The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, proposed this Monday, during his speech at the XVIII Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP), the establishment of a bank of medicines, equipment and medical supplies of the integration mechanism, in light of the vulnerabilities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must strengthen the ALBA-TCP response to the pandemic. We must continue to promote the common economic development strategy, through the reactivation of the Economic Complementation Council. As allied countries that seek to improve our commercial ties, we must coordinate efforts to have more inclusive societies and economies after the pandemic”, he emphasized.
Likewise, he proposed the provision of medical scholarships for the member states and the strengthening of intra-ALBA transport to create a greater exchange of travel and commerce that strengthens tourism and the supply chains of food and goods.
The Prime Minister exposed his country’s dependence on distant food suppliers, reaffirming the vital importance of reactivating the ALBA-TCP Food Program.
The Caribbean ruler thanked the Bank of ALBA (Banalba) for its contribution in strengthening agricultural production. He also valued Petrocaribe as a very generous initiative of the regional bloc that has allowed the member countries of the Caribbean to purchase fuel under preferential conditions and use the savings generated as a result of this direct trade to finance their social programs in areas such as health, housing, agriculture and education.
In addition, he thanked the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Cuba for their invaluable support during the pandemic, detailing that they received medical supplies from the Bolivarian nation and air support to repatriate citizens and students of Antigua and Barbuda from Cuba.
“We must guarantee that the ALBA-TCP continues to be a dynamic and effective mechanism for the political, economic, and social development of the hemisphere”, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.