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Tag: Gaston Browne

Prime Minister Browne Promotes Antigua and Barbuda at International Forum in Toronto

Gaston Browne

TORONTO, Canada – October 2, 2014……. Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston A. Browne has told international business executives, politicians and academics in Toronto,Canada that his government has identified tourism development and financial services as priority investment sectors.

Speaking at the Global Citizen Forum on Wednesday in Toronto, Canada on the topic .Attracting Global Citizens, Prime Minister Browne outlined that his government “intends to re-brand Antigua as such, creating a new slogan, “Invest Antigua” where all measures from a Government stand point, will be fast tracked to compliment any investor wishing to invest in our Country.”

The Global Citizen Forum is an annual conference designed to educate, promote and empower global citizenship.  The forum brings together government representatives from around the globe, financial, immigration and tax advisors, due diligence experts, global real estate developers, high net worth individuals, investors, business leaders and philanthropists to exchange on and further develop the concept of global citizenship.

Addressing the audience on the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme,Prime Minister Browne said that his government has taken note of the possible pitfalls of a programme of this nature and has designed the appropriate mechanisms to assure its integrity. “We are cognizant of the importance of strict and appropriate scrutiny of potential citizens to protect the CIP programme and the Jurisdiction as whole. The CIU implements rigorous due diligence standards a portion of which is outsourced to reputable internationally renowned due diligence service providers with competencies and expertise in the specific geographical location of the applicant,” he pointed out.
The country’s leader highlighted the three broad areas for an investor to qualify as a citizen and be issued with an Antigua and Barbuda passport.  He spoke of the Contribution to the National Development Fund of US Two Hundred thousand (Which is a limited offer); the Real Estate Option of US Four Hundred Thousand; and the investment in a business option of 1.5 million US dollars for a single investor or US 5 million for two or more investors, each  investor investing a minimum of US Four Hundred Thousand dollars.

On Friday at the Forum, Prime Minister Browne will speak to the hundreds in attendance on some of the investment opportunities in Antigua and Barbuda and steps the government has taken to make the country the best place for doing business.
Prime Minister Browne is accompanied to the Forum by his wife Mrs Maria Browne and

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister the Hon Charles Fernandez.  He is joined by Ambassadors Casroy James and Gilbert Boustany.
The Prime Minister’s expenses to the Forum, along with that of the members of the delegation are being covered by Arton Capital, curator of the Forum.

Prime Minister Browne returns to the country on the weekend.

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PM Browne promotes Antigua and Barbuda Investment Climate and the CIP Programme

PM Official

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 24 October, 2014….Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne is today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates promoting Antigua and Barbuda and the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme during a number of specially organized events and investment conferences.

While in the Middle East, the country’s leader will address businessmen and investors on the benefits of the country’s CIP programme and also meet with government officials and members of the Royal Family.

Before arriving in Dubai, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Browne was the featured speaker at a Citizenship by Investment and International Residency Summit at the Jumeriah Carlton in Belgravia, one of the wealthiest districts in England.

Prime Minister Browne also held a town hall meeting with Antigua and Barbuda nationals living in London, during which he informed them of his government’s efforts to rebuild Antigua and Barbuda.  He also spoke of an investment conference organized by the Caribbean Council in London, where he also spoke of the investment climate in the twin-island state.

Before returning to Antigua next weekend, Prime Minister Browne will also travel to Singapore where he will be one of the featured speakers in an International Investment Conference organized by residency and citizenship experts, Henley and Partners.  During his stay in the Southeast Asia country, Prime Minister Browne will hold bilateral discussions with the Prime Minister of Malta and CEOs’ of a number of leading corporations in Singapore and Asia.

Prime Minister Browne is accompanied by his wife Maria and Foreign Affairs Minister the Hon. Charles Fernandez and Mrs. Fernandez.  His trip abroad is privately funded.

While overseas, Public Utilities and Aviation Minister the Hon. Robin Yearwood is the Acting Prime Minister.

PM of Antigua and Barbuda Condemns terrorist Action in Canada

Gaston Browne

 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 23rd October, 2014……..Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. Gaston Browne has expressed concern over the recent shocking terrorist attack on the government system in Canada, condemning the action stoutly and unreservedly.

In a letter to Canadian Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister Browne extended condolences on the death of Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was killed during the gun attack at the National War Memorial.

We reproduce below the full text of the Prime Minister’s letter to his Canadian counterpart:

 

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

 

On behalf of the people and Government of Antigua and Barbuda, I express deep concern at the shocking terrorist attack on the institutions of governance in Canada and condemn it stoutly and unreservedly.

