<![CDATA[Antigua & Barbuda news - Blog]]>Thu, 31 Dec 2015 22:54:55 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[PM Browne joins thousands to Honour United Nations and individuals and organizations for Humanitarian Work]]>Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:20:55 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/pm-browne-joins-thousands-to-honour-united-nations-and-individuals-and-organizations-for-humanitarian-workPicture
NEW YORK, NY – USA – 29th September, 2015......Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne and First Lady Maria Browne on Sunday joined thousands in New York City for the South South Awards, considered the world's foremost global development event to celebrate the United Nations 70th Anniversary and honour individuals for their global initiatives.
During the event, which honoured distinguished countries, individuals and organizations that embody transformative sustainable development worldwide; particularly in the areas of poverty reduction, education advancement and humanitarian impact, Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne presented a number of the major awards and commended the organizers for recognizing the contributions of individuals and organisations for their work in making the world a better place for humanity.
The event featured some of the world's leading performers including   keyboardist Ray Chew, music producer for the reality television show "Dancing With The Stars," and percussion­ist/drummer Sheila E.
In addition, musician Paul Shaffer was honoured with the Cultural achievement Award and lend "the same sparkle and inimitable spirit he gave television audiences for 33 years as the musical director of The Late Show with David Letterman."
Academy award winners Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, and Forrest Whitaker were among the elite who also made presentations.
We are pleased to present photos from the event which is co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations:
Digital photo by Yendi Lynch:
Maurice F. Merchant
Director-General of Communications
Office of the Prime Minister
Queen Elizabeth Highway
St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda
Tel: 268.462.9766
Fax: 268.462.3225
Email: maurice.merchant@ab.gov.ag

<![CDATA[Antigua and Barbuda and Kuwait Sign New Financial Arrangements for servicing Kuwait Fund debts]]>Fri, 09 Oct 2015 10:03:41 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/antigua-and-barbuda-and-kuwait-sign-new-financial-arrangements-for-servicing-kuwait-fund-debtsPicture
​​NEW YORK, NY – USA – 29th September, 2015.......Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne and First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Board for the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, met on Monday and signed off on a new financial arrangement to service Antigua and Barbuda's debt to the fund.
During the discussions Sheikh Sabah signaled his country's delight in reengaging Antigua and Barbuda and expressed happiness from the members of the board of the fund that Antigua and Barbuda is taking a bold step in reengaging the fund. The Chairman also indicated that Antigua and Barbuda can now begin to explore ways in seeking more partnership with the fund and invited the Prime Minister to seriously consider this proposal
Prime Minister Browne said that he welcomed the opportunity to rebuild strong ties with Kuwait and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. "By being here today it shows Antigua and Barbuda's commitment to rebuilding friendships and reestablishing trust, which was a key principle in his election campaign. One of my government's priorities is to correct past wrongs, fulfill past obligations and set Antigua and Barbuda on a better path," he said. 
The Prime Minister thanked the Chairman for the invitation for Antigua and Barbuda to reengage the fund, however he cautioned that Antigua and Barbuda's reengagement will be based on partnerships and investments that have tangible benefits for Antigua and Barbuda without incurring additional national debts.
Discussions were held on the possibility of Kuwait assisting with a sewage system for St. John's and both parties agreed that these talks will begin in Lima, Peru in October during the annual IMF meeting.
Prime Minister Browne also used the opportunity to invite the Chairman to pay a visit to Antigua and Barbuda.
The new agreement signed will see Antigua and Barbuda making twice yearly payments on the outstanding debt to the Kuwait Fund and it also paves the way for the reengagement of the Fund in Antigua and Barbuda and opens avenues for the formulation of measures for debt relief.
The Kuwait Fund has provided loans to Antigua and Barbuda for the construction and renovation of the parallel taxiway at the airport, All Saints Road rehabilitation and the American Road to Airport road construction.
Antigua and Barbuda's delegation during the signing ceremony included Foreign Minister, the Hon. Charles Fernandez, Ambassador to the United Nations, His Excellency Mr. Aubrey Webson, Senior Ambassador, Sir Ramez Hadeed and Counsellor in the Antigua and Barbuda Mission to the UN, Tumasie Blair. (Ends)
Digital photos by Yendie Lynch
1. Prime Minister Browne in discussions with Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.  Foreign Minister Fernandez      and Ambassador Aubrey Webson comprised the Antigua and Barbuda team
2. Prime Minister Browne and Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah following the singing of the new agreement

