The Caribbean Council
7i ot. .t4,
16 July 2010
Large APD rise scheduled for 1 November
2010 set to go ahead
The large rise in the UK's Air Passenger Duty for visitors to the
B Caribbean planned for November of this year will go ahead
despite the new UK government's decision to consult about an
l alternative Per Plane tax.
In an Emergency Budget presented to the UK Parliament on 22
June, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, MP, stated that the UK government "will
explore changes to the aviation tax system, including switching from a per-passenger to a per-
plane duty, which could encourage fuller planes. Major changes will be subject to public
No further information was provided but in official documents accompanying the budget
statement, produced by the Office of Budget Responsibility, a revenue line for Air Passenger Duty
projected forwards to 2015-16 showed income increasing from 1.9 billion in 2010 to 3.8 billion
26 July, 2010
The European development
Fund (EDF), British Expertise,
4 October, 2010
Racism and Black
For information on any of the
above events please contact
The absence of any comment by the UK Chancellor on the scheduled large increase in APD in November 2010 on travel to destinations
in Band C (which includes the Caribbean) means that the UK government will implement the 1 November 2010 increases in APD as
planned by the previous Labour government.
The rising revenue projections for airline taxation up to 2016 suggest that there will be further increases in the rate at which the tax is
levied and that the tax will run in parallel with the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which will include aviation from
Following the May General Election the UK's Conservative and Liberal coalition Government proposed that it "will reform the taxation of
air travel by switching from a per-passenger to a per-plane duty, and will ensure that a proportion of any increased revenues over time
will be used to help fund increases in the personal allowance", (a UK tax break for lower income families).
According to the UK government, the objective of the switch from APD to Per Plane Duty (PPD) would be to have airlines fly fuller
aircraft. Because PPD is levied on a per plane basis it is also intended to apply to private jets and cargo planes, plus UK domestic
However, the 22 June Budget Statement indicates that the UK government is less sure about its ability to successfully implement a
move to a per plane duty than its previous statement had indicated.
Since that time and the introduction of a banding system the UK has been extensively lobbied by international interests including the
US, by the aviation and tourism industry in the UK and by the Caribbean and its Diaspora. In this process one carrier that flies to the
Caribbean has suggested that APD be retained but its banding structure be more closely related to carbon emitted and government's
The present decision to consult suggests that the method for determining and implementing any new form of flight tax is more
complicated than the coalition government had anticipated and points to the growing influence of the lobby from the travel and tourism
industry, cargo handlers and others.
The commitment that the Government will consult on any major changes to APD provides an opportunity for Caribbean governments
and the Caribbean community in the UK to feed in to any proposed changes. It is hoped that any changes would seek to balance the
current band which currently means that flights to Los Angeles and Hawaii attract less tax than those to the Caribbean.
In 2009, Virgin Atlantic celebrated 25 years of flying. In this time it has become the
largest scheduled airline between Europe and the Caribbean, carrying 825,000 passengers
on its ten Caribbean routes in 2008.
Virgin Atlantic flies to Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Havana, Kingston, Montego Bay, St
Lucia, Puerto Rico and Tobago from London Gatwick and to Barbados and St Lucia from
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Allen Chastanet (pictured page one, top right), Minister of Tourism for St Lucia, and Edmund Bartlett (pictured page one, top left),
Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, were in London in June with Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, for
meetings with a cross section of MPs and Peers, government, and representatives from the travel and tourism industry to discuss APD
and how any changes to the current scheme might impact on the tourism industry in the region upon which many depend for their
livelihoods. The Caribbean Council co-ordinated their programme with respect to APD.
Cuba Initiative Welcomes Cuban Energy Delegation to UK
In mid-June, the Cuba Initiative hosted a delegation of senior officials from the Cuban energy sector for a week of
seminars, site visits and private meetings around the UK. During the the first visit of its kind for nearly a decade,
delegates met with companies in London, the South-West, the North of England, and Scotland.
The delegation was led by Manuel Menendez Castellanos (pictured), a member of the Cuban National Assembly, and
currently Director for Renewable Energy policy in the Cuban Government. The team also included representatives
from the Ministry of Sugar and the Ministry for Foreign Trade and Investment.
