miércoles 29 de mayo de 2024
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PM Mottley: Regional focus needed on transportation linkages between Caribbean, African continent

The enhancement of transportation linkages between the Caribbean region and the African continent must remain a top goal for all regional governments if commerce and tourism growth are to be fully realized.

By Shamar Blunt

This was the strong message delivered by Prime Minister Mia Mottley as she gave remarks at the signing of agreements between the Government, Afreximbank, and Kensington Oval Management Inc (KOMI), at Ilaro Court on Saturday.

Mottley, who spoke after the signing of a US$25 million (BDS$50 million) loan with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to upgrade and maintain the iconic Kensington Oval, said fostering and expanding ties with the African continent will be key in improving the economic growth of the region.

“Africa has a demographic dividend that the world is going to need to sustain economic activity, but also to sustain the pursuit of the benefits of that economic activity for the sustainable development goals in the 21st century,” she said.

We believe in the Caribbean we are in a unique position to work with Africa, and for Africa to treat the Caribbean as its hub in the Americas, and [for us] equally to relate to Africa in terms of not just investment, but more importantly in terms of belonging, trade [and] movement of people,” she explained.

She noted that linkages between the two economic zones must be enhanced in order to reduce reliance on northern regions. “We believe that Africa and the Gulf states, which have the lowest penetration for cruise tourism globally, have a market because of that demographic dividend, that will grow. The problem is, you have a distinct difficulty in this world getting transit visas for Africans to be able to come through the United Kingdom, to come through Germany, Netherlands, USA, [and] Canada.

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