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A new commentary has been posted. It is entitled: Tourism competition is not a guessing game.  Pointing out that the 2015 Competitive Index report provides important data and analysis of the factors that make for success in Travel and Tourism as well as the issues that obstruct the industry’s development, the commentary says it is regrettable that many Caribbean countries were excluded from the Index because of insufficient data by which to measure their strengths and weaknesses. Without information on how they perform against their competitors, Governments and the private sector will not be able to identify the requirements to do better.  Guessing is no basis for successful planning or effective competition.

Heritage sites such as India's Taj Mahal improve tourism competitiveness

The previous commentary is: Guyanese electorate showed maturity despite intense frustration. Counting to determine the winner and loser in an election occurs simultaneously with the rising emotions of a public eager to know the results. The laborious requirements that the electoral law imposes on GECOM delayed a definitive declaration for five days – far too long by any standard.

Former Guyana President Donald Ramotar and current President David Granger

Sir Ronald recognised by Canadian University

 

 
TORONTO, Canada -- Antigua and Barbuda diplomat, writer and academic, Sir Ronald Sanders, has been elected as a Senior Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The announcement of his election was made by the Master of Massey College, Hugh Segal.

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Sir Ronald Sanders
He joins leading Canadian academics and captains of industry in the inter-disciplinary activities of Massey College, including governance, diplomacy, business and international affairs.

Sir Ronald now has the distinction of concurrently being a Senior Fellow at two Universities in different Commonwealth countries. Guyana-born Sanders is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, England.

Last October, his work as an advocate for Caribbean and Commonwealth causes was recognised by the University of the West Indies when he was accorded the honour of Doctor of Letters (D. Litt) by the University’s Senate and Council.

Sir Ronald has had a career as a senior diplomat and business executive. He has held many elected international and Caribbean positions, including as a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO and Chairman of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force.

Having also served the 53-nation Commonwealth in many capacities, he is now a nominee for the post of Commonwealth Secretary-General.
 

Sanders answers: Will US help Caribbean Energy Woes?

Inter-American Dialouge's Latin American Advisor -Energy

www.thedialouge.org                                                                                                      April 20-24, 2015

FEATURED Q&A
Will U.S. Efforts Help Address the Caribbean's Energy Woes?
Q
U.S. President Barack Obama announced this month in Jamaica that the United States will offer $20 million in funding for clean energy investments in the Caribbean, a region that has become increasingly dependent on oil from economically troubled Venezuela and where high power costs have curtailed growth. One of the aims of Obama's trip, during which the U.S. Department of Energy also signed a statement of intent with Jamaica's Science and Energy Ministry to cooperate on infrastructure, storage and diversification of fuels, was to deepen U.S. energy ties with the region. What's driving the Obama administration's push for Caribbean energy cooperation? Is it a commitment the United States will continue after Obama leaves office? Are U.S. efforts focused on the right areas to make a difference in the Caribbean's energy problems? What potential issues could cause plans to fall short of expectations?
 
A.
Sir Ronald Sanders, consultant, former Caribbean ambassador and senior fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies:
"Twenty million dollars is a very small sum to fund clean energy investments in the Caribbean in any serious way. The enormous cost of building the infrastructure to transition from fossil fuels requires Caribbean governments to have access to concessionary financing from international financial institutions (IFI’s).   The US government has undertaken to support change in the criteria for concessional financing so as to allow qualification for Caribbean countries that up to now are “graduated” because (apart from Haiti) they are not low-income countries. The change, if it occurs, will not do so with the required immediacy. The majority of Caribbean countries also now confront high debt. With oil prices now substantially lower than they have been for decades, there is little incentive to incur the huge capital cost of moving to clean energy sources. 
What appears to be driving this belated US interest in the Caribbean’s energy sector are two things: a desire to neutralise the reliance of many Caribbean countries on Venezuela which supplies petroleum and petroleum products under a payment scheme that incorporates long term loans at low interest rates; and the wish to sell US natural gas and clean energy technology to the region.   The latter will not be achieved unless the US provides (a) direct funding on a concessionary basis; and (b) inducements to its private sector to invest. On the matter of Venezuela, Caribbean governments that now benefit from the advantageous payment scheme will not turn away from it while it continues.
If any US government is seriously concerned with improving conditions in the Caribbean to achieve higher levels of prosperity that discourage refugees and illegal migration as well as reduces crime and promotes greater political stability, it needs to develop a comprehensive plan for the area.   It would best do so by consulting with regional governments on such a plan. 

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) for Sir Ronald

On Friday October 24th, Sir Ronald was conferred with the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters (D.Litt) by the University of the West Indies at its St Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago.  Sir Ronald also delivered an address to the graduating class of 2014.   His address and the citation appear in the "Lectures and Interviews" section of this website.

Sir Ronald Sanders addressing 2014 UWI graduating Social Sciences Faculty at St Augustine, Trinidad


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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

 

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