Competitiveness, energy, and security will be the focus of the highly anticipated Summit, to be co-chaired by Chairman of CARICOM the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of the Bahamas, and the President of the United States of America, Barrack Obama.
The themes of Thursday’s Summit reflect the major concerns of the Community as many of the Member States seek to emerge from the lingering effects of the global economic and financial crisis..
Much of Kingston, Jamaica was brushed and spruced up for Obama’s visit — including new blacktop for city streets, trimmed foliage and shiny facades. The United States is a major trade partner for the Jamaican government but relations between the two soured a bit recently over the extradition of a Caribbean drug lord, the Herald reported.
The Obama visit to Jamaica is largely, and I am not being cynical, a feel-good visit, said Rupert Lewis, a retired University of the West Indies professor.
I don’t expect any grand announcements. But I am glad that he remembers there is this little island and some other little islands in the region.
Caricom, however — a 15-member panel representing island interests — are more hopeful that Obama’s visit will produce more than just a photo opportunity.
With economic growth as a main goal of the Community, discussions related to competitiveness with the Region’s main trading partner is a significant element of the meeting. Caricom said in a statement. Leaders from the group will meet with Obama before he departs Thursday..