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Diaspora News - December 28, 2013 - January 3, 2014

Diaspora News - December 28, 2013 - January 3, 2014

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APNU AT WORK
A WEEKLY SUMMARY OF EVENTS
KEEPING THE DIASPORA INFORMED
December 28, 2013 – January 3, 2014
Vol. 22
APNU AT WORK
A WEEKLY SUMMARY OF EVENTS
KEEPING THE DIASPORA INFORMED
December 28, 2013 – January 3, 2014
Vol. 22

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Published by: Brigadier David Granger on Jan 04, 2014
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 APNU PROPOSES A NEW ‘SOCIAL CONTRACT
 
 A Partnership for National Unity is proposing a new ‗social contract‘ in order to promote national unity, ensure human safety and foster economic development. The People‘s Progressive Party/Civic administration has demonstrated that it is incapable of solving the country‘s current crises on
its own.
The economic crisis has lowered workers‘ standard of living. Protests by two of the country‘s larg-
est trade unions
 the Guyana Public Service Union and the Guyana Agricultural and General  Workers Union
 have demonstrated how labour relations between the state and its workers have degenerated. The ranks of unemployed young people are increasing. Poverty is rampant. The World Bank, in its 2014
World Development Report,
 rated Guyana as the second poorest country in CARICOM. The Report showed that, with a Gross National Income (GNI) of US$3,410 per capita, Guyana compared unfavourably with The Bahamas at US$21,280 per capita, Suriname at US$8,480 per capita and, indeed, with all other CARICOM states except Haiti. The security crisis has disproportionately hurt the poor. Guyanese are pained by the surge in seri-ous crimes last year, 2013. There were 1,038 reports of robbery under arms at the end of Novem- ber 2013, representing a seven per cent increase over the same period in 2012. There was an in-crease in the number of armed robberies involving the use of firearms by 16 per cent. Other serious crimes
 including banditry in the hinterland, murder, piracy, fatalities on the roads and interper-sonal violence
 proliferated.
 APNU, therefore, proposes a new ‗social contract‘ by which the major sections of society
 includ-ing the government; political opposition; trade unions; private sector and civil society
 can come together to seek agreement on a broad national programme to move the country forward.
 A ‗social contract‘ could be the main means of combining the talents of a wider constituency and of
creating the conditions for social cooperation and economic progress. The three-fold purpose of such a contract would be to reach a broad consensus on the goals of national development; to es-tablish a sustainable institutional architecture and to create effective policy instruments for the
achievement of the objectives of the ‗contract.‘
 
APNU AT WORK
 
A WEEKLY SUMMARY OF EVENTS
 
KEEPING THE DIASPORA INFORMED
 
December 28, 2013 – January 3, 2014
 
Vol. 22
 
 
 APNU now calls on the PPPC administration to honour its obligations to:
undertake and continue tripartite consultations with workers‘ and employers‘ organisations in
order to promote increased production and productivity in accordance with
The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community;
 
establish, in accordance with CARICOM‘s
Charter of Civil Society for the Caribbean Commu-nity
, ―
… a framework for genuine consultation among the social partners in order to reach
common understandings on and support for the objectives, contents and implementation of national economic and social programmes and their respective roles and responsibili-
ties in good governance;” and,
 
strengthen
 
the mechanisms for tripartite consultation in accordance with
 ILO Convention No. 150 on Labour administration, 1978
that
 