<![CDATA[Antigua & Barbuda opens new & modern International airport]]>Fri, 04 Sep 2015 11:08:02 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/antigua-barbuda-opens-new-modern-international-airportPicture
(St. John’s, Antigua) - The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda has opened one of the most modern international airports in the Caribbean.  The 23,000 square meters new terminal for the destination, more than doubles the capacity of the adjacent previous terminal, making way for an increase in passenger use of the V.C. Bird International Airport as an all important airline hub, and the  largest gateway to the Eastern Caribbean

 There are 4 jet bridges, and a unique, state of the art baggage sorting and scanning system. With faster immigration processing times, user friendly innovations and features, the near US$100 million terminal that opens for operation on August 24, will greatly improve the visitor experience, allowing travellers expedited access to Antigua and Barbuda, and maximum sun time on the destination’s 365 beaches.

For those departing, there are 46 check-in counters and 15 self-check in kiosks. A bigger departure lounge, offers more space to relax, modern comforts, multiple gates, and an enhanced shopping and dining experience. The facility houses 30 retail units including International brands Dufry, Colombian Emeralds, Café Britt, Café Player and Subway. Free wifi and Internet service is available for the tech savvy traveler, while travelers with pets, can take advantage of the airport’s pet friendliness by enjoying the pet restroom.

There are three brand, new lounges: A VVIP lounge, a VIP lounge and an Airport Executive Lounge. The airport executive lounge, with outdoor balcony offers remarkable views of two of Antigua’s offshore islands - Long Island and Maiden Island, giving passengers the opportunity to bask in the last rays of sunshine before their flight.

The modern facility, funded by China EXIM Bank concessional loan, and by a Chinese Government Interest Free Loan, has also been specially designed with elevators, escalators and ramps, to serve the travel needs of passengers requiring special assistance. 

The terminal building will also see an innovative feature intended to further advance Antigua and Barbuda’s reputation as a leader in sustainable tourism and sustainable development within the region.  This involves the establishment of a 3 mega watt solar photovoltaic facility, to provide green energy solutions to the considerable demand for electrical energy in the new terminal.

Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Energy and Investment, The Honourable Asot Michael says, “What we are celebrating today as we cut a ribbon is the largest single infrastructural investment in the development of our young nation. This facility, is one that we can all be proud of and of which I am confident will help ensure the bright and successful future of Antigua and Barbuda. It will further cement our position as a premier tourist destination of choice in the Caribbean.

 “We are responsible for ensuring a major part of this, by ensuring that our islands are exactly what we promise: welcoming, beautiful, safe and enjoyable; from the point when visitors touch down to their departure we will ensure that their experience is one that is unforgettable and that they take back only warm and lasting memories of their time spent in our beautiful country.”

For the upcoming winter season, JetBlue Airways will begin direct service to Antigua’s new international airport, from New York’s JFK International Airport on November 5. In December, Alitalia will begin weekly service from Milan, and Seaborne Airlines will begin direct service from San Juan.

The V.C. Bird International Airport currently offers service to more than fifty destinations worldwide on Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribbean Airlines, Condor, Delta Airlines, LIAT (1974) Ltd, St Barth Commuter, ABM Air, Thomas Cook Airlines, Tradewinds Aviation, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and WestJet.

The new terminal will operate 24 hours a day.  The previous terminal building which processed over 860,000 passengers per year, will continue be used partially for administrative purposes.

The new and greatly improved V. C. Bird International Airport terminal is the latest jewel in the country’s tourism crown, and will position Antigua and Barbuda for unprecedented growth in the travel and tourism industry. 

<![CDATA[PM Browne continues to forge closer ties between Antigua and Barbuda and International nations]]>Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:17:50 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/pm-browne-continues-to-forge-closer-ties-between-antigua-and-barbuda-and-international-nations
Prime Minister Browne with the Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Lofven

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – 13th August 2015…….Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. Gaston Browne continues to foster closer relations with international leaders and countries as his government works towards tackling issues that affect Antigua and Barbuda and other developing nations.

During a recent visit to the Horn of Africa, Prime Minister Browne met with leaders and foreign representatives of Mauritius, Seychelles, Swaziland, Cameroon and Tuvalu and pushed for foster closer relations given similarities being either small states, developing countries and our interaction within the commonwealth. Prime Minister Browne also used the opportunity to introduce the candidacy of Ambassador Sir Ronald Sanders to the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth.  Sir Ronald’s candidacy was well received by the respective delegations.

The heads of delegations of Seychelles, Mauritius and Tuvalu commended Prime Minister Browne on his position regarding the recent European Union tax heaven black list. The countries pledged support for each other on this matter and made a commitment to work together going forward.

