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Latest Commentaries

A new commentary has been posted.  It is entitled:  Sotland's Independence: Should the Commonwealth Caribbean care?  It argues that :while Scotland will be a medium-sized state operating on the margins of the big countries, the UK will also be diminished. The extraction of Scotland from the economy of Britain would significantly reduce the UK’s ranking in the world’s largest economies from 6th where it currently stands to 10th – falling behind Brazil, Italy, Russia and India.   This would call into question Britain’s pre-eminent position in the UN Security Council, the IMF and World Bank, and even organisations such as the Commonwealth.  The Commonwealth Caribbean should care about a weak Britain in the world. 

Alex Salmomd leader of the Scottish Nattional Party

The previous commentary us:  No Caribbean appetite for a Rum fight.   It notes that despite several calls for a robust response from CARICOM governments, inlcuding a challenge at the World Trade Organisation, two multinational rum producing companies located in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are displacing rums manufactured in Caricom countries in the US market based on huge subsidies.  CARICOM governments have failed to act together to stop this unfair advantage showing no appetite for a Rum fight even though they will lose jobs and revenue.

The previous commentary is: The Commonwealth Business Council, will a bankable entity arise?  The Commonwealth Business Council has gone into liquidation - that in itself is alarming.  Efforts are being made to create a new entity.  What is important is that it should have the right focus.  That focus is to increase investment in Commonwealth countries by companies from other Commonwealth countries and so expand trade in both goods and services between them.  Recognition should also be given to the importance of creating machinery that will finance investment and trade, particularly in – and for - Small States that need it most.  There would be little point in creating another institution that promotes trade and investment unless it also works out how such trade and investment will be financed.  

Commonwealth Business Foreum in Sri Lanks 2013 signed more Chinese than Commonwealth contracts

The previous commentary is: China casts a long shadow over Japan-CARICOM talks.  It argues that considerations of China's role in the Caribbean's development and its current situation of animosity with Japan will affect the discussions between Japan and CARICOM countries although it will not be mentioned officially.  In the event, the talks with the Japanese Premier present an opportunity to lay out the challenges CARICOM economies face by the the onerous policies of international institutions in which Japan has a strong voice.

 Japanese Prime Minister, the Mexican President and their wives at the start of a five nation tour of Latin America and the Caribbean by the Japnese Premier  

Latest Interviews with, and quotes of, Sir Ronald

The Latin American Advisor, based in Washington, through its publication Inter-American Dialogue, posed the following question to Sir Ronald Sanders on Thursday, July 17th 2014.

How Successfully Is Caricom Addressing Caribbean Issues?
Q   Outgoing Caribbean Community Chairman Ralph Gonsalves on July 1 opened the 35th annual summit of the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, with calls for unity among the members to address issues affecting the region including climate change, economic and immigration issues, all of which will be addressed inthe group's strategic plan for the next five years. Gonsalves also called for deepening integration and a single market as the keys to regional development. How successful has Caricom been at addressing the region's most pressing issues? What are the biggest challenges facing the Caribbean, and does Caricom's strategic plan propose the right measures?
A.   Sir Ronald Sanders, consultant and former Caribbean diplomat:
"Caricom is a collective of its governments. It can only address the region's most pressing issues if all governments are willing to move in unison. The most pressing common issue is unemployment. The second (except for Trinidad and Tobago) is the high cost of energy. Many countries also have high debt, growing fiscal deficits, no access to large sums required for financing infrastructure, including alternative energy projects, or to low-cost borrowing from international financial institutions.
Deepening integration and a single market can contribute greatly to improving the region's current situation and its prospects, especially through production integration by the private sector and collaborative approaches by governments to debt forgiveness and rescheduling and raising money for jointly owned projects.
The strategic plan proposes desirable measures, but the absence of detail of how they are meant to address the most pressing problems, the machinery by which this will be done, and how the measures will be implemented does not permit meaningful analysis or conclusions. The secretariat is strapped for cash as are many of the governments, a few of which are struggling monthly to pay wages, service debt and provide basic goods and services.
It is difficult to see how the plan will be funded unless there is committed financing from external agencies on a predictable basis, but such agencies will want a legally binding plan with legally empowered machinery for implementation and governance. Caricom is not there yet, although an agreed strategic plan is, at least, an important step."


Jamaica Gleaner Quote

Sir Ronald's comments about the relative place of the US and China in Caribbean considerations was quoted by a columnist in the Jamaica Gleaner on Sunday 27 April 2014.  See URL below:


A previous interview with Sir Ronald Sanders was conducted by the IPS news service.  Along with others Sir Ronald discusses the dangers posed to Caribbean states by sea level rise.  Click on URL below:

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Portrait of Sir Ronald Sanders

Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean diplomat who publishes widely on Small States in the global community.


Welcome to this website. I have created it in response to many requests for access to commentaries I have written, lectures I have given and interviews that have been broadcast or printed in the media on matters related to the political economy of the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.

These requests have come from university students, publications, academics, government officials and business people in many parts of the world. In the course of responding to these requests, I have been pleased to build up a network of global contacts who now receive my commentaries weekly.

From a career that encompassed broadcast and print journalism, development and commercial banking, diplomacy and international negotiations in both the public and private sectors, I am privileged to draw on wide and varied experiences to write, lecture and undertake consultancies. I have taken the greatest pleasure in receiving comments and criticism from people all over the world that the Internet has made a “village”. I have learned from many of the comments I received. They have caused me to reflect on my own thinking. Through this website, I hope to communicate regularly with all who write to me.

The website is now a permanent repository of the weekly commentaries going back several years. Anyone is free to access them here, and to cite them provided my permission is sought in advance through the “Contact me” mechanism. A few of the lectures I have given in Britain and in the Caribbean are also posted on the site in a PDF format which can be easily downloaded. Again, I would make the same request to seek my permission before citing the material.

From time to time, where it is possible, the site will also reflect consultancies that I undertake that may have an interested audience beyond the companies and organizations with which I work.

I invite responses to my writings, and inquiries about the experience and knowledge I can bring to achieving the objectives of companies and organizations that do business related to the Caribbean and the Commonwealth.

My consulting work includes: country investment advice; negotiations with governments and international organizations; structuring and implementing public affairs programmes; designing public relations and information strategies; negotiations with financial institutions and organizing and participating in seminars for interest groups such as journalists, diplomats, and specialized academics.

Kind regards

Ronald Sanders