Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham
Prime Minister of The Bahamas

The 22nd Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is being held in Nassau, Bahamas this week, with the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, presenting Opening Remarks yesterday.

The Bahamian Leader took the opportunity to comment on the “delisting” of the nation from the Financial Action Task Force’s NCCT list, noting that this had resulted from full compliance with that organisation’s “Forty Recommendations” relating to the fight against international money laundering. He pointed out that Caribbean countries must remain aware of the increasing international competition in financial services but, nevertheless, must continue to advocate a level playing field in terms of any international initiative relating to the provision and delivery of international financial services, whether emanating from the FATF, the OECD or the FSF.

Addressing the issue of the region’s international competitiveness, Prime Minister Ingraham observed that such would be improved with the removal of institutional and infrastructural barriers within CARICOM to allow for freer flow of capital, goods, services and skills. Small economies unable to stand alone in the larger global economy stand to benefit from integration; hence the Community’s commitment to higher levels of co-operation and integration was lauded not only as appropriate, but imperative.

Items on the Agenda for the Heads of Government conference include CARICOM’s Single Market and Economy (SME), and a regional Tourism Summit designed to promote industry collaboration and partnership.

Prime Minister Ingraham is the incoming Chairman of CARICOM.