The delegation of Seychelles inquired of the possibility of sending a team from its Ministry of Finance to observe and learn from Antigua and Barbuda about the online gaming industry. 

During his stay in Africa, Prime Minister Browne also held bilateral discussions with the head of delegation of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Sweden.

Prime Minister Browne met with the Mexican Deputy Finance Minister, Fernando Aportela regarding current bilateral cooperation in particular Mexico's assistance to Antigua and Barbuda's housing programme.

Prime Minister Browne and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven of Sweden also had fruitful discussions on cooperation and mutual interest.  Prime Minister Löfven was particularly concerned with the EU's black listing of Antigua and Barbuda and made a commitment to look deeper into the matter. Both Prime Ministers explored developmental assistance for Antigua and Barbuda.  One area identified was assessing the drought situation and how Sweden can assist in this most urgent matter.

The country’s leader also had numerous interviews with local television in Addis Ababa, UNTV and South South News. He was singled out for his numerous strong statements on international financial reform and his commitment to addressing issues affecting Small Island Developing States. 

<![CDATA[The Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) is a member of the Caribbean Group of Banking Supervisors.]]>Thu, 13 Aug 2015 11:17:07 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/the-financial-services-regulatory-commission-fsrc-is-a-member-of-the-caribbean-group-of-banking-supervisorsPicture
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – 13th August 2015…….On June 12 at their CARICOM Central Bank Governor‘s Meeting , the  Governors  approved  the application of the  Financial Services Regulatory Commission  of Antigua and Barbuda to be admitted  as an associate  member of the  Caribbean Group of Banking Supervisors( CGBS)

The CGBS was established by CARICOM Central Bank Governors in 1983 with the mandate to enhance and coordinate the harmonization of the bank supervisor practices with a view to bringing them in line with internationally accepted practices.  The membership consists of banking supervisors from seventeen regional jurisdictions namely:  Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Island, Cayman Islands, Curacao, St. Maarten,   Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, and Trinidad and Tobago.  The CGBS is a regional grouping under the Basel Committee for Banking Supervisors.

The chairmanship is restricted to the different CARCICOM member Central Banks as the CGBS is a creation of the CARICOM Central Bank Governors.  In this regard, as an associate member Antigua and Barbuda will enjoy all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of core membership. The chair is currently held by Jamaica.

The FSRC was accepted as a member of the Group of Finance Centre Supervisors on April 27, 2015.

<![CDATA[Asot Michael Engages  High Commissioner of India in High Level Discussions]]>Thu, 30 Oct 2014 05:55:01 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/asot-michael-engages-high-commissioner-of-india-in-high-level-discussionsPicture


The Honourable Asot A. Michael on Friday, 17th October, 2014, met with the High Commissioner of India, His Excellency V. Mahalingam to discuss a number of Investment opportunities. 


The High Commissioner and the Minister discussed the possibilities of attracting a number of investments from India; amongst them are the possibilities of engaging the TAJ Group of Hotels and the ITC Company to construct various five star hotels on the island.


Other notable areas that were discussed are;

-   Development and technical assistance in Wind and Solar Power in Antigua and Barbuda

Information Technology Development to support the expansion of Information Technology Enabled Services / Business Process Outsourcing.


-          To attract upscale call centers within the Free Trade Zone


-  Development of a Light Manufacturing Industry to focus primarily on the manufacturing of circuit boards, cell phones, semi-conductors, motherboards,  as well as other computer hardware parts.


Minister Michael welcomed the investment opportunities to be had, and looks forward to strengthening the ties between India and Antigua and Barbuda. 


Since coming to office the Minister has been working feverously to attract foreign direct investment into Antigua and Barbuda. 

<![CDATA[Antigua Port Authority Board Commissioners Sworn-in at government house]]>Sat, 25 Oct 2014 06:45:53 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/antigua-port-authority-board-commissioners-sworn-in-at-government-house

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – October 24, 2014…….The seven-person Antigua Port Authority Board Commissioners was sworn-in at the Government House on Thursday morning, October 23 2014. The oath was administered by the new Governor General, Dr. Sir Rodney Williams, who took the opportunity to encourage the members to perform their duties well. The Chairperson of the Antigua Port Authority Board is Senator MaryClare Hurst and the Deputy is Delano Richards. Freestone Robinson, Dwight Gardiner, Peter Thomas and Winston Gomes are Commissioners, and Craig Christopher, a lawyer, is the Board Secretary.


The seven-person Board of Commissioners has been working since their appointment; however, the date of the formal swearing-in was determined by the Governor General, taking his own busy schedule into account.


