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CARICOM Heads of Government July 2015
CARICOM Heads of Government July 2015

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) When CARICOM Heads of Government meet in Georgetown this week, they will do so against the background of a number of threats to the Region's financial and economic stability.

Chief among these are the threats posed by international banks limiting or terminating their relationships with regional financial institutions, and the yet to be determined implications of the British decision to leave the European Union (EU), a key partner in the Community's development. The BREXIT vote has sent Britain and the rest of the world into a tailspin. The pound sterling fell in value to the lowest in 30 years, and international financial markets took a downturn, as the implications hit home.

The Caribbean is not immune from the potential fallout, and economists and politicians alike are assessing the situation. The majority of CARICOM Member States were former colonies of Britain, which was a key ally of the Region within the EU.

While some have adopted a wait and see stance, confident that any domino effect will not occur in the short-term, others are predicting immediate consequences and want the CARICOM Member States to appreciate the value of regional integration and band firmly together to chart the way forward. The concerns range from a drop off in arrivals in tourist dependent Member States such as Saint Lucia and Barbados where the UK is a major source market, a decrease in development assistance, to effects on trade agreements the Region has with the EU.