The protection of indigenous industries to ensure their viability and competitiveness on the global market and the harmonisation of rates across CARICOM were among the key concerns raised at a Consultation on the revision of CARICOM’s two trade instruments.
The trade and revenue instruments are the CARICOM Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin.
At the brief opening ceremony of the one-day Consultation on 25 July, 2017, at the CARICOM Secretariat, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr.Joseph Cox called for frank discourse against the background that the CET in its current format, was not sustainable and was not serving the purpose for which it was originally intended.
He said order, structure and modernisation were necessary for the instruments to work for the Region.
Regional stakeholders at the Consultation acknowledged the importance of the CET and the RoO to the economic growth of the Region. They recommended the careful consideration of derogations of the CET on some products, as well as the implementation of a modernised and simplified version of the Rules of Origin.
Consultant, Mr. Dan Ciuriek, said that the review of the regime was to ready it for free circulation, a fully functioning CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and to be effective as a springboard into the global economy.
Listen as Mr. Bernard Black, Senior Project Officer, Customs and Trade Policy at the CARICOM Secretariat, provides some insight into the discussion and the next steps that are to be taken.