… as Caricom ChairFollowing his assumption of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Chairmanship at the beginning of 2017, President David Granger will be pushing to further enhance the ‘single economy’ within the Region.The Guyanese Leader assumed the chairmanship as per the Rotation Schedule for the Chairmanship of the Conference of Heads of Government, and his first task as Chair would be hosting the 28th Inter-sessional Meeting of Caricom Heads of Government, slated for February 16 and 17.President David GrangerAt that meeting, Granger said he would be building on the work of the founders of the movement and his predecessor, Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit.“I’m not a lone wolf; I’m not going to bring about some miraculous change. I would like to continue their work to build the economy of the Caribbean,” the President told reporters on “The Public Interest” programme aired on Thursday.On this note, he highlighted the importance of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), noting that once they get the single economy right, the success of other forms of regional cooperation would follow.President Granger continued that with the existing challenges in the Caribbean –Trinidad having faced some challenges because of the collapse of oil prices, Barbados under some stress and similarly Suriname – many of these countries have turned to Guyana as a place for investment.“There’re nearly 20 Surinamese companies operating in Guyana; the Barbadian company is in the Rupununi; Trinidad has a lot of experience in petroleum, and so my thrust will be in the economy and I’d like to move more quickly towards building that Caribbean Single Market and Economy – it’s all about the economy,” the Guyanese Leader posited.In preparation of the Inter-sessional Meeting of Caricom Heads of Government, President Granger earlier this month met with Secretary General of the body, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and a delegation from the Secretariat, which included Advisor to the Secretary General, Neville Bissember and Executive Director, Human Resource Management at the Caricom Secretariat, Charmaine Atkinson-Jordan.Also at that meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge and Head of the Caricom Unit in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Charlene Phoenix.In his New Year’s message to the Community, the Guyanese Head of State placed people at the centre of the integration movement, and pointed to the actions that were being taken to ensure they were secure and safe, and equipped for the 21st Century economy and society.“2017 holds great promise for us to advance our integration process, which can only be possible through the involvement and participation of all. Let us resolve to play our part in strengthening our Caribbean Community and to making regional unity a living, breathing experience,” he outlined.The President went on to note that the Five-Year Strategic Plan for the period 2015-2019 was a foundational element in the Community’s reform process. That process, he stressed, is geared towards ensuring that the Caribbean people feel the impact of the integration movement in their daily lives.“Integration is not merely about systems and institutions. It is mostly about people,” he said in the message.
Several countries around the world have reissued travel alerts warning citizens not to travel to the southern provinces of Thailand following the explosion of bombs in the area.Authorities said two people were wounded on Tuesday after two out of five planted bombs blew up outside banks and ATMs in Thailand’s Narathiwat province. The other three bombs were defused.All the bombs were remotely controlled by mobile phones or digital watches and went off before the banks opened for the day. Police told the Associated Press the bombs were planted by suspected Muslim rebels targeting state-run banks in the southern province.However, the attacks were not linked to four blasts which occurred outside banks in Bangkok on Saturday which were suspected to be planted by supporters of ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.No people were hurt but some minor damages were caused to windows.The Bangkok attacks happened after the Supreme Court ordered for $1.4 billion of Thaksin’s assets to be seized due to corruption during his time in office.It is expected that more explosives will be planted around Bangkok and its southern provinces in the lead up to the expected March 14 demonstrations and rallies by the anti-government UDD. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/19e8d/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L