Submissions to FCO call for economic diversity and improved infrastructure
The need for economic diversification and improved infrastructure are among the key challenges inhibiting economic development of Britain’s overseas territories.
So states an analysis of submissions to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the colonies themselves.
The global financial crisis was also deemed a major challenge facing governments.
“With regards to everyday life, the territories are most challenged by crime, cost of living, and unemployment,” says the report by analysts Trufflenet.
Last year, the British Government launched a consultation exercise seeking input into a new White Paper on the relationship with its colonies.
The consultation document sought responses to six areas of inquiry challenges, cooperation with the UK, governance, financial management and economic planning, external support, cooperation between the territories and global profile.
Law enforcement, defence/security and the Spanish threat to Gibraltar were deemed the most significant areas for cooperation with the UK
And the most prominent good governance issues raised were transparency, poor planing and corruption.
The FCO received 285 submissions containing 517 responses which were relevant to the issues raised, according to Trufflenet which was hired to analyse responses to the consultation document.
The firm’s report can be found on the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk).
Fifty of the 517 responses came from Bermuda. Cayman Islands sent the most responses (182), followed by British Virgin Islands (104) and the UK (82).
“I am delighted by the wide-ranging and comprehensive responses we have received from territory governments and NGOs on our new strategy for the overseas territories,” said Henry Bellingham, Minister for Overseas Territories.
“This consultation is an important part of our efforts to reinvigorate the UK’s relationship with the territories and will help inform our detailed approach due to be set out in a White Paper soon.
“The results underline strong support for continuing close cooperation between the UK and the Territories on many areas, but also highlight some of the challenges that they are currently facing.”
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