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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat says the 15-member regional integration movement has reached an agreement with Cuba on the expansion of preferential access to each other’s markets. In a brief statement, the secretariat said that the agreement was reached during the 10th meeting of the Joint Commission established under the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba held in Guyana late last month.

The UK’s National Audit Office says the number of fraud investigations has increased in tandem with more public money being delivered to “fragile” countries where bribery can be seen as “cultural norm”. Euractiv’s media partner The Guardian reports. Fraud investigations involving foreign aid have quadrupled over five years as more public money is given to “fragile” countries, a UK government spending watchdog has found. Reforms introduced by David Cameron to increase funding and assign it to unstable nations have increased the risk of wrongdoing, according to the National Audit Office.

Jamaica has received Euro 6.5 million (One Euro=US$1.29 cents) from the European Union. Finance Minister Audley Shaw said that the disbursement “aims to assist the Government in reducing poverty and improving the living standards of the rural population in sugar dependent areas affected by the EU sugar reform”. He told the ceremony that EU Hand-Over instrument “is yet another channel of external development assistance through strengthened bilateral relations between Jamaica and the EU”. He said that the European Union Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries, AMS 2013, was signed on March 25, 2014 and that the fixed tranche was disbursed in the sum of approximately Euro7.07 million on October 23, 2014.

Proxifresh Rwanda, has been exporting French beans since 2014. The Mauritian company, was the first firm to engage in exporting Rwanda grown French beans, according to the National Agriculture Exports Development Board (NAEB). While they were alone in the export of French beans for a while, Nsanzabaganwa said two more companies; Garden Fresh and Nature (Fresh Food), have since embraced the French bean export business as well. Information from NAEB shows that the beans are currently exported to France and the UK and that in November 2016, a sample of the beans was sent to the United Arab Emirates in a bid to explore the Middle East market.

The Caribbean Community Caricom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Wednesday renewed a mechanism for diplomatic cooperation with the accreditation of a new envoy to Caricom, Jules Bijl. In a ceremony at the headquarters of the Caricom Secretariat on January 18, 2017, Caricom Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque said the community was keen to learn more of the Dutch experiences in a range of areas; these include environmental protection, water management, disaster management, renewable energy, agriculture, food processing, as well as chemical and port infrastructure.