Prime Minister Gaston Browne to Chair Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting

Digital photo compliments Office of the Prime Minister

Commonwealth Finance Ministers met for their annual summit on Wednesday 17th October. The meeting which is normally held in the margins of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings was convened virtually.

The Ministers issued their first joint statement since 2009, agreed by all 54 members states of the Commonwealth. The statement calls on the G20, Paris Club, World Bank and IMF to take meaningful steps to improve access to financing and debt sustainability. Specifically, it calls on the G20 to extend its Debt Suspension Initiative (DSSI) beyond 2020. The joint statement also calls on the Paris Club to develop innovative debt instruments which can provide additional liquidity to vulnerable states. Multilateral development banks are also challenged to be more flexible in their approach to financing to create easier paths to access funding.

The timing of the statement is of critical importance. G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors are preparing for a meeting on 14th October. At that meeting major decisions on the DSSI, including an extension and expansion of the eligibility criteria to include all small and vulnerable countries, will be tabled. Under current rules, only low-income countries are eligible for the DSSI. Five members states of the Commonwealth are members of the G20.

Prime Minister Browne and colleague ministers from the Commonwealth Caribbean were united in their call for a revised financial architecture. Ministers called for financial support to be made available to all small, vulnerable nations facing the significant and widespread economic impact of the COVID19 pandemic. Citing the current experiences of Antigua and Barbuda as it grapples with a decline in revenue from tourism and keeps an eye on the existential threats posed by climate change, Prime Minister Browne proposed the creation of “bespoke instruments that respond with urgency and flexibility to the realities faced by small, vulnerable states”.

The meeting also explored matters around fiscal sustainability and opportunities to drive resilient growth and job creation in the blue and green economy and in smart agriculture.

In accepting the nomination to serve as the new Chair of the CFMM, Prime Minister Browne stated: “It is with a sense of grave responsibility I accept this nomination on behalf of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. As diverse as the Commonwealth is, all its members, whether big and small, rich or poor, have been adversely affected by the effects of the COVID19 pandemic. It has, however, given us new opportunities to reset our perspectives, create fresh approaches and achieve more desirable outcomes for the benefit of all, and especially the most vulnerable. The Commonwealth must use its competitive advantage of having such a diverse membership and a relatively united platform to champion reform”.

As Chair of the CFMM for 2021, Prime Minister Browne will work with the Commonwealth Secretariat to adopt a theme and topics for the 2021 CFMM and provide input on background papers for the meeting.

Prime Minister Browne was joined by Financial Secretary, Mr Whitfield Harris, High Commissioner Karen-Mae Hill and Political and Trade Attaché at the High Commission Ideka Dowe.

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  1. Congrats to PM Browne I wish him well with this new appointment.

    Please remember you are representing Antigua and Barbuda and not self.

  2. Try and Try until you succeed top dawg, how many ways you going to use to get IMF money? The lady from the IMF said you will come crawling on your knees, she was so right. This is your fourth try to get IMF money good luck, because time is running out for you.


      KNIGHT you must have respect for our Prime Minister. Our Prime Minister is HIGHLY respected around the WORLD.

      Knight your interview last evening with with SHEFFIELD BOWEN was AWFUL. Mr.Bowen sounded LOST and NERVOUS. He is not ready.
      Knight you should enroll in Journalism course. One of UPP Candidates said that He will never go on your show.
      You are an AWFUL RADIO HOST

  3. Please Mr. PM, remember that you are to represent Antigua & Barbuda, not yourself and the ABLP. For once, please use some common sense and if you do not have any of that, try the “CAPITAL SENSE”. It may help !
    keep your mouth shut if there is no good thought in your mind. Do not go cursing the other members in the meeting that you will chair.

    Your misleadings have done enough harm and damage to Antigua & Barbuda already. Let us treasure the very little of the good name that is left so the future generations can benefit.
    For a little filthy lucre, the people sell their souls and suffer the end result.
    Rather, my friends, seek the ALMIGHTY and turn from your corrupt ways. A word of warning to a corrupt nation.

  4. As the saying goes ‘A King has no honor in his own home’. I’m glad that once again our intelligent PM is recognized amongst his equal as one of the top brilliant financial wizards of our times.
    Kudos to you Mr. PM. You make our country proud everyday.

  5. CONGRATULATIONS to our Prime Minister Hon.Gaston Browne the most INTELLIGENT Prime Minister in the Commonwealth.. Blessings.

  6. ERIC CARDEN are you really serious? I understand the need for hyperbole at times but this one takes the care — Hon. Gaston Browne the most intelligent Prime Minister in the Commonwealth. He is not the most intelligent Prime Minister in the OECS much less the Commonwealth. PleSe get real. The Prime Minister might be your star but be objective. Be nominated to Chair the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministers of Finance is not like being nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics. They rotate the chairmanships annually. Don’t get carried away by this and forget all the major issues and scandals confronting this country.

    • Chuck, once again you are out of touch. The Prime Minister is certainly one of the sharpest minds in the Commonwealth. His leadership skills are noted and respected everywhere. The Hon. Gaston Browne makes Antiguans proud. How fortunate we are to have him at the helm in this difficult time in the earth. You must learn to be more objective and not so partisan.

