Weak trade


The Commonwealth’s Deputy Secretary General, Deodat Maharaj, has raised concern that the Caribbean has not yet established a solid presence on the global trade market.

He addressed the issue at a joint trade initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth Secretariat and the International Francophone Organization, held at the Accra Beach Hotel this week.

According to him, the region accounted for less than half of a per cent of world trade in 2013, a decline in the figures for 2009.

“When we look at the data, in 2009 or so the Caribbean accounted for around 0.75 per cent, or less than one per cent of world trade and the numbers keep declining. So, in 2013, the Caribbean accounted for 0.48 per cent, or less than half of one per cent of world trade.

“And if you take away Trinidad and Tobago, the oil and gas producers, the Caribbean now only accounts for 0.24 per cent, or less than one quarter of one per cent of world trade,” Maharaj told reporters.

He said the agriculture sector, a traditional income earner, has been on the decline for too long to have any significant impact on the economies of Caribbean countries, and the region now needs to focus on developing its human resource capital.

“The future of the Caribbean will not be based on commodities. We’re too small to mass produce and compete with larger countries in Africa and Asia and indeed in Latin America. The future of the Caribbean, I think, would lie in us becoming knowledge economies, focusing on the digital economy.  The future of the Caribbean is tapping the ocean space and focusing on blue growth and blue economies,” Maharaj stated.

He noted that while the traditional crops are important, the region needs “a cogent and compelling vision” to transition to other sectors.

“Africa, they have done it; they have a strong version called Agenda 2063: the Africa we want by 2063. I think in the Caribbean we need to use a similar template,” the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General said.

“And on the issue of agriculture, the Caribbean is one of the most food insecure regions on this planet. The average age of a farmer in the Caribbean is 55 years old. So we need to produce and grow food but the future has to be different, where it is more technology driven rather than just labour driven: How do we use the available technologies to transform agriculture, how do we find niche markets to sell our exports so people can have a life that can help them advance human development?”

He added that the Commonwealth Secretariat continues to focus on trade as a strategic development pillar, and advisers have been working with several regional agencies in that regard.

“So I think what we need to do in the Caribbean, with integration being a driving force, is to come together and come up with a vision that is cogent, that is compelling, focusing on the new economy and tapping into the magnificent resource that we have,” Maharaj said.

14 Responses to Weak trade

  1. jrsmith May 26, 2017 at 4:15 am

    They are doing something , spending all the time possible on legalizing ganga….

    • Jennifer May 26, 2017 at 5:14 am

      jrsmith – The piper and the shoe is the problem. Mind you the foot getting longer. 2063 ??????

      • Peter May 26, 2017 at 7:35 am

        The old bat that writes her nonsensical ignorant crap before sunrise strikes again. She knows absolutely nothing about international trade and its interweaving legalities, agreements and peripheral issues let alone the politics and power plays behind it all. I have NEVER seen Jennifer the jackass nor jrsmith at any trade conference anywhere. Not even in England. Yet they poke their stupid comments in these issues to which they know nothing

  2. Jennifer May 26, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Down Rojo down. I left your little pan outside, with a little chow and little water. I”ll comb you later and check your hair.

  3. Carlisle Norville May 26, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Peter, i don’t know who you are, I believe by your choice of words you are an intelligent man, ( don’t condescend to junk thinking i am sure you can make an enlightening contribution)looking forward to hearing the brilliant side of you ( take care)

  4. Carlisle Norville May 26, 2017 at 8:56 am

    what i think has to be done in the carribbean is resourses can be pooled ( but we keeping we money)so attitude hasto be change get two ships to traverse the islands, & we sell our fruits etc to each other ( all intelligent people know that food is vital) we have enough land in the Caribbean, to produce ALL the foods we need ( the air fares are stupendous, just to fly from Barbados to Jamaica when the fares are low is $1,000;00 & $50:00 that is ridiculous we thinking of ourselves & NOT about each other ,(we think the RICH countries care a damn about we) ( you are soon going to find out what they really think about us, when will my Caribbean brothers & sisters wake up (GET RID OF THE GOVERMENTS THAT DONT CARE A DAM ABOUT YOUR SURVIVAL, its time to do it OR we all gonna sink into deep Shit.

  5. Carlisle Norville May 26, 2017 at 9:51 am

    what the Caribbean’s needs is trading with each other VIA a large Vessell or two smaller vessels,( if we don’t get our agriculture going we are going to really feel the pinch),( here in Barbados we have people in government who have to pay people to think for them,) young blacks have no future except to sprain their heads at University, & then sit down in a white man’s office, to help him run his business efficiently laws that govern this land, are outdated slave laws, passed down to us by white pathological supremacist & these laws stop blacks in barbados from achiveing ,people get the Goverment to change the laws in parlament, they are not in the interest of Black or brown barbadians small white groups run things in barbados not the Black faces in parlement

    • Jennifer May 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      @C Norville – That’s right. And very few can see or want to see. Wilful and wicked and ignorant.

  6. Milli Watt May 26, 2017 at 10:00 am

    I was told Jennifer and Peter are not different but the same person

    • Jennifer May 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      @Milli Watt – Very different people I am afraid, One is defending and supporting their black brothers and sisters and the other is defending their white ancestors and relatives and trying to discredit me, not to mention they know diddly squat about me. That’s why you get what appears to be similar defense conundrum. Believe u me I am not him. This is why he is so pi$$ed at my comments and lashes out like that, to keep his ancestors BS going.

  7. Helicopter(8P) May 26, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Barbados and St.Vincent can be the number one cruseing, fishing and sporting boat producers with just the correct infrastructure and seed financing.

  8. Peter May 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Whatt? Sometimes I also think you have multiple personalities too. Watt a coincidence? Helicopter(8p) and Carlisle Norville. I quite like and agree with your comments. I will send you an idea for regional and international trade and movement of peoplr. I am quite busy with work to present reports with a due deadline. I will however endeavor to communicate my ideas to you both and Tony Web and Hal. too Ihaven’t seen his comments for a while now. I hope he’s fine and in great health.

  9. jrsmith May 26, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I would think Peter is a very wealthy man or woman what the case may be, knowing everything there is to know who very much like insulting people, ,, I would think in barbados should be this massive corporation private jet and all which is own by this peter person……..
    A prominent business man in barbados always say, the people who shout the loudest are the one who has never contribute anything to the economy of barbados………………………

    • Jennifer May 26, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      @Jrsmith – I do not even read his shyte. Just by pass it.


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