By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 23, 2017: Here’s what’s happening on the business scene in the Caribbean currently according to the latest RBC Caribbean Economic Report:
Unemployment In the Caribbean.
The RBC data shows 10 Caribbean countries, including the Eastern Caribbean grouping, with unemployment rates of over 5 percent currently. The combined unemployment rate for the EC group of countries is put at over 20 percent. Jamaica’s unemployment rate is at almost 13 percent while Curacao and the Bahmas’ unemployment rate is put at almost 12 percent. Guyana is at 11, Barbados at 10 and Suriname and St. Maarten at 9 percent.
By The Numbers:
The Dominican Republic
Growth in the Dominican Republic slowed to 5.2 percent in Q1 2017.
Barbados reserves fell 25 percent in March 2017 to USD353 million even as debt grew 58.4 in March 2017 to BBD2.11 billion.
Guyana’s international reserves declined further – for a fourth consecutive month, by 2.29 to USD589.5 million in April 2017.
The fiscal deficit in the Bahamas is budgeted at BSD323 million or 3.5% of GDP in FY2017/18, based on revenue and expenditure measures.
Trinidad & Tobago
Foreign reserves in Trindad & Tobago fell 7.5 percent in May 2017 to USD8.95 bil-lion or 9.9 months of imports. This is the first time reserves have dipped below USD9 billion since March 2010, and below 10 months of imports since May 2008.
Guns In The Caribbean
With the IDB saying crime and violence costs the Caribbean 3 percent of GDP, the deeper issue is where are all the guns coming from? The IDB report says most of the weapons are smuggled illegally into the US but manufactured in the United States, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. The World Bank also reported that “weapons manufactured or otherwise available in South America are smuggled through Venezuela, Suriname and Guyana to T&T via fishing vessels and private pleasure boats.”
Haiti Wants To Trade With Cuba
Screw Donald Trump and his archaic roll back of the US/Cuba policy. Haiti says it wants to strengthen its trade links with Cuba and has officially accepted an invitation to participate in the 35th International Fair of Havana (FIHAV 2017) to be held in Havana later this year.
Commerce and Industry Minister Pierre Marie Du Meny said the October 30th to November 3rd fair will provide Haitian companies with an opportunity of exposing their services. In a message to the Cuban Ambassador to Haiti, Luis Castillo, the minister said that Port-au-Prince “intends to strengthen its trade links with Cuba” and stressed the importance of breaking down the traditional obstacles to intra-regional trade in the Caribbean.