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Caribbean’s biggest tourism source markets projected for $20 billion in travel losses

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#Caribbean – March 10, 2020 — Travel demand is likely to drop ten percent among North Americans due to fears from the contagion, COVID-19 and for the tourism dependent Caribbean could present an economic downturn if spread is not stabilized.

The International Air Transport Association, IATA represents 290 airlines or 82 percent of global air traffic and its second report was released last Thursday.

“Many airlines are cutting capacity and taking emergency measures to reduce costs. Governments must take note. Airlines are doing their best to stay afloat as they perform the vital task of linking the world’s economies. As governments look to stimulus measures, the airline industry will need consideration for relief on taxes, charges and slot allocation. These are extraordinary times,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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The media release on the financial impact of COVID-19 was publicized on March 5 and while the Caribbean region is not specifically listed, its biggest tourism and trade market is on the lower end of the spectrum.

The United States and Canada are charted with a ten percent loss in travel demand; that equates to just over $21 billion in projected losses.

Leading in this negative trend downward are these European countries: Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, which are expected to cumulatively record a 24 percent plummet or a $37.3 billion dollar projected loss.

“The turn of events as a result of COVID-19 is almost without precedent. In little over two months, the industry’s prospects in much of the world have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. It is unclear how the virus will develop, but whether we see the impact contained to a few markets and a $63 billion revenue loss, or a broader impact leading to a $113 billion loss of revenue, this is a crisis.”

The comments are from the IATA assessment which also explained financial markets are now anticipating a large fall in airline profits globally and a drop in oil prices is poised to offset the impact of coronavirus, but not right away.

It is estimated the savings on fuel will amount to $28 billion dollars in 2020.

The Caribbean is not charted by IATA in this recent report because there are less than ten cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the region.

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Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Truss warns Russia against ‘weaponising’ the Global Economy at UN debut

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, September 27, 2022 – In pursuit of a democratic future and a stance against a ‘desperate’ Vladimir Putin, Liz Truss the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom says her country will be cutting off ‘toxic power and pipelines from authoritarian regimes’, and boosting its spending on weapons for defense.

Truss was making her debut speech as new Prime Minister at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, last weekend.  Similarly to her predecessor Boris Johnson she condemned Russia and Autocratic regimes and vowed support for Ukraine ‘as long as it takes’

Truss stressed that the UK would be completely turning its back on Russian energy in the very near future.

“We will ensure we cannot be coerced or harmed by the reckless actions of rogue actors abroad. We will transition to a future based on renewable and nuclear energy while ensuring that the gas used during that transition is from reliable sources including our own North Sea production.” She said, “We won’t be strategically dependent on those who seek to weaponise the global economy.”

She described the invasion as a catastrophic failure and President Putin as making ‘bogus claims and sabre-rattling threats’ versus Ukraine’s dignified fight.

“The story of 2022 could have been that of an authoritarian state rolling its tanks over the border of a peaceful neighbour and subjugating its people. Instead, it is the story of freedom fighting back.” She said.

The Prime minister hinted at new partnerships with small states encouraging the UN to ‘collectively extend a hand of friendship’ to states that had in the past  ‘too often been left behind and left vulnerable to global challenges’ specifically mentioning Caribbean Island states dealing with the impact of climate change.

Truss maintained this era would be one of “hope and progress”.

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