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Caricom worried about impact of CFATF advisory

The Guyana-based Caricom Headquarters

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is urging an early resolution of the issues surrounding the implementation of recommendations to address deficiencies in the anti-money laundering regime of Guyana.

A statement issued by the Bureau of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM after its meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday 26 November, said that CARICOM was “deeply concerned about the impact that any adverse action” by Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Member States could have on “the Guyanese economy, and by extension the CARICOM Region as a whole, particularly in the areas of trade and financial services.”

In a statement issuedat the end of its XXXVIII Plenary Meeting held from November 20-21, 2013, in Freeport, Bahamas, CFATF said “members are therefore called upon to consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Guyana.”

Statement on CFATF and Guyana

CARICOM has taken note of CFATF’s consideration of Guyana’s progress in implementing recommendations to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering regime. CARICOM has also taken note of the efforts made by the Government of Guyana to implement the said recommendations, including by tabling in the National Assembly a Bill to amend the legislative framework, which Bill has since been rejected by the National Assembly, given the Parliamentary and political configuration that obtains in Guyana.

CARICOM is deeply concerned about the impact that any adverse action by CFATF Member States could have on the Guyanese economy, and by extension the CARICOM Region as a whole, particularly in the areas of trade and financial services. Any action that reduces the ease or increases the cost of processing international financial or trade transactions will adversely affect trade and financial flows in the Region, retard the regional integration enterprise and reverse the gains made by Guyana and the region. CARICOM notes that this could also directly and severely, hinder the functioning of the CARICOM Secretariat which is based in Guyana.

Mindful that this action could result in hardship for the people of Guyana and having regard to the extenuating circumstances that obtain in Guyana particularly as it relates to the Government securing legislative approval, and the deleterious consequences that are likely to arise from adverse action against Guyana, CARICOM hopes that this matter could be resolved at the earliest opportunity.