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PM to represent Jamaica at US Energy summit

NEW YORK, NY, Friday January 16, 2015 - Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller is expected to represent Jamaica at the first ever Caribbean Energy Security Summit to be hosted by United States Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, DC on January 26, 2015.

The Vice President will be welcoming Caribbean leaders and representatives of the international community to promote a cleaner and more sustainable energy future in the Caribbean through improved energy governance, greater access to finance, and donor coordination.

The Summit will include remarks by the Vice President, an energy security round-table with heads of government, and meetings and events with government officials, representatives from the private sector, and officials from multilateral institutions.

This Summit is a key component of the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative that the Vice President announced in June 2014, and will be hosted by the White House and the State Department in partnership with the Atlantic Council and the Council of the Americas.

News of the energy summit with the US follows reports that Venezuela is considering selling the debt under its oil programme, PetroCaribe with several Caribbean countries, including Jamaica.

It is reported that Venezuela is under pressure to maintain its imports and stem revenue slide amid falling oil prices on the global market.

Such a move could seriously destabilise the economies of the region if counter measures are not put in place.

Under the PetroCaribe agreement, members can buy oil or refined products from Venezuela at favourable rates through a long-term financing agreement at low interest rates.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says however, that Venezuela will stand by its commitment to the programme, and is now on a world tour to OPEC nations and China in an effort to bolster his country’s economy.