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Prime Minister at Inter-Sessional Meeting of Caricom Heads of Government

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Prime Minister, Dr the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell, is in Barbados for the 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Dr Mitchell is accompanied by Minister of Trade, Industry, Cooperatives and Caricom Affairs, Honourable Oliver Joseph.

Dr Mitchell is expected to update his colleague Heads of Government on matters of importance relative to Science and Technology, including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which is his area of responsibility in the Caricom Quasi-Cabinet.

According to the Caricom Secretariat, Caribbean leaders are expected to deliberate on a regional approach to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) as well as the continuing challenges posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Other important agenda items include the need for ongoing advocacy against the challenges of blacklisting, de-risking, and withdrawal of Correspondent Banking Services; the Caricom Single Market and Economy and the strengthening of regional law enforcement cooperation among member states.

The leaders are also expected to engage in discussion with representatives from the private sector, labour and civil society.

The Prime Minister returns to the state on Wednesday, 19 February 2020. In his absence, Honourable Gregory Bowen will act as Prime Minister.

Office of the Prime Minister

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Caribbean & World

IRD extends March deadline to 30 April 2020

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As a direct response to curbing the threat of Covid-19, the Inland Revenue Division (IRD) advises the public that pursuant to Section 26 of the Tax Administration Act 2016, all filing deadlines due on 30 and 31 March 2020 have been extended to 30 April 2020.

This relief is automatic, and taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRD to qualify for this extension.

Ministry of Finance

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Caribbean & World

CIBC FirstCaribbean donates US$250,000 to regional Covid-19 fight

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Regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean is moving to assist countries across the region to purchase much-needed Covid-19 testing kits.

The bank, through its charitable arm the FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation, will donate a total of US$250,000 toward the purchase of the kits in the countries across its regional footprint. The bank will make the donation through its various operating companies across the Caribbean.

Chief Executive Officer of the bank and Chair of the foundation, Colette Delaney, made the announcement noting, “testing was one of the main weapons in the arsenal against the spread of the disease.” She added, “community spread is one of the main ways the virus is transmitted and testing is key to identify, isolate and treat those affected and limit its spread.”

Delaney thanked the region’s “public health leadership, medical professionals and frontline workers and others involved in the essential work of keeping our communities safe and functioning during this very difficult time.”

The donation follows the bank’s recent announcements of a suite of relief assistance to eligible clients including:

  • 6-month payment moratoria on existing loans and mortgages.
  • Temporary revolving or working capital financing options for our Corporate Banking and Business Banking clients.
  • A special waiver of late payment fees and default interest to all eligible Retail, Business, Banking, Corporate Investment Banking and Wealth Management Clients effective for the 6 month moratorium period for existing loans and mortgages.
  • Credit cardholders automatically benefitting from a payment waiver for 3 months based on their current account standing.

Delaney noted, “Our response has been in the spirit of partnership that has always existed between the bank and the people of the region. This two-pronged approach has allowed us to not only contribute to the national response in each of the countries in which we operate, but to directly assist our clients who are affected.”

Delaney also noted that many of the bank’s staff are choosing to make personal donations to the various relief programmes in their islands across the Caribbean and thanked them for their generosity.

“Our employees are known for their calm and professional response, particularly in a crisis. We thank them for their generosity and commitment to continuing to provide service to our clients in these most unusual of circumstances.”

CIBC FirstCaribbean has a staff of approximately 3,000 across 16 Caribbean countries.

CIBC FirstCaribbean

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Caribbean & World

Prime Minister’s National Address: 30 Mar 2020

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Press Conference – Prime Minister Dr. Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell

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