    • Have you not notice the many invitations that the PM has received to speak on economic forums. Even Sir Hilary Beckles has commended him and urge him to get this Phd because of the many financial engineering he has done with the economy. Even introducing a new economic concept. called. Entrepreneurial Socialism. The manner which he purchased the WIOC. The manner in which he solved the ABIB Financial debacle left by the UPP that had the ability to bring down the entire ECC Financial Market. Look how he stood his ground against Scotia Bank saving our country from the stronghold of the Trinidad bank. I mean so many ways he has proven to be way above others in the region and who knows abroad as well. Look how Antiguans are going through the worst financial crisis ever as if nothing is wrong. When everyone can remember when we went through the 2008/2009 financial crisis, we had to run straight in the arms of the IMF. And he paid them off in record time. I know you hate the man and cannot find it in your heart or any part of you for that matter to give him the praise, but look how he saved LIAT when others thought LIAT is death. This man sees solutions where other see obstacles and problems only. But as I said a king has no honor in his own country. That’s just a fact and a shame.


    At least The Prime Minister is by FAR more Intelligent than you. Tabor has a TOTAL DISLIKE for our Prime Minister. That is the reason why your UPP will be out of office for a long time.. DNA will be the next OPPOSITION. UPP is finished.

  8. CErmle so what makes Gaston one of the sharpest minds in the Commonwealth. As I said before he is not even the sharpest in the OECS. Pray tell what makes him sharper than Keith Mitchell of Grenada with a PhD in Physics, Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent a lawyer and PhD in Political Science and Timothy Harris of St. Kitts with a PhD in Economics. You will soon say that he is the Einstein of the 21st century.

    • It seems you may be limited in your understanding so it doesn’t make sense to try to explain this to you. are simply too partisan to be objective. I don’t know why you disrespect our Prime Minister, the people’s choice, but you have that right, of course. I feel sorry for you Chuck.

      • @CErmle Best you give up on that lost cause lawyer. Lord knows if ABLP get re-elected next election he might just get a nervous breakdown.

  9. @ CErmle
    You should have written to TABOR as follows..

    When ABLP is RE ELECTED in 2023 TABOR and KNIGHT will have a NERVOUS breakdown.

  10. @CErmle

    Charles Tabor does NOT have any respect for the Hon. Gaston Browne . Tabor, HON.GASTON BROWNE was duly elected and as you know Tabor your losing UPP won only one seat . Prime Minister is a VISIONARY. In the past Antiguans were accustomed for Lawyers to be in Politics. Now that We elected a WIZARD of Finance Hon. Gaston Browne …The Tabors of the world cannot understand our outstanding Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne.

  11. @ PHILLIP .G

    You have spoken truth to power. The TABORS ( CHARLES and DAMANI) have a DISLIKE for Hon. Gaston Browne. Why the TABORS don’t run for office. I believe that They have too many SKELETONS in Their Closets.
    Damani Tabor repeats the same utterances all the time. I can ITIMIZED what Damani will say in His interview. Damani does NOT answer questions. UPP should stop DAMANI from talking UPP behalf. The TABORS are very SPITEFUL People. SHAMEFUL.

    • J.C. FORRESTER, PHILLIP G., ERIC CARDEN and FROM THE SIDELINE why is it that you interpret the slightest of criticism of Gaston Browne or the policies of his government to be dislike or hatred for Gaston Browne? I do not dislike or hate Gaston Browne. I have criticized Gaston Browne in the most recent scandal of the letter that was sent to Asot Michael indicating acts of corruption in his administration and also undermining the integrity of the DPP. It is alleged that Gaston wrote the letter and in response all he can say is that he did not publish it. The country wants to know whether he wrote the letter or not. So don’t I have the right to criticize him for his stupidity of trying to make the distinction between writing and publishing? We are all intelligent enough (though perhaps not as intelligent as you claim he is) to know the damn difference between writing and publishing. Now, is my criticism of Gaston Browne for his unstatesmanlike behaviour and taking the citizenry to be idiots, tantamount to dislike and hatred? Anyone of you can answer that question.

      • You should do a self analysis of your comments. You’ll be shocked that it is all anti Gaston Browne. if you check mine you will find sometimes that I categorically state to be against the PM without fear. But when I do you don’t give me credit for doing so. So you do your self evaluation and come back and report to us.

  12. CHARLES TABOR I hope you are listening to POINTE FM THIS EVENING and heard the short BIOGRAPHY OF Hon.Gaston Browne . So Mr. Tabor I hope you will have more respect for our Prime Minister. Hon. Gaston Browne is a Man of Wisdom. God bless Hon. Gaston Browne.

  13. TABOR you were born with a GOLD spoon in your mouth. Hon.Gaston Browne was born in ABJECT POVERTY and excelled to the PRIME MINISTER of Antigua and Barbuda. WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT!!!!!.Hon.Gaston Browne may continue to bless you and your Family. God bless ABLP.

    • CARSON B my upbringing might have been a little better than Gaston Browne, that much I concede. I guess the ACHIEVMENT that you are lauding is the move from abject poverty to riches phenomenon. Yes, Gaston Browne should be applauded for reaching the pinnacle of political power in Antigua and Barbuda. However, with respect to the abject poverty to riches phenomenon, I ask again for evidence of how the riches were accumulated?

      • I guess you were sleeping when he was revealing that wen first he won the election. But his biography tells you all. nothing is hidden when it comes to the PM. He is as open as a book.
        But if you would ask Baldwin how he got the big house he is in. That would not add up with ten years in office.

  14. Mr. CARRINGTON what is my disrespect of the Prime Minister? Is my opposition to the corruption in his administration and poor governance disrespect? Yes, I heard the short biography and his elevation from abject poverty to riches. In fact Washington Bramble has offered his services to assist in the editing of his biography. My only request of you is to adumbrate for me the various business activities from which the great riches were derived. Finally, let me reiterate that I neither dislike, hate or disrespect the Hon. Gaston Browne. This is politics and all ideas must contend. Disagreing with his ideas and the inept government is not disrespect. Please try to understand that.

    At the end of all these UTTERANCES .Let’s unite and work towards a better ANTIGUA. Blessings.

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