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Heads seeking collaborative approach on regional transportation

CARICOM Heads of Government will explore working with companies servicing the Caribbean to find a solution to the current transportation woes facing the Community.

“We’re looking at what kind of construct we can bring into play, recognising that there are existing companies that are servicing our islands, and how we can work with those existing entities to seek to alleviate the current challenge,” Prime Minister of Dominica, the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, said Friday. He was speaking at a press conference at the conclusion of the 44th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Nassau, The Bahamas.

In response to a question from the media, the Prime Minister said that intra-regional transportation is an ongoing discussion and that the Heads of Government had received a report from the President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

In his address at the opening of the Meeting on 15 February, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. Terrance Drew, highlighted the difficulty and high cost of travel within the Region and called for greater collaboration to make it easier for people to move.

“Coming to this meeting in the beautiful Bahamas is an example of a disconnect between our countries. A number of delegations had to transit through Miami, and perhaps overnight there before flying to our sister CARICOM-member destination.  It should take less than 24 hours to move from country to country within our Region,” he argued.

Among the objectives of the Community’s Transport Policy identified in Chapter Six of the Treaty are the organisation of efficient, reliable, affordable transport services throughout the Community, as well as the promotion of cooperative arrangements for the provision of transport services.

Prime Minister Drew acknowledged the work being done by the Caribbean Development Bank and other key players “to seek a sustainable solution to bridge the gaps that exist and breathe life into the provisions of Chapter Six of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Reliable intra-regional transportation and connectivity are also key elements of the Region’s quest for food security.

“If we don’t have transportation, then all our efforts would be in vain. In this regard, reliable transportation by sea and by air is imperative and urgently requires attention. It is imperative and urgently demands attention,” Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne ,said last year at the Agri-Investment Forum in Georgetown, Guyana.

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