Mottley to visit Jamaica for Caricom heads meeting

By Balford Henry:  

JUST six weeks after being sworn in as prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley is expected to be in Jamaica for the Caribbean Community (Caricom) 39th Heads of Government Conference scheduled for July 4-6 in Montego Bay, St James.

Caricom Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque gave a virtual confirmation of her trip in a congratulatory message to her on Friday, when he said that it will be his pleasure to welcome her to the meeting.

“The overwhelming victory clearly indicates that the people of Barbados have tremendous faith in your ability to lead the country to even greater heights,” the secretary general commented.

LaRocque said that he not only looked forward to her presence in Jamaica, but also to her continuing the leadership role Barbados has exercised in the community, as well as the lead head of government in the quasi-cabinet for the Caricom Single Market and Economy.

“You assume the leadership of Barbados at a most testing time in its history, but you do so with the knowledge that you have received a comprehensive mandate from your citizens. You can be assured, Prime Minister, that the secretariat and I will offer our full support to you and Barbados as you seek to further the development of the country and carry forward the integration process,” LaRocque added.

Mottley’s Barbados Labour Party won all 30 seats in last Thursday’s general election. She was sworn in Friday as the country’s first female prime minister and announced a 30-member Cabinet the following day.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness will assume chairmanship of Caricom July 1 to December 31, 2018.

This was announced by Governor General Sir Patrick Allen while delivering the Throne Speech at the ceremonial opening of Parliament at Gordon House in March.

He said that this would provide Jamaica with an opportunity to influence the community’s policy direction, development agenda, and the regional integration process.

“Jamaica will also use the opportunity to engage with Caricom member states on the recently tabled recommendations of the Report of the Caricom Review Commission,” Sir Patrick said.

Prime Minister Holness tabled a copy of a report from a commission which reviewed Jamaica’s relations within Caricom and CARIFORUM frameworks in the House of Representatives in February.

The commission, which was chaired by former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, was charged with evaluating the effect of Jamaica’s membership of Caricom on the country’s economic growth and development, with particular reference to trade in goods and services, investment, international competitiveness and job creation.

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