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TCI: The People’s Time Throne Speech delivered; Swearing in under sunny skies in Grand Turk

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#TurksandCaicos, March 8, 2021 – Home grown investment appears to be poised to be elevated, incentivized and prioritized according to the new Progressive National Party (PNP) Government Administration in its Throne Speech, which was on Parliament Opening and Swearing in day delivered by Her Excellency, Anya Williams, (Acting) Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Over the years, our dependence on FDI driven development has led to unintended consequences, instead of policy driven outcomes and results.

To grow and diversify the TCI economy will require a strong combination of domestic and foreign direct investments.

My Government’s new investment policy will place emphasis on domestic investment, including funding sources for qualifying start-ups and existing entities – especially in the productive sector.”

This was an early message in the 14-page Speech, which is a traditional conveyance on the intention of the new government, which in this case has been given a massive mandate after winning governance 14 to 1, against the People’s Democratic Movement on Friday February 19, 2021.

In order to achieve this more balanced approach to investment, which gives the domestic investor preferential standing is an overhaul of Invest Turks and Caicos Agency, again.

“My Government will revamp Invest TCI to make it more effective in investment promotion and facilitation, attracting new investors and retaining existing ones.

We will augment the team with world class commercial business and legal expertise and balance customer concerns against the different regulatory goals of agencies through better inter-governmental communication.”

Listed were the results these changes of the investment unit should bring, including:  Removal of barriers to and direct concessions in favour of domestic investment; Rebalance the current allocation of land use which was driven by foreign investors with an efficient and equitable land use policy; Incentivise joint-ventures and partnerships between FDI and local entrepreneurs especially in the productive sectors; Establish minimum investment thresholds for stand- alone FDI entities and strengthen compliance measures in the restricted business categories.

Development Agreements will also become more simplified and strategic. 

“Repeal the Encouragement of Development Ordinance and replace it with a new investment promotion legal framework that focuses on domestic investment, and genuine long-term alliances and partnerships with foreign investors.  Restructure the revenue system to eliminate the need for complicated development agreements and Create new types of investments.”

Premier Hon C. Washington Misick and the PNP’s message through H.E. Williams shared a new mantra for the party it seems; that this new session of Parliament is about creating wealth opportunity and equality; Misick dubbed it ‘the People’s Time.’

“We have made significant gains in some of the measurements of development, such as life expectancy; better access by our people to primary, secondary, and tertiary education; healthcare; improved infrastructure and greater access to electricity and clean water.

Regrettably, our people have not benefitted as much as they should from the significant growth in our GDP. Far too many remain on the margins and barely eke out an existence.

The next fifty years must be for and about the people. Everything we do must be centred on their wellbeing, welfare and wealth creation.”

The First sitting of the First meeting of the First session of the 12th Legislature was held on Friday March 5, 2021 at the Parade Grounds in Grand Turk, where Covid-19 public health protocols were observed. 

The Speaker for the House of Assembly is Hon Gordon Burton; his deputy is South Caicos Member, Hon. Rev. John Malcolm.


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A King and High Level Speakers open SIDS Conference in Antigua & Barbuda

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

#Antigua, May 29, 2024 – The Caribbean Island of Antigua and Barbuda is hosting the fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which seeks to build resilience, and find solutions to the pressing challenges of debt burden, and to achieve sustainable development goals.

Opened on Monday, in St. Johns, under the theme, “Charting the course toward resilient prosperity,” the Conference which run from May 27 to 30, had addresses from 33 countries, where speakers pressed the need for actions on financing for Climate emergency, and crises such as spiraling debt, and health challenges.

Speaking via video link, King Charles III, said island nations are leading the way in confronting Climate Change, protecting biodiversity, and stewarding the global Ocean, while pointing out that there is potential for large investors to contribute to Climate financing, and the benefits of collaboration among SIDS. The King also called for “bold action” and said “your future is our future.”

Host Prime Minister, Gaston Browne told his audience that SIDS face unprecedented global challenges, that they did not create, and “large-scale polluters” bear responsibility for compensation, as he called for ending fossil subsidies.

The Prime Minister also called for   the establishment of the Commission of Small Island States (COSIS) and the recent unanimous advisory opinion from the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), which affirmed the legal duty of state parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to mitigate Climate impacts to protect the marine environment.

In the Caribbean region, PM Browne has been at the forefront of advocacy to develop a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index that truly reflects SIDS needs for development finance, and Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados has spearheaded the Bridgetown Initiative to transform lending and provide inclusive, resilient finance to countries facing Climate crises.

Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Philip Davis urged the SIDS Conference to support a new global tax treaty to be negotiated and for financial flows to be regulated to ease the crippling debt burden impeding many SIDS from fully developing their potential.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General António Guterres aid SIDS stands as a test case for Climate and financial justice, and called on all countries to align with the 1.5°C Climate targets, and for Climate finance to double by 2025, and for significant contributions to the Loss and Damage Fund. “SIDS can make an almighty noise together to deliver meaningful change to benefit the whole of humankind,” he said.

Many SIDS remain dependent on imported fossil fuels, curtailing both their environmental and economic efforts. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), some SIDS would need an investment of around US $5.9 billion annually to achieve their renewable energy targets by 2030 and reduce their fossil-fuel dependency.

