Masthead image

Blog

Latest Commentaries

A new commentary has been posted.  It is entitled: 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  

The previous commentary is: The New Bank of the BRICS; what's in it for small econmomies?  The Commentary welomes the New Development Bank launched by the BRICS but argues that while this development might rattle the IMF and World Bank, it would serve only the interests of the BRICs unless they create mechanisms for opening up to other develping countries on terms they can afford and lending by the institution provides facilities to them on less onerous terms than the Washington-based financial institutions.  Small states in particular could be left out in the cold.  

The leaders of the BRICS launching the New Development Bank in Brazil in July 2014.

The Previous commentary is: Why join the Commonwealth.  It argues that far from having no role, the 53-nation Commonwealth is today more needed than it has been since its heyday of fighting for an end to racism in Southern Africa, the independence of Zimbabwe under majority rule, the freeing of Nelson Mandela and the ending of apartheid. It is up to its leadership to make it relevant again; the potential and space for a role certainly exists.

 

The flags of the 53 Commonwealth of Nations

 

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.

FEATURED Q&A
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:

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140427/cleisure/cleisure4.html

 

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:

http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/04/saving-caribbean-tourism-sea/

Latest Public Speech

On Saturday 31st May, Sir Ronald Sanders was invited to speak in St Lucia at an occasion to mark the 48th anniversary of the independence of Guyana and the 75th Birthday of Guyanese-born, West Indian Sports Commentator and Administrator 'Reds' Perreira.   The speech received a standing ovation from the audience of St Lucia government officials, representatives of the business and sports community of St Lucia, the Guyana Honorary Consul and members of the Guyana diapora.

The speech can be read in the Lectures and Interview section of this website.


All posts...
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

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