The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mr Reuben T Meade and other elected leaders of the UK’s Overseas Territories, met in the Cayman Islands on 15-17 July, 2014, to discuss the forthcoming Joint Ministerial Council Meeting (JMC), scheduled for December in London.

The purpose of the Joint Ministerial Council is to implement the principles of the 2012 White Paper on Security, Success and Sustainability and to agree at the ministerial level on collective issues between the governments of the Overseas Territories and Britain.

Premier Reuben Meade (seated - right) and other OT leaders at Caymans meeting

Premier Reuben Meade (seated – right) and other OT leaders at Caymans meeting

This week’s meeting in the Cayman Islands discussed measures aimed at securing the long-term economic futures of the OTs.

The key areas are; economic diversification, good governance, global standards of financial regulation accountability and transparency, environmental sustainability, and security and immigration.

On the matter of economic diversification the leaders of the Overseas Territories say they want to build sustainable economies that are more resilient and capitalize on changing global trends.

They have also committed to upholding the principles of Good Governance in the administration of our respective territories and to recognize the right to self determination of all people of the Overseas Territories.

With financial services a key economic driver for the OTs, the leaders say the goal is for global standards of financial regulation, accountability and transparency. Coming out of this week’s meeting in the Cayman Islands, one of the world’s leading offshore financial centres, the leaders have affirmed that they will continue to lead in the fight against financial crime and continue to be responsible international financial centres that facilitate global trade and investment in line with the emerging global consensus.

Environmental sustainability is another focal point. As vulnerable small territories whose economies are dependent on environmental sustainability, the commitment from the leaders of the British Overseas territories is to continue their long history of caring for and nurturing our environments.

On the topic of security and immigration, the leaders have stressed that they will ensure the security and protection of their borders and the safety and welfare of the people, including access to all passports, specifically emergency travel, despite the UK’s new policy to repatriate the printing of all passports to the United Kingdom by the end of this year.

The leaders said they reaffirmed their commitment and respect for the principles outlined in their respective Constitutions and will uphold their obligations to their electorate and the people they serve.

The meeting in the Cayman Islands from July 15 to 17 was attended by leaders from the British Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat.

The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mt Reuben T Meade this week joined heads of government of the UK Overseas Territories(OCTs) attending a meeting in the Cayman Islands which concluded on 17 July.

Montserrat's Premier Hon. R T Meade (right) and other leaders of UK OCTs at meeting in the Cayman Islands

Montserrat’s Premier Hon. R T Meade (right) and other leaders of UK Overseas Countries and Territories(OCTs) at meeting in the Cayman Islands

On the agenda are issues of mutual interest including prosperity, economic development, environment and green energy.

Premier Meade has been given a leading role on a wide range of issues between the British and other European governments and their respective OCTs.

Statement by the The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mr Reuben T Meade at the 35th Regular 35th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meeting at St Johns, Antigua & Barbuda 1-4 July 2014.

The Montserrat Premier also signed the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) of which Montserrat has been up to this point a de facto participating member.
The Department of Trade is the focal point for CROSQ matters on Montserrat. (For further information on CROSQ go to

Premier Meade signs CROSQ agreement

Premier Meade signs CROSQ agreement

As a founding member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Montserrat has continued to retain full membership of CARICOM and remains an up to date subscriber to all of the specialized agencies in our region and the CARICOM Secretariat. Montserrat also participates fully in the Common External Tariff (CET).

We have legal provisions for the automatic grant of 6 months stay under the freedom of movement obligations and CARICOM skills certificates are also honoured in Montserrat, but we do not yet have in place the institutional arrangements to issue those Certificates.

Montserrat also issues land holding licenses to CARICOM nationals as an administrative procedure in seeking to comply with CARICOM’s right of establishment obligations, and we intend to remove all impediments except for those related to cost recovery; and of course our compliance with the movement of capital obligations is assured within the framework of the East Caribbean Currency Union.

