Holness calls for greater ties between C'bean and Latin American countries
SANTIAGO, Chile (CMC):
In his first official visit to Chile, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has called for deeper ties between Caribbean and Latin American countries.
In delivering the keynote address at the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Holness also gave his backing to the Caribbean debt relief proposal.
"I am convinced that the path to prosperity must be forged through expanded trade and investment and deeper regional cooperation between countries," said Holness.
He also recognised the contribution that ECLAC has made to Latin American
and Caribbean economic development "as a beacon of thinking in the region". Holness indicated that Jamaica had followed this school of thought based on the structural change of economies, productive transformation, and equality at the centre of development.
"We reaffirm our commitment to the ideas and principles of ECLAC," said the Jamaican leader, fully endorsing and backing ECLAC's proposal for debt relief for English-speaking Caribbean nations.
"Jamaica supports and encourages this proposal," he said, referring to the initiative first presented in late 2015 that contemplates the creation of a regional resilience fund to finance measures for climate-change adaptation and mitigation.
With regard to that proposal, Holness endorsed the organisation's assessment of growing evidence that the Caribbean public debt has reached unsustainable levels, creating a situation that compromises the sub-region's economic growth if it is not specifically addressed, according to ECLAC.
Along with supporting the initiative, Holness called on the commission to make the case for highly indebted Caribbean countries in all relevant international financial forums.
He also invited other governments from Latin America to join this cause to protect the viability of the region's economies.