The COVID-19 pandemic deepened existing fragilities and triggered the most acute economic contraction across SIDS, increasing their debt burden and depleting resources. Over 40 per cent of SIDS are now on the edge of or are already grappling with unsustainable levels of debt. Between 2000 and 2019, the external debt of SIDS rose by 24 percentage points of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The total public debt for SIDS now stands at approximately US $82 billion dollars.

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CARICOM is Zone of Peace says Mottley

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

 

#Barbados, May 29, 2024 – Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley has called on leaders in the Caribbean to ensure that the region maintains a peaceful zone, as it is stands on the precipice of grave danger if ongoing crises are not handled appropriately.

She said the escalating challenge of gun-related violence in the Caribbean, the political unrest in Haiti, the land dispute in Guyana, and the rising homicide cases across Barbados, require commitment of CARICOM’s leaders to the Caribbean remaining a Zone of Peace, and much more than words.

Addressing the closing ceremony of Tradewinds 24, in St Michael last Friday, she said in a world that is torn in Africa with conflict, torn in Europe with conflict, torn in the Middle East with conflict, “we in the Americas have a solemn obligation to work beyond the call of duty to ensure that we remain a Zone of Peace,” she said.

Further, Miss Mottley said, maintaining peace, requires actions to reflect it, and it  requires being responsible with “our words, such that circumstances do not get out of hand and go beyond our control. It requires equally a recognition that people will understand that this will not result in good for anyone,” she pointed out.

The forum had in attendance, service men and women representing over 26 nations across the Americas and Europe, and the Prime Minister urged the region’s youth to wield tools and weapons with respect, build on potential for positive outcomes.

Miss Mottley also called for a “relook and rethink” of how persons, namely the younger generation are educated about guns, phones and other devices that could be very empowering when used in the best ways for the best outcomes.

Noting that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” she said it is important to instill respect and responsibility in youth, particularly in light of ongoing discussions surrounding cybercrime legislation, wield tools and weapons with respect, highlighting the potential for positive outcomes when utilized responsibly.

Exercise Tradewinds 2024 is a multi-dimensional training exercise hosted by Barbados. It took place from May 4 to 16, 2024. The exercise focused on joint, combined, and interagency training across the ground, air, sea, and cyber domains.

Its primary objectives were to enhance regional cooperation in countering transnational organized crime and to improve capabilities for humanitarian and disaster relief operations.

 

CAPTION:  Prime Minister Mia Mottley was today presented with the World Health Organisation Director-General’s Award for Global Health.  Mottley is one of three people being awarded this year. (Photos by PMO Barbados)

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C&W Business to connect ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Media Hub  

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Official and Exclusive Telecommunications Provider for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

 

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (May 23rd, 2024) – The upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will feature a first-of-its-kind remote Media Hub at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Barbados.

And more than 200 traveling journalists are expected to cover the pinnacle event on the cricketing calendar and they will experience unparalleled connectivity and seamless connections, courtesy of C&W Business.

C&W Communications, the parent company of C&W Business, is the Official and Exclusive Telecommunications Provider in the Caribbean for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

“This groundbreaking facility will ensure that media professionals have access to high-speed internet and reliable telecommunications services, enabling them to cover the event seamlessly and efficiently,” said Nicolas Collette, Chief Commercial Officer, B2B, C&W Communications.

“We are very proud to be providing these connections through which the stories of this prestigious event will be told around the world. Our company has a long and proud association with cricket in the West Indies and we eagerly look forward to this next chapter.”

The Media Hub will serve as a central location where journalists can view all tournament matches and participate in a full range of in-stadia media activities.

“Our goal is to provide a world-class experience for the world’s press, and we are committed to delivering the best connections over the Caribbean’s best network. Our installation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre is at an advanced stage and we have overbuilt it with added bandwidth and redundancy,” added Collette.

“This is a great moment for the Caribbean, and we are honored to play our part in welcoming the press and facilitating all their connectivity needs at the first-ever Media Hub for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.”

Part of the Liberty Latin America group of companies, C&W Communications is the leading entertainment and communications provider in the Caribbean with operations in 20 markets with the brands Flow, Flow Business, C&W Business and BTC. The company’s services are underpinned by over 50,000 kilometres of the most modern subsea and terrestrial fibre networks in the region.

Flow has also been announced as the presenting partner for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Volunteer Programme in the Caribbean.

More than nine hundred volunteers from across the West Indies will participate in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Volunteer Programme, which will serve as a cornerstone for supporting various aspects of the tournament including hospitality, logistics, and fan engagement.

As the Presenting Partner for the Volunteer Programme in the Caribbean, Flow will also play a pivotal role in ensuring volunteers are fully prepared to elevate the experience when tens of thousands of fans, media, players, and officials visit the West Indies in June.

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 blasts off on 1 June with the tournament’s first match featuring USA taking on Canada at the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Full match fixtures are available HERE.

Match tickets, including party-stand tickets for Caribbean fixtures, and hospitality packages are available at tickets.t20worldcup.com. Box offices across the Caribbean are now open and tickets are available for sale there. Locations and operating hours are available HERE.

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