Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has agreed to lobby support for Caricom with respect to the threat of regional banks not being able to participate in the international banking community, says Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a news conference at the VIP lounge at Piarco International Airport upon his return from a Caricom summit in Guyana on Thursday.
Rowley said the situation with respect to the banking sector is a grave one.
“Threat of our banks being de-linked in this whole question of corresponding banking where regional banks and local banks in the various territories are literally threatened with the prospect of not being able to participate in the international banking community if they don’t meet the satisfaction of metropolitan banks, this poses a huge threat to the region and at least one territory has already experienced this development,” he said.
“I don’t want to say it frightens us, but it is a grave concern to us and we strategise as to how to respond to it and the outcome would be a major, should I say, road show in the form of a re-engagement at the highest level in the headquarters areas where the banks are located led be Caricom leaders, Secretariat and other people,” he added.
He said Bachelet agreed to assist in lobbying for Caricom at the centres abroad and the various people who are influential in this matter “to stave off any negative developments amongst us”.
The Prime Minister added the Caribbean Single Market and Economy has been returned to the forefront of Caricom’s agenda and there was unanimous support for the re-engagement of this issue.
He said an immediate review will be undertaken and presented at the next Caricom inter-sessional meeting in Guyana in February 2017.
“Every leader who was in Guyana committed to redoubling our effort towards the single market and economy,” he said.
With respect to regional security, Rowley said Caricom nations will soon sign off on a policy with respect to dealing with inter-territory crime where a person who commits a crime in one territory can be arrested and returned without extradition. (Agencies)