It was no surprise that Ife Alleyne was crowned the winner of the 2014 National Calypso Queen competition which took place on January 19 at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.
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EU looks at T&T’s procurement rules
European countries are looking beyond investments in T&T’s energy sector but are keeping an eye on what EU Delegation Charge d’Affairs Daniela Tramacere describes as “transparent public procurement rules to attract foreign capital.” Tracmacere spoke on the issue recently during Europe Day observances in Port-of-Spain.
According to the EU representative, Europe has an interest in T&T having “a competitive, open, transparent economy and accountable governance, because these are the bases for trade and foreign investments to grow...and for a partnership to flourish.”
EU countries account for a major share of T&T’s foreign direct investment and, over the past seven years, have contributed more than $850 million in grant funding for projects in the country. Elections for the European Parliament take place between May 22 - 25 in the 28 member states. Tramacere described the event as “an important exercise of democracy, whose outcome will be particularly meaningful, as taking place after a few years of harsh economic and financial crisis.”
She said the Eurozone has “overcome one of the most serious financial crises since its coming into existence and is now fully focusing on improving prospects for employment and growth.” Lithuania is expected to join the Eurozone soon while Latvia was another new-comer in January. “The recent crisis,” said Tramacere, “was a turning point” since it revealed “the depth of our economic and financial interdependence.”
“Despite the economic difficulties of the past years,” she added. “Europe has not disengaged on the international aid scene.” She cited the fact that EU member states are collectively the largest donors of international development aid. The EU maintains six delegations in the Caribbean and has identified up to one billion euros in grants to the region under the 11th European Development Fund for the period 2014-2020.