On the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has been speaking to the American business network CNBC.
Prime Minister Chastanet discussed the recent hurricanes that have devastated parts of the Caribbean, rebuilding the Caribbean and Caribbean – US relations.
He said recent events have showed that the Caribbean needs to diversify in terms of its sources of food, pointing to a shutdown of the American hub for several days.
“The support has had to come from the south because while we were going through this, you had two hurricanes heading up north. And literally Miami was on a shutdown. So unfortunately the American hub got shutdown almost for ten days out of Miami. And so it really has shown us that we need to diversify ourselves a bit and maybe look a bit more to Panama in terms of supplies of food,” Chastanet.
Chastanet said the resilience of the Caribbean is very strong and the region will band together to recover from the disasters.
Chastanet proposed the establishment of a new private sector led initiative what would allow US companies to invest in St Lucia tax free and have their resources sent back home without facing heavy US government taxes.
He said there are great investment opportunities in the Caribbean for American companies.
“Can we not get an incentive, and that’s what we’re in discussions with the US about, that if US companies invest into the Caribbean, that those investments in our books are always tax free that the US allow those funds to be repatriated back into the US tax-free, only on those investments. So 1, it accomplishes getting the funds back into the United States of America. It creates an avenue for the private sector to participate in this growth and brings a lot of money to the table, Chastanet said.
Prime Minister Chastanet is expected to address the UN General Assembly today.