provides for an effective system of Labour Admin-istration. These functions and responsibilities can be coordinated properly with the partici-pation of workers and employers and their organisations.  APNU calls on the PPP/C to seriously re-examine the prospects for the future relationship between
citizens and the state. It proposes that a new ‗social contract‘ be agreed upon in order to address Guyana‘s pressing political, economic and social problems and to foster greater unity, security and
progress.
On basis of per capita income…World Bank ranks Guyana se-
cond poorest in Caricom
 Stabroek News, December 31, 2013
 With a Gross National Income (GNI) of just US$3, 410 per capita, the World Bank in its 2014  World Development Report rated Guyana among the least wealthy in CARICOM.
This figure is in stark contrast to that of Guyana‘s fellow CARICOM country, The Bahamas,
 whose GNI is recorded as US$21,280 per capita, making it the wealthiest CARICOM country.  According to the World Bank, Guyana is the second poorest country in Caricom but far ahead of
Haiti, which has a GNI of US$760 per capita. ―For 2012, the economy expanded by 3.7% down from 4.5% in 2011 and 4.4% in 2010.‖ The Bank however noted the economy‘s expansion in 2013
 which it attributed to increased activity in rice and gold production, as well as improvement in the manufacturing sector.
The Bahamas‘s economic prosperity, on the other hand, is attributed mostly to its vast tourism sec-
tor which accounts for over 60% of the Bahamian Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and creates jobs
for more than fifty percent of the country‘s workforce.
 
The island‘s financial services sector is the second most vibrant and accounts for about 15% of its
GDP. Guyana was also outperformed by Trinidad and Tobago which registered a GNI of US$14,400 per capita. In fact, the twin-island state has been doing so well that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2011 removed it from its list of developing countries.
 
The country‘s economy is driven by its petroleum industry, although its manufacturing and tour-
ism sectors are also very important. St Kitts and Nevis also did well, registering a GNI of US$13,330 per capita. Tourism and manufac-turing are the main drivers behind the twin-
island federation‘s development, after sugar cultiva-
tion, owing to growing production costs and falling world market prices, was reduced. The tourism sector has been doing particularly well, and the island has seen tourist arrivals expand from 379,473 in 2007 to 587,479 in 2009. It is also tourism which helped Antigua and Barbuda attain its US$12,640 GNI per capita. The
country‘s tourism sector accounts for more than half of the GDP, although the growing medical
schools and its students make very large contributions to the economy.
Guyana‘s CARICOM and South American neighbour Suriname achieved a GNI of US$8,480 per capita although its economy fell on hard times during the 1990‘s. The country‘s ability to beat back
economic hardships and register such a relatively high GNI is a result of government initiatives to diversify the economy, and decrease dependence on Dutch financial assistance. Bauxite mining couple with exploration and exploitation of oil contributes substantially to the
country‘s GDP, although agriculture and ecotourism are important components.
 Ranking closer to Guyana was Jamaica and Dominica with GNIs of US$5,140 and US$6,460 per
capita respectively. About 50% of Jamaica‘s economy is built on income generated by tourism
-
related services. At the same time, Jamaica‘s economy is a fair mixture of state enterprises and pri-
 vate businesses, while agriculture, financial and insurance services, manufacturing and mining
play integral roles in the country‘s economy.
 Meanwhile, Dominica, whose economy historically depended largely upon gains from its banana and other agricultural endeavours, came back from the brink of a financial crisis in 2003 and 2004 to experience growth levels of 3.5 percent and 4.0 percent in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Growth in 2006 in particular, was said to be the fruit of macroeconomic reforms pursued by gov-ernment, which saw new ground gained in construction, tourism, offshore services and some sec-
tors of the country‘s banana industry.
 
GuySuCo in deep financial crisis
- owes creditors $10.5B
 
“No turnaround unless industry fixes agri problems” –
 GAWU warns
 
 Kaieteur News, January 1, 2014
Government, this year, will be scrambling to find solutions for the country‘s sugar industry as pro-
duction fell to an embarrassing 23-year low in 2013. Production at the eight estates in Berbice and Demerara closed on December 21, the last day of grinding, at a dismal 186,807 tonnes. This was  below the 190,000-tonne figure that had been targeted and which had been revised again and again from the original 260,000 tonnes at the beginning of the year. The situation has now left the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) owing banks and suppliers in excess of $10.5B, union offi-cials confirmed yesterday.

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