 

We are relieved that neither you nor any member of parliament was harmed in the violent attack during which Corporal Nathan Cirillo was killed, as he carried out his duty as a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s National War Memorial.   We extend our sincere condolences to Corporal Cirillo’s family.

 

Canada and Antigua and Barbuda have always enjoyed extremely close relations.  Many native Antiguans and Barbudans have made a second home in Canada. Similarly, many Canadians have either made second homes in Antigua and Barbuda or visit every year on holiday. 

 

We hold very dear the strong bond between our two countries and the values that we share as members of the Commonwealth of Nations.  The terrorist attack within the precincts of parliament stab at the very heart of our common values of democracy and the rule of law.  Such attacks will not be tolerated wherever they occur.

Please be assured of the solidarity of the people and Government of Antigua and Barbuda in this moment of trial for the people and Government of Canada.

Tuesday is National Cleanup and Recover Day in Antigua and Barbuda

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ST.JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – October 13, 2014….. Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne has called for Tuesday 14th October to be national cleanup and recovery day, following the passage of Tropical Storm Gonzalo over the islands on Monday.

“I am making a call for all Antiguans and Barbudans and residents to utilize Tuesday, 14th October to carry out damage assessments of their offices, both public and private, and businesses and also to engage in a cleanup exercise in order for the nation to be fully back in business by Wednesday of this week,” he said.

The country’s leader, who made an initial assessment of the damage caused by the storm on Monday, said that it exceeded what he had anticipated and there are individuals who will require relief having had their roofs blown off, water damage and other types of damage to their homes and properties.

The Prime Minister said that he has already instructed the Minister responsible for Disaster Management, the Hon. Samantha Marshall to put together a special task force to carry out a swift national assessment to determine the needs of the people.  He noted that government is prepared to provide assistance to persons who have suffered extensive damage.

The country’s leader also announced that schools should remain closed on Tuesday to allow education officials, principals and teachers to assess the situation.  He was however swift to point out that Tuesday is not a public holiday and that persons should utilize the opportunity to return their businesses and offices to normal.

He also outlined that Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) crews are already out assessing the situation and are repairing downed power lines and poles in an effort to restore power fully to the islands.

Prime Minister Browne reissued a call he made preceding the passage of the storm for persons to exercise extreme caution when using the roads and assessing the damage to their properties.

Following the tropical storm, Prime Minister Browne toured the island including some of the areas worst affected by the cyclone including Parham,

where a number of fishing vessels were destroyed, Cades Bay, Johnson’s Point and the Villa and Point communities.

Minister responsible for Disaster Management, the Hon. Samantha Marshall also toured the island and reiterated the call made by the Prime Minister for the nation to come together to make the country fully business operational by Wednesday.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Condemns Political Assassination in Venezuela

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ST. JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – October 9, 2014……In a statement from his office today, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda hon.  Gaston Browne unequivocally condemned the brutal assassination of a political  figure in Venezuela and the intensification of political violence in the South American country.

PM Browne was reacting to the recent assassination in Caracas of a member of Parliament from the ruling party. Robert Serra, a young lawyer and legislator from the ruling PSUV party, was brutally murdered in his home, along with his partner Maria Herrera.

‘This is a brutal assault on democracy that needs to be condemned,’ Browne said. ‘The callous nature of this crime cries out for justice, and peoples and governments everywhere must come to the defence of democracy.’

Serra, at twenty-seven the youngest member of the Venezuelan Parliament, was an active legislator who specialized in measures to fight crime. His death has rocked Venezuelan political circles and thousands of mourners poured into the streets of Caracas to attend his funeral. Serra came from a poor background, and his mother, a street-vendor, helped put him through law school.

‘I convey my condolences to the Speaker of the Parliament and I stand in solidarity with the Parliament of Venezuela,’ said PM Browne, ‘and with the Government and people of Venezuela at this time of loss.’

The prime minister and chairman of CARICOM said that, as a region with strong democratic institutions and traditions, the Caribbean had a special responsibility to speak out against such outrageous acts that challenge the democratic order.

Mr. Browne stated that he believed that the Government of Nicolas Maduro would address this negative political development and restore the sanctity of the Parliament and its members.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne Meets US on WTO Gaming Issue

PM WTO USA 1

NEW YORK, NY, USA – 29th September 2014…….Prime Minister the Honourable Gaston Browne, one day following his address at the United Nations General Assembly during which he called on the United States Government to settle the outstanding WTO Gaming issue with Antigua and Barbuda, held bilateral talks with senior US officials designed to resolve the issue.

