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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – CARIBBEAN Heads of Government held their 34th annual summit earlier this month in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Reports from the three-day meeting indicated among other things that all the speakers at the opening ceremony paid tribute to the Community on its 40th anniversary and cited its accomplishments while agreeing that more needed to be done. That, according to the Communique issued following the summit, acknowledged the appropriateness of the theme of the anniversary: 40 years of Integration: Celebration and Renewal.
However, of significant interest was the consideration the leaders – including our own Prime Minister, The Honourable Freundel Stuart – placed on the economic challenges which regional countries continue to grapple with. The Communique stated that the Heads addressed the issue of the future of CARICOM economies and expressed concern that the current adverse economic circumstances of burdensome debt, fiscal unsustainability and low growth continue to be inimical to the achievement of self-sustaining economic growth based on strong international competitiveness, innovation, productivity and flexibility of resource use.
The reversal of these economic circumstances were therefore of utmost importance to the future of CARICOM economies.

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