and its board is that the Caribbean countries decide among themselves which nation gets the alternate position,” Skeete pointed out.

That IMF/World Bank scenario explains Greaves’ reference to Canada as the Caribbean’s partner. However, Canada and the Caribbean don’t have a similar arrangement at the OECD, where Canada is also an influential member but the Caribbean doesn’t have a presence.

The OECD, a handmaiden of the rich countries, Canada, the United States (US), Britain included, is the vehicle they drive to get their way against small states that are trying to secure a toe-hold in the financial services arena.

Back in the 1990s, for instance, the OECD tried and failed to drive the island-nations and coastal states out of the offshore business by accusing them of being drug money laundering centres.

Yes, some small states had allowed themselves to be sucked into the money laundering game but what the OECD ignored was that some of its rich members – the United States, Britain and others in Europe – were the world’s leading launderers.  

After the Caribbean and the Pacific cleaned up their offshore act, the goalpost was shifted to include terrorist financing and tax evasion.

That’s where the OECD gray list comes in. Six years ago, 17 countries, France and Germany among them agreed to compile a Blacklist of “tax havens”. The organization was empowered to investigate dozens of so-called tax havens which allegedly allowed people to hide billions of dollars in unregulated hedge funds and other investment avenues.

The OECD gray list zeroes in on the way dozens of jurisdictions, including Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, South Korea, Finland, France, Germany, the UK, Canada, Ireland, Japan, Dominica and Panama implement international tax standards.

A major problem with that list and the Financial Action Task Force’ (FAFT) list of “non-cooperating countries” in the battle against money laundering is that  far too often the authors ignore the fact that many of the jurisdictions don’t have the infrastructure or the money to monitor the actions of sophisticated tax evaders or financial criminals.

Although the FATF and the G-20 states recognized the challenge facing small states and have tried to do something about it, the headache remains and the shifting of the goalposts continues.  

Hence, Greaves’ complaint.

www.nationnews.com | 9/20/14 1:58 PM
Miley Cyrus Could Be Fined for Getting Spanked With the Mexican Flag

Miley Cyrus' outrageous arty pop-star antics are not going over well beyond this nation's borders. First she was banned from bringing her Bangerz tour to the Dominican Republic for "acts that go against morals and customs, which are punishable by Dominican law," and now a Mexican lawmaker wants to fine her for disrespecting the country's flag.

www.topix.net | 9/18/14 8:58 PM
New airline operating successfully to Dominica

ROSEAU, Dominica -- The newly launched Hummingbird Airlines has been operating flights in and from Canefield Airport in Dominica every Thursday and Sunday since July 11, 2014. Proprietor of Hummingbird Airlines, Samuel Raphael, said according to feedback from the public, the airline's service is great.

www.topix.net | 9/17/14 1:01 AM
Elections just around the corner, says Dominica PM

ROSEAU, Dominica -- Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the time is drawing near for voters in Dominica to return to the polls to elect a government of their choice. "The power to hire and fire has always been in the hands of the people," Skerrit pointed out.

www.topix.net | 9/13/14 3:26 AM
Jammin DC Caribbean and Ethiopian Music and Arts Festival

If you attended last year's Jammin DC, you will remember that it was packed with people who were all too happy to dance to the great soca and reggae tunes at the center stage. This event celebrates the culture of 28 Caribbean nations and territories including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands.

www.topix.net | 9/11/14 11:55 PM
Jammin DC Caribbean and Ethiopian Music and Arts Festival

If you attended last year's Jammin DC, you will remember that it was packed with people who were all too happy to dance to the great soca and reggae tunes at the center stage. This event celebrates the culture of 28 Caribbean nations and territories including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, and the US Virgin Islands.

www.topix.net | 9/11/14 9:18 PM

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