KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, May 27, IWN – The implication of fuel subsidies for airlines in the Caribbean and the feasibility of providing a fast ferry service in the southern Caribbean are on the agenda as the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) holds its 43rd Special Meeting here from today — Monday — to Wednesday.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves, who is lead prime minister with responsibility for transportation in CARICOM, is hosting the talks, which begin at 9 a.m. at the National Insurance Services Confernece Room in Kingstown.
Gonslaves, who is also chair of shareholder governments of regional airline LIAT, has complained that the fuel subsidy that Port-of-Spain gives Trinidad and Tobago’s Caribbean Airline (CAL) contravense the CARICOM Treaty and puts LIAT at a disadvantage.
The COTED Ministers of Transportation meeting, which is slated to be chaired by the Gonsalves on Wednesday, will be preceded by a meeting of officials today.
The meetign will also discuss better co-ordination between airlines in the region in order to provide a better service, and unresolved issues relating to the Caribbean Air Navigation and Advisory Services (CANAS).
Among other matters, the meeting will also look at the feasibility of the establishment of a single air space in CARICOM, agreement on new CARICOM multi-lateral air services agreement, strategic plan for transportation and transportation for agriculture produce.