Prime Minister Browne met US Trade Representative, Mr. Michael Froman at the UN Mission of Antigua and Barbuda on Friday morning where both men sat down to open dialogue about the stalled trade dispute and discussed practical ways in which the matter could be brought to a conclusion.

Prime Minister Browne was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Hon. Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Colin Murdoch.

Both sides agreed to put a team together to work out the details of their discussion, and PM Browne undertook to name his team within a week.

Following the meeting Prime Minister Browne outlined,  “I am encouraged that my administration has been able to secure a meeting with the US Trade Representative, Ambassador Froman so early. Ambassador Froman is a Cabinet-level officer of the US Government and this should facilitate decision-making on policy matters.”

Prime Minister Browne had devoted a significant part of his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday to the WTO gaming case, and claimed that the international trading system had not delivered economic justice for Antigua and Barbuda. In his meeting with Ambassador Froman, PM Browne had outlined the economic losses suffered by Antigua and Barbuda as a result of US non-compliance with the WTO ruling.

Both sides are expected to resume discussions in the coming weeks

Turkey Donates over Two Million US Dollars to Antigua and Barbuda

PM Turkey 1

NEW YORK, NY, USA – 28th September, 2014……..Prime Minister the Hon.

Gaston Browne in a meeting with President of the Republic of Turkey Tayyip

Erdogan in New York last week, secured over two million US dollars in grant

aid for Antigua and Barbuda.

During the meeting with President Erdogan, Prime Minister Browne expressed

Antigua and Barbuda’s desire to further develop the relations between the

two countries.  He congratulated President Erdogan on being the first

president to be elected by the people of Turkey in free and fair

elections.  He said that President Erdogan’s leadership has led to Turkey

becoming of the most successful developing economies.

President Erdogan during the discussions congratulated Prime Minister

Browne on his recent victory at the polls and outlined that Turkey is

interested in Antigua and Barbuda’s development and provided a grant of two

point one million United States dollars towards project development.

President Erdogan also advised Prime Minister Browne that his country would

welcome Antigua and Barbuda establishing an Embassy in Turkey and that his

government is prepared to cover the cost of rent for the facility for five

years.

Prime Minister Browne welcomed the suggestion and proposed that Turkey also

establish a mission for the Caribbean based in Antigua and Barbuda.  He

also pointed out his government is prepared to work with the government of

Turkey in facilitating Turkish Airlines flying to Antigua and connecting to

other countries within the region.  He said that his government will also

welcome Turkish businessmen exploring investment opportunities in Antigua

and Barbuda.

Both leaders also discussed other areas of cooperation with Turkey

committing to give serious consideration to the provision of a new fire

engine for the V.C. Bird International Airport and financial and technical

support to the government’s Five Hundred Homes in Five Hundred Days

programme.

Both leaders pledged to remain in close contact with President Erdogan

extending a personal invitation to Foreign Minister the Hon. Charles

Fernandez to attend follow-up meetings in Istanbul

Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations is declared

PM Webson Max 2014 UN

NEW YORK, NY, USA – 28th September, 2014……Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Hon. Gaston Browne has announced that Dr. Walton Alfonso “Aubrey” Webson has been appointed as the country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

In a letter to Secretary General of the United Nations, Prime Minister Browne said the Dr. Webson is an outstanding citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who has made significant contributions to the social development of people with disabilities around the world.

“As a visually impaired individual, Dr. Webson has worked extensively in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, helping to shape educational services for children with disabilities.  He has also supported governments and social workers in policy development.  I am confident that he is very suitable for the responsibilities entrusted to him,” outlined Prime Minister Browne.

Prime Minister Browne also introduced Dr. Webson to Antiguans and Barbudans living in New York during a town hall meeting on Friday in the Bronx.  He told the over three hundred nationals in attendance that Dr. Webson will be the Head of the Antigua and Barbuda Office in New York with the various department heads reporting to him under a new arrangement which sees the Tourist Office, the Consulate and the Mission to the UN being merged as a single unit.

During the town hall meeting, Prime Minister Browne also announced that an offer has been made to Dr. Dave Ray to be the Diaspora Liaison Officer creating a link between the Diaspora and the government.  He said the move is designed to strengthen the relations with Antiguans and Barbudans in the Diaspora and to have them play and active role in the development of their homeland.  He said the aim is to have Dr. Dave Ray, as Diaspora Liaison Officer, capture the issues of Antiguans and Barbudans in the Diaspora and he will then liaise with the Antigua Office in New York headed by Dr. Webson.

