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  /  Assessing the Potential for Increased and Enhanced Maritime Transportation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Assessing the Potential for Increased and Enhanced Maritime Transportation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Khellon Quacy Roach and Raymond Mark Kirton, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago

Abstract: Accounting for over 90% of goods traded globally, Maritime Transport is undeniably the main mode of international transport for goods throughout the world. Despite the global financial crisis in 2008, growth in international seaborne trade continued, albeit at a slower rate of 3.6% in 2008 as compared with 4.5% in 2007. The volume of global sea-borne trade for 2008 totaled 8.17 billion tons as estimated by UNCTAD (2009). Maritime transport is more critical to the development of the small Caribbean states than for most other regions because they exist as islands in the Caribbean Sea, and consequently are heavily reliant on foreign trade. However, despite the advancement in the area of maritime transport globally, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) continue to be plagued with high transport costs, inadequate port and transport infrastructure and a lack of coordinated maritime transport policies among others. It can, therefore, be widely appreciated that in order for LAC to achieve sustained economic development there is need for improved maritime transport cooperation in the region. This paper seeks to use the examples of Trinidad and Tobago from the Caribbean and Venezuela from Latin America to examine the ways in which Maritime Transport Cooperation can be enhanced in order to encourage development and growth in the Greater Caribbean region.

Keywords: maritime transport cooperation; Latin America; Caribbean; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela.