Premier travels to St. Lucia for CARICOM meeting

Premier Alden McLaughlin is leading a delegation from Cayman to the 40th regular meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in St. Lucia this week.

The Cayman delegation includes Attorney General Sam Bulgin, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Roy McTaggart, Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose, Head of the Office of the Premier Roy Tatum, International Affairs Analyst Jamaal Anderson and Personal Assistant to the Premier Jana Pouchie-Bush.

According to a press release from the Office of the Premier, Minister McTaggart has been invited to attend the Council for Finance and Planning in advance of the CARICOM meeting.

Among the items for discussion by the CARICOM government heads are sargassum in coastal waters, EU blacklisting, the potential to increase regional trade and security matters, including border control.

“While as an associate member of CARICOM not all the agenda items are applicable to the Cayman Islands, there will be many areas of common interest,” McLaughlin stated in the release. “It is important to foster fraternal relations with our neighbours within the region and to support each other as far as is practical.

“It is also worth noting that at the last CARICOM Heads of Government meeting, at my behest, CARICOM supported the Cayman Islands and our fellow Overseas Territories on the challenges we are facing regarding public registers of beneficial ownership.”

An opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday, 3 July, and will be addressed by St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet; the outgoing chairman, Prime Minister Timothy Harris of St. Kitts and Nevis; and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

CARICOM has 15 member states – Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago; and five associate members – Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.