Even as tourism continue to show marked improvements in the Caribbean and particularly in Jamaica , it is still a challenge for small nations like CARICOM member states to truly pull themselves from the shackles of poverty and propel themselves to first world status.
Two recent reports which had to do with the region has been less than complimentary , and could have far reaching consequences not just for CARICOM but for individual member states like Jamaica.
According to a new study published by property insurance group FM Global.FM Global Resilience Index, which equally weighs composite measure of three core resilience factors: economic, risk quality and the supply chain — including cyber attacks, natural hazards and supply chain failure — ranked Jamaica at 117 of 130 countries.
The index is based on data provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Economic Forum and the World Bank.
The country, which scored 19 marks by FM Global standards, had an overall economic rank of 124 of the list of countries; consisting of scores of six for productivity, 65.4 for political risk, 19.3 for oil intensity, and 65.6 for urbanization rate.
The scores resulted in Jamaica being ranked the second most risky country to invest in the Caribbean, after Haiti which was at the lowest position overall on the list of 130 countries.
Jamaica was ranked just below the African republics of Guinea at 116 and Cameroon at 115, and one position ahead of Iran — ranked at 118 of the 130 countries. (Jamaicaobserver.com).
Additionally , in another report ..
The 15-nation Caribbean community is angry at the United States for labeling virtually all members of the regional trade bloc as money laundering jurisdictions and plans to mount a stiff lobbying effort in Washington, its leader said Friday.CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque said the United States’s listing 14 member states in its 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report could have devastating effects on the region.
Most of the countries have economies heavily dependent on tourism and financial services such as offshore banking and economic citizenships. “I think these unilateral black-listings are not helping anything,” he said, adding that “there ought to be some discussion and transparency on how these lists are arrived at.”
The United States is quite aware of the consequences it’s characterizations have on small dependent states .
As such it behoove the United States to exercise caution and due care in it’s characterizations.
Even as this writer endorses some of the initiates embarked on by the United States, (eg) seriously taking on Lotto scammers in Jamaica, and requesting the extradition of Transnational criminals who seemingly are too big to be prosecuted in Jamaica, we must insist on fairness .
Small states like Jamaica are totally dependent on the International Monetary Fund for their survival. They hardly have the capacity to be International money laundering states to any degree that they would not be readily exposed.
Negatively labeling them money laundering states does have serious and debilitating consequences on their abilities to extricate themselves from the shackles of lender agencies like the IMF and become solvent states.
Though it is incumbent on each state to ensure that the rule of law is adhered to , many states do not have the resources to combat the scourge of drug dealing and other crimes which produces big bucks, and the ensuing money laundering schemes which result.
The United States with all it resources still struggle to deal with the emerging challenges posed by Drugs , cyber crimes and other transnational threats.
Consequently the United States should stand ready to partner with Caribbean states to counter the scourge of crime .
A crime free Caribbean Community is in America’s National Security Interest.
In this case slapping a label of this sort on CARICOM does no one any good.