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High Energy Costs Affecting Regional Private Sector


A senior Caribbean Community (CARICOM) official has disclosed that high energy costs and reliability remain significant constraints on the Caribbean’s private-sector operations.

Joseph Cox, CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary General, spoke at the Caribbean Poultry Association’s 7th annual international technical symposium.

He told Tuesday’s event in Trinidad and Tobago that electricity costs in the Caribbean are nearly triple the average in the United States.

Cox disclosed that, except for Trinidad and Tobago, demand for electricity in the Region exceeds supply.

 The CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General noted that disruptions in the electricity supply are not uncommon.

In addition to high energy costs, Cox spoke of the need to achieve the requisite transformation of the Regional poultry sector by focusing on re-tooling and reinvestment.

He highlighted providing greater access to affordable capital and financing, including trade financing, to incentivize the entrepreneurial classes to undertake the risk that accompanies economic progress.

However, Cox told his audience that the Region continues to perform sub-optimally, with indicators for registering property, access to credit, and the cost of finance being perennial problems.

Discussing potential solutions, Cox suggested that measures to tackle high interest rates in the Caribbean could include improving the reformation of the respective Banking Acts.

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  1. Mr. Cox, I would suggest you used your office to get the various countries to unify together, otherwise you’ll be in a canoe with no paddle or survival gear. We often speak of the facts that are needed but we are horrible at implementing it. So, unity is the beginning then everything falls into play.

  2. Mr Cox is correct and it is left to Trinidad to assist Caricom in obtaining cheaper oil prices in the short to medium term for the survival of this sector. More action is needed on the Caricom trading arrangements. Food security has to be a priority moving forward.


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