As part of their visit, the delegates spoke at a seminar in London which was jointly hosted by the Cuba Initiative and UKTI. There the
delegation spoke about Cuba's experience in developing renewable energy and the commercial opportunities which exist in Cuba in this
field. Those attending heard how Cuba is particularly interested in developing renewable energy projects using biomass, wind and
solar and hydro energy and how the Cuban Government has structured generous agreements with the state electricity provider to
encourage foreign investments in this sector particularly via the use of biomass from sugarcane production. The event was chaired by
the former UK Energy Minister, Rt. Hon Brian Wilson and also included senior speakers from UKTI Energy and the UK firm, Havana
The Chairman of the Cuba Initiative, Ian Taylor, will be leading a business delegation of UK companies to Cuba at the end of
September which will include a number of companies from the renewable energy sector involved in this visit.
For more information about this visit or more generally about renewable energy opportunities in Cuba, please contact Chris Bennett
UK Foreign Secretary sets out new foreign policy approach
The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague (pictured), outlined in London on 1 July in London to the
diplomatic community in the UK, the Coalition Government's vision for UK foreign policy.
The speech, entitled 'Britain's Foreign Policy in a Networked World', was the first in a series of four by the
Foreign Secretary setting out how a new and distinctive British foreign policy might be achieved.
Speaking at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hague said "we will deliver a distinctive British Foreign policy that extends our
global reach and influence, that is agile and energetic in a networked world, that uses diplomacy to secure our prosperity, that builds
up significantly strengthened bilateral relations for Britain, that harnesses the appeal of our culture and heritage to promote our values,
and that sets out to make the most of the abundant opportunities of the 21st century systematically and for the long-term. So for the
first time in years Britain will have a foreign policy that is clear, focused and effective."
Speaking about the need for change, Mr Hague added "the world has changed and if we do not change with it Britain's role is set to
decline with all that that means for our influence in world affairs, our national security and our economy."
While there was no specific reference to the Caribbean, the Foreign Secretary did speak about the Commonwealth, indicating that he
felt that the value of the Commonwealth has previously been overlooked and made clear that there would be a greater focus on
geography, bilateral engagement with emerging powers and regional movements while recognizing the fluid and overlapping nature of
global networks that now exist.
During the speech, the Foreign Secretary spoke about the value of UK business and its role in foreign relations. "In a networked world
we should see the presence of British businesses overseas as a valuable asset when it comes to persuading other countries to work
with us or adopt our objectives as their own, and that joint initiatives between businesses can be as powerful as tool in changing
attitudes as summits and communiques", he said. Mr Hague went on to say that maintaining the UK's economic reputation would be
achieved by using the diplomatic network "in an interventionist and active manner, encouraging small businesses to take their products
into international markets, prising open doors and barriers to engagement on behalf of the Government and acting as the essential
infrastructure of Britain in the world".
The full speech can be found at
SVisit to London by the People's Democratic Movement
.of the Turks and Caicos Islands
Doug Parnell, Leader of the People's Democratic Movement (PDM) of the
S. Turks and Caicos Islands was in London 28 June 2 July for talks with
government, opposition and others over the suspension of the constitution.
In 2007 a Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) inquiry in to the Overseas
Territories expressed concern about the nature of governance in the
Overseas Territories. A Commission of Inquiry followed in 2008 which
prompted the British government to accept the Commission's recommendations. In August 2009 parts of the TCI constitution were
suspended and the Governor, Gordon Wetherall, assumed direct rule.
The manner in which direct rule has been imposed has raised concerns amongst the TCI electorate and in the independent Caribbean
about the islands' future.
Mr Parnell's delegation included Derek Taylor, who is a former Chief Minister, and Clarence Selver, who is the deputy leader of the
PDM and shadow health minister. During the visit, the delegation met with Henry Bellingham MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of
State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who is responsible for the Overseas Territories.
In welcoming Mr Parnell, the Minister spoke of the Government's wish to build a new dynamic relationship with the Overseas
Territories and to see the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) on a sustainable and stable footing. Mr Parnell shared with the Minister his
assessment of the current situation in the Territory, covering a range of issues including the economy, investment promotion and
Speaking after the meeting, Henry Bellingham said: "Mr Parnell and I enjoyed a brief but frank exchange on issues of concern to TCI. I
look forward to visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands in the future".