Montserrat therefore proposes for the Conference to be alerted of the Government of Montserrat’s intention to accede to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas and to participate in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

We are fully competent to do so on entrustments received from our main sponsor the United Kingdom Government for our continued full participation in the regional integration movement.

You may also be aware that as at January 1st of this year 2014, a new Direction was issued by the European Union, which is equivalent to the CARICOM-EPA and creates an opportunity now for the French and Dutch Departments in the Caribbean to also join in our Regional Integration Movement.

We in Montserrat are clearly ahead in this team effort and it’s strengthening by actions from our internal and external partners, including the private sector globally is encouraging.

Montserrat signs CROSQ Agreement

Left to right :
Director of External Affairs-Claude Hogan, Premier-Reuben Meade, Caricom General Counsel-Safiya Ali and Caricom Assistant General Counsel-George Kirnon.

In Montserrat, we continue to view the regional integration movement as presenting an over-arching economic platform that can be beneficial to our peoples.

It provides space for employment creation and extending opportunity for joint ventures and increased functional cooperation among our governments and people.

It is our intention therefore to bring the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (CSME) Bill to our parliament for its first reading before September of 2014 and we anticipate the enactment of the Bill by the end of this year 2014.

Montserrat will also proceed to engage with the CCJ and CDF to ensure concurrent accession to these entities, which are inextricably linked to the Revised Treaty.

Montserrat therefore intends to deposit an Instrument of Accession to the Revised Treaty by the next meeting of the Conference.

In order to forestall any legal action that may be taken against Montserrat in relation to its CSME Obligations, pending the completion of legislative and administrative arrangements for implementation, we invite the Conference to:

(I). Approve that Montserrat shall enjoy reasonable time-frames to put in place the institutional arrangements to comply with its Treaty obligations following upon Accession to the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas for participation in the CSME;

(ii). That these reasonable time-frames are agreed with and implemented in consultation with the CARICOM Secretariat, particularly the Office of the General Counsel.

The Honourable Premier of Montserrat Mr Reuben Meade this week signed Memorandum of Understanding twinning Montserrat with counties in the UK and Spain.

The first was with the territory’s namesake, Montserrat of Valencia Spain, and the other with the county of Hertfordshire in the UK.

About Hertfordshire

Population: 1,119,800

Hertfordshire is a county full of contrasts that blend together to create a superb quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

Situated in the south east of England, the county is about 20 miles from London but still retains its own unique identity, with thriving modern towns and picturesque villages set in beautiful countryside.

The balance of these contrasts is an unrivalled atmosphere and quality of life which attracts both people and businesses to the county.

In November 2013, a national Quality of Life Index listed Hertfordshire as the third-best place to live in the UK.

For more go to ZJB-Spirit of Montserrat Premier Meade signs ‘twinning’ MOUs


The Government Information Unit Radio Program focuses on government policies, programs, projects and events.  The GIU Radio Program hosted by Mike Jarvis is aired on ZJB-Radio Montserrat weekly -Wednesdays at 7:06pm with a re-broadcast on Sundays at 1:30 pm.

The Government Information Unit Radio Program focuses on government policies, programs, projects and events.  The GIU Radio Program hosted by Mike Jarvis is aired on ZJB-Radio Montserrat weekly -Wednesdays at 7:06pm with a re-broadcast on Sundays at 1:30 pm.

The Headlines

Montserrat has recorded an 83% success rate in the newly introduced Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA)…

The Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) has a new board of Directors…

Parliamentary Secretary, the Honourable Jermaine Wade has applauded the island’s early childhood practitioners for their dedication and hard work over the years…

14 individuals are now much more adept at managing their own businesses…

These and other stories in the ZJB-Radio Montserrat main news for 6.6.14 with James White Junior…

Click the mediaplayer below to listen.



The Government of Montserrat has announced the merging of the Montserrat Tourist Board(MTB) and the Montserrat Development Corporation(MDC).

