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Grenada's PM highlights key areas to boost CARICOM competitiveness on the World stage

 


Monday, March 10, 2014 4:25 PM - St. George's, Grenada
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KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT, Monday, March 10, 2014 - GIS:
Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has identified five areas in ICT in order for CARICOM member countries to enhance their ability to compete on the global stage.

Addressing the inter-sessional meeting of CARICOM heads here in Kingstown on Monday Prime Minister Mitchell listed as priority areas- a Single CARICOM ICT Space, bringing Technology to the People, Cyber Security, mobilization of resources and developing the CARICOM Digital Agenda 2025.


Dr. Mitchell, who holds responsibility for ICT in CARICOM, says the five broad areas could also translate into job creation in the region.


“Of course at the lowest denominator this must translate to job creation for a significant larger percentage of our citizens which ultimately will lead to a prosperous society with corresponding consequences of crime reduction and allow our citizens to live meaningful lives,” Dr. Mitchell told the meeting.


“At the member state level, this requirement is well understood and there is sufficient evidence to support that leaders have positioned ICT as a development priority for their country”.

The Grenadian leader has listed barriers to ICT success in the region as difficulty in achieving economies of scale, high costs of broadband connectivity, lack of funding for capital investment, lack of appropriate skills sets.


Dr. Mitchell also listed barriers as limited encouragement of Public/ Private/Partnership, the slow pace of harmonizing and adoption of policies and legislation for use of ICT and high debt-to-GDP ratios.

“We observe that there exist intrinsic barriers to ICT infusion and adoption in countries referred to as Small Island Developing States (SIDS),” Prime Minister Mitchell told the CARICOM intercessional meeting.


“It would be terribly remiss if we do not amplify the ICT barriers as having equal, if not more urgency, than the environmental, economic and social vulnerabilities already identified and articulated for discussion”.

In an effort to combat barriers, Dr. Mitchell has called on CARICOM to come together to develop appropriate Regional strategies such as the Regional Digital Development Strategy.


He has highlighted a number of specific areas for attention over the year two years aimed at creating a Single ICT space.
They include broadband development and access for increased penetration, eliminating voice and data roaming charges, spectrum management to increase competition in the market and development of a single regional information space.

PM paper on ICT for Intersessional meeting March 2014(PDF 167KB)


 

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