High cost of regional transportation ‘the greatest irritation’ – Antigua PM

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Photo caption: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, has described the high cost of regional transportation as “the greatest irritation” to Caribbean citizens.

“They are rightly infuriated at the high cost of travel in the region, and the profound difficulties to direct travel between our countries,” said Browne, adding that “most frustrated of all is our business community.”

He argued that even if we solve all the technical issues that permeate establishing the Caribbean Single market and Economy (CSME), CARICOM will achieve nothing, unless the means to transport people and goods across our region are implemented.

“As far back as 1992, the West Indian Commission made the telling point that ‘West Indian integration would wither on the vine and die without adequate sea and air transportation services”.

The Commission went on to say that ‘the matter is, in the most profound and fundamental sense, at the very heart of the integration process itself.’
That observation has grown in relevance in the passing years,” Browne added.

He was delivering his remarks at the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall on Wednesday night.

He told the gathering that the leadership of the Caribbean Community cannot continue to abdicate responsibility for ensuring the availability of reliable and regional air and sea transportation.

“We cannot leave it to the private sector any more than the private sector can leave it to us. It is a joint responsibility that is a precondition of success for a single market in which our business community moves its goods, and to the fundamental importance of linking the Caribbean people together,” he stressed.

“Over the years, this issue has been studied; the studies have been studied; they have been shelved; then dusted and studied again.”

Added Browne: “So, I say to this meeting, if we are to manifest our seriousness about a single market, and if we are to convince the Caribbean people that Caribbean integration is real, we must act to establish effective regional transportation even at the cost of a subsidy in its early stages.

The time for talking has passed.”

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Here we go again, here we go again. These people must be out of ideas when they have these meetings. PM Browne how much more time must it be said to you and your colleagues that it is the taxes that is affecting the cost of travel. This lip service being paid to the cost of regional travel is a big joke. I am forever convinced the statements the PM makes are done tongue in cheek.
    Lower Antigua taxes if you think the cost of travel is too high. Give me a break!!!!!1

  2. No.
    The biggest irritation is the rip off customs duties and taxes and fees we have to pay to import our food and necessities.

    everything in antigua is 3 times the cost in america
    Customs is a rip off. Fix that first then you can worry about inter island travel

    Most of us cannot afford to travel anyway because cost of living so high.
    Fix the little things first.

    • @LASTONE, Dont you think the high cost of travel for passengers, goods and service impacts the cost of living? Do you know yhe custom charges is also based on the shipping cost? Several products are manufactured in the region, Pinehill juices, etc, if we had a ferry service it would directly linking the islands, i am sure we could get some savings.

      It aggravates me when there is a discussion of a topic, in this case cheaper regional transport, but you guys are so politically blinded that you feel you must say something negative even though you are off base. Grow up and stop being a political prop.

      • The discussion is about the greatest irritation, well for 10s of thousands of us living here it is NOT cost of travel because we are living hand to mouth and our monthly salary is the cost of 1 ticket.

        You choir singers that get paid to sit at home and spread propaganda for ALP doing well and can afford to travel

        Gaston has no clue as to what pain Antiguan’s feel , so he can’t speak to it.
        He finding 8 million dollars to give his friend Max for Deluxe run down building and owe civil servant back pay and pensioners can’t get their money.
        His priorities are screwed up even labar supporters saying so

  3. Hey the saying say never let a poor man get money he will want all for himself…check jolly harbour ,ebenezer just the other day they where going bankrupt and could not keep a shop that sells a few milk open now look at this his people of his country is suffering and he is probably doing is opening antigua borders saying we helping Jamaica and other countries..lol the worst prime minister in the world

  4. Lord have mercy on us all….I really don’t know why we hate our Caribbean people so god knows it don’t look good I personally know of antiguan that lives in Jamaica own house car an living large an her family is one of the most wealthiest people in Antigua owners of business an more give an take we all migrate to other countries so leave Jamaica alone. ….mek wi live

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