In a statement the government says this is in keeping with its thrust to enhance the contribution of the tourism sector to economic activity.

mtb logo                             invest-montserrat-logo


The new institutional arrangements for the management of the sector took effect from June 1st resulting in the two divisions now operating as a single entity under the umbrella of the MDC.

Both the MDC and the MTB are responsible for promoting Montserrat as a destination: the MDC for investment and the MTB for visitors.

However, the Montserrat Tourism Board (MTB) has been unable to deliver its full mandate over the past two years, mainly due to a weak institutional framework and minimum resources.

These constraints have reduced Montserrat’s visibility in the tourism market at the same time as competing destinations have increased their efforts.

On the other hand, the Montserrat Development Corporation has been able to achieve the continuity and direction previously lacking and which are now producing positive outcomes in Little Bay and elsewhere.

Graphic of proposed Little Bay Marine Village being developed

Computer generated graphic of proposed Little Bay Marine Village being developed

The MDC has already assumed the Tourist Board’s previous role in developing tourism-related businesses and attractions, and is also leading on discussions with cruise operators, promoting Montserrat as a destination for their future schedules once a commitment to the new port at Carr’s Bay is made.

Value for money

Integrating the two divisions highlights the fact that they are mutually dependent on each other, and bringing them under one agency will result in greater integration of destination marketing, investment promotion and infrastructure development will become more and more essential.


Tourism is already the MDC’s first priority for both investment and business development and it is considered vitally important that image, branding and messages are consistent and mutually supportive.

There’s also a strong value-for-money case to be made.

Data collection will be shared and marketing and communications expenditure can be combined, for example into single contracts for PR and advertising.

Also, MDC’s infrastructure investment in Little Bay and elsewhere can be more directly focused on the tourism sector.

And, a unified Board can be created, as well as a single management team led by one Chief Executive.

The advantage of this it explains is that such a unified Board and management team will enable tourism, investment promotion, business development and infrastructure to be managed in an integrated way, with the Board and Chief Executive able to set objectives and measure performance for all staff more effectively.

Little Bay New Town Development master site plan

Little Bay New Town Development master site plan




Under the new structure, a Director of Tourism will be appointed, reporting to the Chief Executive of the MDC and joining its team of management, along with the Director of Infrastructure and Trade and Investment Promotion.






Arrangements are currently being made to transfer the technical staff of Tourist Board into the new Division initially, with a re-assessment of roles and responsibilities then required to ensure that skills and responsibilities match the requirements of the integrated organization.

Separate arrangements are being made for the oversight and management of Culture which previously operated under the auspices of the Tourist Board.  


Unauthorised removal of material from the Exclusion Zone

1.         On the basis of a Cabinet decision in late 2011, Caribbean Metal was given permission to harvest scrap metal from the technical college, the factory shells, the secondary school, public works and the rice mill provided that an authorised Government official first verify that the said property in question belongs to the Government of Montserrat. Therefore the extraction of such material under the conditions stated is perfectly legal.


Plymouth Exclusion Zone

Plymouth Exclusion Zone

2.         There have also been a number of reports where it is alleged that persons are indiscriminately removing metal of marketable value from areas in Plymouth including from private properties.

The RMPS make a number of routine patrols each day into Zones C and V and there have been joint operations between CID and the Salem district police officers to address the allegations of removal of articles from unauthorised areas, the removal of private property and anti narcotics operations.

There have also been random vehicle checks.  The Police and the Customs Service  signed a MOU and provide a coordinated approach to address the exportation of both legally and illegally harvested scrap metals.


3.         Procedures for entry into Zone C & V are strictly enforced. Persons entering Zone V must be authorised by NDPRAC and into Zone C by checking into Salem Police Station for entry.


4.         There have been no arrests so with respect to scrap metal harvesting in Zone V.  One arrest was made for removing material from private property in the Lower Friths area.  The matter is now before the court. There was an arrest in respect of the removal of equipment from the Waterworks estate, but the matter was dismissed in court because of the non-availability of witnesses.