Dr. Webson’s appointment as Permanent Representative to the United Nations takes effect from 1st November.

New Ambassadors to Participate in Moving Nation Forward

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Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda the Honourable Gaston Browne, on Friday welcomed four new ambassadors into the country’s diplomatic service.

In a ceremony to present Instruments of Appointment, Governor General Dr. Rodney Williams, acting on the instructions of Prime Minister Browne, appointed Mr. Brian Stuart-Young as Non-Resident Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; Mr. Gilbert Antoine Boustany as Ambassador at Large/Consul General of Antigua and Barbuda in Miami, USA; Mr. Johann Lebrecht Hesse as Ambassador to the African Union; and Mr. Ernell Casroy James as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Commenting on the appointments, Prime Minister Browne said that his government wants to ensure that there are individuals in these positions who can help move Antigua and Barbuda forward.

“Our vision is to transform this country into an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean and we have to make sure that we have the right people in the right places and make sure that we have square pegs in square holes and I am confident that these individuals have the capacity to help move the country forward.  What we intend to do is to ensure that we integrate our diplomacy with investments and tourism and to have an integrated product that will be superior to our competitors in the Caribbean,” Prime Minister Browne noted.

The country’s leader said that it is his belief that in the near future, Antigua and Barbuda should see more investments and more tourists coming to the country as his government gets the human resources in place in the various capitals of the world.  He said that it is also the government’s intention to appoint a number of economic envoys around the world.

“The whole idea is to make sure that we have economic envoys in every single major capital of the world because ultimately we must continue to attract tourists and we must be able to attract investments in a sustainable basis in order to grow the economy.  Our goal is to grow the economy by an average of about five percent per annum and in order for that to happen, one must be very assertive about it, perhaps aggressive and do whatever is necessary to make sure that we grow the country’s economy and create opportunities to put the people back to work so that Antiguans and Barbudans can enjoy living standards second to none,” he said.

Prime Minister Browne also announced that within ninety days, Antigua and Barbuda will have a Consul General in the People’s Republic of China working out of a soon to be established Antigua and Barbuda mission there.  He said a Canadian has been selected to serve in that capacity and will report to the Non-Resident Ambassador to China, His Excellency Mr. Brian Stuart-Young.

Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon.. Charles Fernandez, who was also present at the ceremony, said that the individuals selected were appointed almost exclusively on their capacity to serve.  He stated that from their qualifications, everyone would recognize that they are poised to make a difference in the country’s diplomatic corps. He said that he is looking forward to their contributions to nation building

Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment and Energy, met with representatives of Compete Caribbean and representatives of ABIA

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Digital Photograph From Left to Right: Mrs. Sherelyn Hughes-Thomas (Economic Development and Planning Director, ABIA); Mr. Michiel van der Veur (Consultant Van der Veur Advice); Ms. Sascha Mercer (Marketing & Business Development Director, ABIA); Hon. Asot Michael (Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment and Energy); Dr. Sylvia Dohnert (Private Sector Lead Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank and Executive Director, Compete Caribbean Program); Mr. Alejandro Carrion Menendez (Coordinator, Eastern Caribbean (OECS) for Compete Caribbean / Inter-American Development Bank

The Hon. Minister Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment and Energy, met with representatives of Compete Caribbean and representatives of the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) to discuss the next phase of ongoing projects that are currently being (co-)funded and facilitated by Compete Caribbean

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The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has received financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under the project named “Compete Caribbean’ for the purpose of ‘Strengthening Investment Attraction in Antigua and Barbuda’ (A1-CC2023)
Compete Caribbean has been engaged with various projects in Antigua & Barbuda, and in particular ‘the Strengthening of Investment Attraction’ and the ‘One Stop Shop Window for Business Registration’. The Strengthening of Investment Attraction will build capacity for attracting and facilitating foreign and domestic investment, by way of developing and implementing strategies for the Diversified Tourism and Information Technology-Enabled Services/Business Process Outsourcing (ITeS/BPO) sectors.
The Minister stated that “he is fully on board and committed to the technical and intrinsic support provided by Compete Caribbean” that has a combined value of $ 1,115,684 ECD for the current projects.
The Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance & Corporate Government, has earlier expressed his support as these projects are in keeping with the mandate of rebuilding Antigua and Barbuda through FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) attraction and job creation.
Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank
(IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.
For further information please contact the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development Investment and Energy