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CARICOM Seeks Greater International Say

by Amanda Banks,, London

24 December 2010

The Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Edwin Carrington, at the first CARICOM-Australia High Level Meeting in Guyana on December 17, called on Australia to support its efforts to gain increased representation in international fora on issues pertinent to the Caribbean region, and its development.

As part of remarks during the High Level Meeting, Carrington noted that Caribbean territories, many of which, Carrington said, are small highly indebted middle-income countries have been “most severely affected by a crisis which is not of their making, but yet have been additionally disadvantaged by their inability to access concessionary financing.”

“This is due to the process of graduation consequent on their classification as middle-income countries – a process which emphasises their modest incomes levels but ignores their indebtedness and their vulnerabilities,” Carrington said.

“Though our inherent vulnerabilities are not burden enough, to add insult to injury, our small and vulnerable economies do not have a voice in the very institutions which take decisions that affect [our] economic viability. We must therefore rely on our partners such as Australia to be critical and vibrant advocates for our concerns in those fora to which we have no access.”

Calling on increased access for Caribbean states in relevant discussions, Carrington concluded:

“While we look to our ‘friends at court’ to carry our torch for us, the Community nevertheless views this system as being far from democratic or fair. We are of the strong view that developing countries such as the member states of CARICOM should be accorded some form of representational access to the G20, which has now been established as the premier mechanism for influencing and forging global financial and economic policies.”

“It is our hope that you will take back this message from our discussions today as we look to Australia to lend its considerable weight to our search for such a solution.”

TAGS: tax | business | fiscal policy | law | international financial centres (IFC) | offshore | legislation | tax rates | Guyana | G20 | tax reform | standards | regulation

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