Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Gaston Browne Tuesday night floated the idea of renewable energy cooperation and investment among Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Dominica.
Addressing the opening of the summit of leaders of 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) being held in his homeland, the newly elected Head of Government said the three countries could find ways of working together in hydro and geothermal energy.
The businessman, turned politician, conceded that the initial investments would be huge but he recommended that more than one countries raise much needed financing because the returns would be lucrative in the long term. “While one government might lack the credit standing in the capital market, if two or more governments approach the market together with equity stakes in these projects, they have a far better chance of success,” he said.
President Donald Ramotar recently vowed that his administration would build a huge hydropower station in the interior, although the opposition-controlled National Assembly has blocked mechanisms to make investment by Sithe Global attractive. That company had wanted unanimity before investing in the US$850 million project should the government change.
The Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister urged Caricom leaders to shed concerns about limited national sovereignty and integrate to take maximum advantage of their resources such as agriculture, gold, diamonds, oil and financial services. “Our region is by no means resource-poor. We contribute to our own pauperization by failing to integrate our resources in joint production and joint ventures,” he said.
The Caricom Summit is being held at Dickenson Bay, Antigua where 49 years ago the leaders of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Guyana signed the Dickenson Bay Agreement to form the Caribbean Free Trade Area (CARIFTA) that eventually evolved into modern-day Caricom.