Antigua and Barbuda is recommending that the countries that comprise the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) – explore ways to generate more trade among its members.
The suggestion came from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade, E. P. Chet Greene, during this week’s meeting of ALBA heads of state held in Havana, Cuba. He noted that a recent ALBA Economic meeting formulated a number of proposals to foster practical and workable solutions for the group to implement.
“The framework of the proposals call for us to reemphasise the integration process as the driving force behind ALBA-TCP political action, focused on the consolidation of a post-pandemic, socioeconomic development model, based on regional self-sufficiency, in order to build a sustainable regional economy,” he said.
The foreign affairs minister said the future of the Caribbean and Latin America is predicated on the ability to engage in more functional cooperation programmes in the areas of trade, education, health, and agriculture.
“Food security should be treated as a national security issue; global supply chains are fragile, and are subject to commercial or transportation disruptions, especially within the context of a crisis.
“Many of our countries in the region, such as Antigua and Barbuda, are net importers of food products which exposes us to a high level of risk and vulnerability,” Greene said.
He urged ALBA members to continue efforts to bolster their national food supply while strengthening supply chain resilience through greater intraregional trade.
He suggested that regional mechanisms such as ALBA, CELAC and CARICOM could provide a regional governance space for coordination in the fight against the scourge of hunger and end all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
The minister stressed that agricultural development will help to generate broad based growth through job creation, fostering youth empowerment and the reduction of inequality.
Greene added that Antigua and Barbuda stands ready to coordinate with other ALBA members so that the group can attain the vision of a greener, more inclusive and resilient Latin America and the Caribbean.