Message by the CARICOM Secretary-General on Caribbean Statistics Day

MESSAGE FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL,

CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM)

AMBASSADOR IRWIN LAROCQUE

 

ON THE OCCASION OF THE

NINTH OBSERVANCE OF CARIBBEAN STATISTICS DAY

15 OCTOBER 2017

 

 

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

This year’s observance takes place against the background of another significant achievement for Regional Statistics. CARICOM Heads of Government at their Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting (July 2017) endorsed the preparation of a Regional Strategy for the Development of Statistics (RSDS) in CARICOM.  The endorsement of the RSDS initiative is in addition to their endorsement of the Action Plan for Statistics at their Thirty-Seventh Regular Meeting in 2016.

 These decisions on Statistics at the highest level of the Community reaffirm the recognition of the vital role of statistics in the development of the Region.   It is in this spirit that the National Statistical Offices of Member States agreed that the 2016 theme – “Improving the Lives of People – Advancing the Action Plan for Statistics in CARICOM”   should remain as the theme for this year’s observance of Caribbean Statistics Day.

CARICOM countries continue to face increasing demands for statistics that must be timely and reliable.  Evidenced-based decision-making is important in enabling the socio-economic development of countries and for the efficient management and use of resources. In particular, given the environmental concerns faced by CARICOM countries as Small Island and low lying coastal Developing States (SIDS), the timely dissemination of high quality statistics facilitates national policy development, planning and the monitoring and evaluation required for the achievement of successful outcomes. The importance of access to reliable data is a key factor in the recovery and rehabilitation efforts following natural disasters such as the recent Hurricanes Irma and Maria. (more…)

Online Platforms launched to promote regional trade and business

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(From left) Barbados Labour Minister Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo; CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan; Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM Robert Morris; Ms Gladys Young, CARICOM Secretariat; EU Representative Stephen Boyce

The Caribbean Community’s development of a Single Market and Economy has been given a boost with the launch of four new on-line platforms aimed at promoting trade and improving the ease of doing business.

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CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan addressing the Launch

The CARICOM Secretariat, with support from the European Union, on Monday launched the CARICOM Online Companies Registries; Labour Market Information System;  Community Public Procurement Notice Board; and the CARREX Platform and On-Line Public Portal, at a ceremony in Barbados.

The CARICOM Online Companies Registries provide a region-wide electronic platform for online name searches and name reservation,  business and company registration, public access to records, e-payment and e-signature, among other features. It will also facilitate a better overview of the prevailing business climate in the Region, helping for example, to identify areas of saturation, those with growth potential, and even the role of the informal economy.

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Part of the audience at the Launch

The EU’s Dr Stephen Boyce, in remarks at the launch, said at least one recent high profile example illustrates the critical importance of this platform.

“A few years ago, the inflight magazine on LIAT was rebranded as LIME. This was just a few weeks before a telecommunications giant in the region acquired a similar moniker.  The result was a further rebranding to Zing to avoid any conclusion. A regional register would have avoided this,” he noted.

The development of this platform required automating the more than half of the national company registries in CARICOM which were still paper based, upgrading those already automated, and providing a functioning web software/application information system. (more…)

Barbados’ future lies in CARICOM – Morris

 Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris with students (Photo via BGIS)
FLASHBACK: Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, Robert ‘Bobby’ Morris with another group of secondary school students (Photo via BGIS)

Barbados’ ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Robert Bobby Morris, is of the view that this country’s future lies in the 15-member bloc.

Morris told this morning’s presentation ceremony of an essay contest organized by the Caribbean Organization of Tax Administrators that the regional grouping presented young Barbadians with a number of opportunities, therefore they should begin to view themselves as citizens of CARICOM and not just Barbadians.

“I hope you learn a lot about CARICOM because it is our future. It is a community and it is also a single market and both are very important to you and your future development, because you are not going to be developing really in a world of Barbados, your future is CARICOM,” Morris told students of Ellerslie Secondary School, where the ceremony was held.

The former trade unionist pointed to the number of Barbadians working in other Caribbean countries simply because they could not find work here, as evidence that the integration movement can be beneficial.

Read more at: Barbados Today

CET, Rules of Origin critical to viability, competitiveness of indigenous industries – Review Consultation hears

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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.

App development critical to Single ICT Space – CARICOM official

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The development of applications such as the recently launched CXC Connect, is critical to the CARICOM Single ICT Space.

Speaking at the Guyana launch of the application on Monday, 31 July, 2017, Deputy Programme Manager ICT4D at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Ms. Jennifer Britton said that the Single ICT Space was one of the initiatives undertaken by the CARICOM Secretariat which linked strongly to the launch and utility of CXC Connect.

“The Single ICT space is a major transformational project for the CARICOM region.  It will provide and support the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).  Apps which provide and use CARICOM content are of singular importance to the Single ICT space”, she said at the launch, which was held at the Giftland Mall at Turkeyen.

The App, the first mobile application of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) – a CARICOM Institution –  has a newsfeed which pulls content from CXC social media spaces with push notifications for specific messages. With the App, students, parents and teachers can use their mobile devices to check examination results which will be available in August. There is also a chat feature which appears in five discussion categories and connects users to a CXC agent. Other features of the App include a frequently asked questions library, new subject releases. CXC Connect is designed for Android and iOS devices, including mobile phones and tablets, and can be downloaded from the Apple Store and the Google Play Store.

Alluding to emerging trends in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Ms. Britton said that is was evident that Apps were the “oxygen of the Internet and the Internet Economy.”
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