The Delegation also attended the Annual General Meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Turks and Caicos Islands.
During the meeting, Andrew Rosindell MP a longstanding supporter of the OTs was elected as Chairman of the group.
It is hoped that elections will take place in the TCI in July 2011.
The Caribbean Council assisted in the delivery of the programme of meetings
(Picture: Left to right: Clarence Selver, Derek Taylor, Doug Parnell)
New opportunities in the Dominican Republic and Haiti
On July 8 a joint Caribbean Council / British Expertise event provided an overview of the opportunities available for UK businesses in
the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Baroness Hooper, the Conservative Peer who is a strong supporter of Latin America and the
Caribbean, chaired the event, which had an audience of some 40 business members of both organizations.
The British Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Steven Fisher, provided guests with an overview of the economic and
political situation on the islands, highlighting the positive business climate in the DR and the many opportunities for UK companies to
bid for aid funded work in Haiti.
Anibal de Castro, the Ambassador for the Dominican Republic in London, provided further in depth information. He noted that the DR
had a stable economic and political system, sound legal framework, and a number of international trade treaties such as DR-CAFTA
and the EU-CARIFORUM economic partnership agreement. He also pointed to the fact that the DR is being used as a location for
managing aid and programmes for Haiti, highlighting potential opportunities for UK companies to partner with Dominican firms on aid
Nigel Peters, Director of the UKTI Aid Funded Business Service provided information about how to access aid funded business, offering
an insight in to where detail about tenders and projects is published.
The Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean and has the biggest economy in the Caribbean region. Its
economy grew by around 3.5% in 2009 in spite of the global economic slowdown. While infrastructure, renewable energy, tourism
and agriculture are key areas, there are many other areas of opportunity for UK companies in the DR.
Following the January earthquake, the rebuilding process in neighboring Haiti has begun, with a significant proportion of the funding
coming in the form of international and bilateral aid. There are significant opportunities for UK companies to become involved in the
reconstruction of Haiti. At the meeting participants were advised that it was better to have a French speaking expert on any bidding
team for Haiti.
This event was for members of the Caribbean-Britain Business Council and British Expertise. If you would like more information about
membership please contact Stephanie Whittle Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
SRequest for Proposals: Housing Expo in Haiti
Building Back Better Communities has been initiated by the Government of Haiti to investigate alternative
forms of permanent housing for displaced citizens. A prototype housing Expo will take place in Port-au-
Prince from early October 2010. The development of an exemplar housing settlement will follow shortly
The Government of Haiti wishes to attract as wide a response as possible from across the world. Designers,
architects, contractors, consultants and suppliers are all warmly invited to participate.
Further information can be found at http://www.malcolmreading.co.uk/bbbc/
Kestrel Liner Agencies hosts celebratory Reception at
I the House of Commons, 24th May 2010 to receive the
Queen's Award for Enterprise, International Trade,
Kestrel Liner Agencies, a member of the CBBC, hosted a reception for over
200 guests on the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons on 24 May.
The gathering of friends, colleagues, customers and suppliers was called
together to witness Andy Thorne, Kestrel's President, receiving the
Queen's Award on behalf of the entire Kestrel team.
Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, a friend of the Caribbean, hosted the reception to celebrate Kestrel's
The Queen's Representative, Mr Bruce Houlder, QC DL, made a special presentation of the award during the reception. Upon receiving
the award, Andy Thorne spoke passionately to about his business from its meagre beginnings through to the global company it is
today. (Top left: Andy Thorne receiving his award. Photos courtesy of Steve Dunlop Photography.)
'Obama's Cuban policy change or more of the same?' N Book Launch and Lecture
7pm, 23 September 2010, London Metropolitan University
Join Keith Bolender, Canadian author of 'Voices From The Other Side: an Oral History of Terrorism against Cuba' (Pluto Press, 2010)
for an evening of discussion as to whether US President Barack Obama's Cuban strategy has resulted in hope for change, or is simply
the continuation of America's overarching strategy over the past 50 years.
Wine reception to follow.
If you would like to attend please contact Dr Steve Wilkinson email@example.com