Several important proposals to develop the Port have been submitted to the Commissioners, and their evaluation will play an important part in the final decision which is to be made shortly. The Minister with responsibility for the Port is the Prime Minister who also serves as the Minister of Finance. All the centers off revenue collection fall within the purview of the Minister of Finance; that would include the Inland Revenue Department, the Customs, the Treasury, and the Port Authority.


The Port Authority’s many responsibilities extend beyond the St. John’s Deepwater Harbour to include those several ports where vessels dock and revenue is earned

<![CDATA[PM Browne promotes Antigua and Barbuda Investment Climate and the CIP Programme ]]>Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:09:22 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/pm-browne-promotes-antigua-and-barbuda-investment-climate-and-the-cip-programme
Gaston Browne

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 24 October, 2014….Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne is today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates promoting Antigua and Barbuda and the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme during a number of specially organized events and investment conferences.


While in the Middle East, the country’s leader will address businessmen and investors on the benefits of the country’s CIP programme and also meet with government officials and members of the Royal Family.


Before arriving in Dubai, Prime Minister Browne was the featured speaker at a Citizenship by Investment and International Residency Summit at the Jumeriah Carlton in Belgravia, one of the wealthiest districts in England.


Prime Minister Browne also held a town hall meeting with Antigua and Barbuda nationals living in London, during which he informed them of his government’s efforts to rebuild Antigua and Barbuda.  He also spoke of an investment conference organized by the Caribbean Council in London, where he also spoke of the investment climate in the twin-island state.


Before returning to Antigua next weekend, Prime Minister Browne will also travel to Singapore where he will be one of the featured speakers in an International Investment Conference organized by residency and citizenship experts, Henley and Partners.  During his stay in the Southeast Asia country, Prime Minister Browne will hold bilateral discussions with the Prime Minister of Malta and CEOs’ of a number of leading corporations in Singapore and Asia.


Prime Minister Browne is accompanied by his wife Maria and Foreign Affairs Minister the Hon. Charles Fernandez and Mrs. Fernandez.  His trip abroad is privately funded.


While overseas, Public Utilities and Aviation Minister the Hon. Robin Yearwood is the Acting Prime Minister.

<![CDATA[PM Browne Condemns terrorist Action in Canada]]>Thu, 23 Oct 2014 07:17:55 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/pm-browne-condemns-terrorist-action-in-canadaPicture


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 23rd October, 2014……..Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. Gaston Browne has expressed concern over the recent shocking terrorist attack on the government system in Canada, condemning the action stoutly and unreservedly.


In a letter to Canadian Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister Browne extended condolences on the death of Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was killed during the gun attack at the National War Memorial.


We reproduce below the full text of the Prime Minister’s letter to his Canadian counterpart:


Dear Prime Minister Harper,


On behalf of the people and Government of Antigua and Barbuda, I express deep concern at the shocking terrorist attack on the institutions of governance in Canada and condemn it stoutly and unreservedly.


We are relieved that neither you nor any member of parliament was harmed in the violent attack during which Corporal Nathan Cirillo was killed, as he carried out his duty as a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s National War Memorial.   We extend our sincere condolences to Corporal Cirillo’s family.


Canada and Antigua and Barbuda have always enjoyed extremely close relations.  Many native Antiguans and Barbudans have made a second home in Canada. Similarly, many Canadians have either made second homes in Antigua and Barbuda or visit every year on holiday. 


We hold very dear the strong bond between our two countries and the values that we share as members of the Commonwealth of Nations.  The terrorist attack within the precincts of parliament stab at the very heart of our common values of democracy and the rule of law.  Such attacks will not be tolerated wherever they occur.

Please be assured of the solidarity of the people and Government of Antigua and Barbuda in this moment of trial for the people and Government of Canada. 

<![CDATA[HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN APPOINTS HIS EXCELLENCY DR. RODNEY WILLIAMS TO THE ORDER OF SAINT MICHAEL AND SAINT GEORGE]]>Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:00:09 GMThttp://antiguanews.weebly.com/blog/her-majesty-the-queen-appoints-his-excellency-dr-rodney-williams-to-the-order-of-saint-michael-and-saint-georgePictureDr. Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – 22nd October, 2014……..Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, on the advice of Her Majesty's Antigua and Barbuda Ministers, has conferred orders for the appointment of His Excellency Dr. Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams to the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George.

Consequently, His Excellency is now an Ordinary Member First Class, or Knight Grand Cross of the said Most Distinguished Order (GCMG).

The award, which is dated 30th August, 2014 was announced in the London Gazette of the 17 October, 2014. 


As a result of the Knighthood, His Excellency will receive the title of “Sir.” His spouse will now be referred to as  "Lady".