The police have checked the MUL compound at Lovers Lane. They report that the main building is intact but two outer buildings no longer exist. They are unable to determine under what circumstances the metals from these buildings were removed and/or whether this was done so under permission.

Over the last six months, six people have been arrested and convicted for being found unlawfully in the Exclusion Zone.


The Police will continue to carry out routine and planned operations into the zone.  They will do all within their  powers to ensure that no illegal activity is carried out in the restricted zone and that there is no unauthorised removal of metals and any other asset




Response at CDB 44th Board of Governor’s Meeting in Guyana


The Governor for the UK Overseas Territories

Premier Reuben T Meade


My Brother the Distinguished President of Guyana, my brothers and sisters all.

I bring greetings from the Governments and people of Montserrat and the other United Kingdom Overseas Territories.  We also join in welcoming Suriname to this their inaugural meeting.


On behalf of all the delegations we wish to thank the Government of Guyana and the staff of the CDB for the arrangements made for our comfort, enjoyment and security.  These factors do impact on the quality of work which we accomplish here.


Hon Premier Reuben T. Meade

Hon Premier Reuben T. Meade

As we conduct this meeting, there are many policy challenges facing the region and in particular, small open and vulnerable economies such as ours.   While we have had some economic success in the past, the protracted global economic and financial morass and the ensuing international regulatory regime have exposed and aggravated the vulnerabilities that exist.  Consequently our region continues to experience weak growth, elevated fiscal imbalances and heightened risks within the financial market.  These factors affect the quality of life of our residents and citizens.


An appropriate solution to the challenges we face will be extremely difficult without the help of our development partners to include the IFI community. This is principally due to our limited resource base, available financial policy instruments, productive capacity constraints and general inefficiencies related to economies of scale.  These will continue to create barriers to growth with consequential impacts on budgets and the private sector whom we depend on to fuel growth.


We are appreciative of the support of the CDB in making funding available through loans at concessional rates and grants, especially through the BNTF program.  This has benefitted some of the Overseas Territories but several are still unable to benefit from grants because of their perceived wealth as indicated by their per capita GDP. Nevertheless, the introduction of policy based lending has helped to target resources to areas of priority.  We are however, concerned about the delays in the approval of these much needed resources and encourage CDB and ourselves to see where improvements can be made and do so.  In this regard, I wish to thank the none borrowing members for their continued support to this and other programmes of the bank.

Premier Reuben Meade and other CDB Governors at the 44th Board of Governors Meeting in Guyana May 28th 2014 (Premier Meade is 2nd from right)

Premier Reuben Meade and other CDB Governors at the 44th Board of Governors Meeting in Guyana May 28th 2014 (Premier Meade is 2nd from right)


The banking system remains under considerable stress in most of our territories.  The non-performing loan portfolio in some of our jurisdictions, poor management and cost of operations along with a reduction in investment opportunities have significantly reduced the viability of some indigenous banks.  This can be seen from forced interventions in a few banks and significant losses in others.  Whether a resolution strategy is implemented now or later, the issue will need to be comprehensively addressed.  There is no doubt that our membership, to varying degrees, look forward to work collaboratively with CDB and the other IFI’s on the work being done in this area.   The people of the region depend on us to find acceptable solutions.


While we seek to move forward in a very positive way, it is also important for us to look within the Bank and seek to resolve whatever internal HR issues that may be lurking in the shadows.  These underlying issues can and will continue to impact on the work of this important institution.  We must remember the HR mandate given in the establishment of the Bank in terms of its top management positions.


In closing, I wish to encourage the Bank to continue to focus on its mandate of working with us as borrowing members on achieving our various  Developmental objectives.  The Distinguished President of Guyana has enunciated many of these areas of focus and I wish to support his request for a workable approach to be found.


We continue to rely on the support of the highly trained staff of the Bank to provide the requisite advice to the smaller borrowing members individually and as a group.  If ever we needed to work more cohesively as a group, it is now.


For the audio of this speech go to: