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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Chatting CARICOM

This is the fourth programme in the live television series, ‘Chatting CARICOM’.

Executive Chairman of Automotive Art International, Mr. Dereck Foster; Advisor Single Market and Sectoral Programmes at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ms. Desiree Field-Ridley, and the Deputy Programme Manager, CSME also at the CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Philip McClauren are one the panel.

The programme is part of the visibility for the projects carried out under the 10th EDF but also gives an update on the work being  done by the CARICOM Secretariat.

 

Maximum exposure for CARIFESTA XIII

CARIFESTA_XIII-LOGO-WHITE-GLOW
Barbados Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley. (Photo via Barbados Government Information Service -  FP)
Barbados Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley. (Photo via Barbados Government Information Service – FP)

CARIFESTA XIII will not lack for exposure thanks to the signing of two agreements – The Host Broadcasters Agreement with the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC); and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU).

In a brief signing ceremony (Friday) at his Ministry in Sky Mall, Culture Minister, Stephen Lashley, announced that CBC had been appointed the host country’s broadcasting agency responsible for all the television broadcasting arrangements in relation to CARIFESTA XIII. The festival will be held in Barbados from August 17 to 27.

Explaining to the media that CBC’s responsibility was “very critical” to the successful broadcasting of all elements of the regional festival, Mr. Lashley indicated that the island expected to welcome approximately 3,000 cultural artistes from 27 countries.

“The last occasion that Barbados hosted CARIFESTA was 1981, and we want to ensure going forward we are able to document appropriately and, of course, ensure maximum coverage to persons, particularly in the diaspora … We expect those in Barbados will be participating by actually going to the events but of course CBC through its various services will make it available to all and sundry,” he stated.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

CARICOM opens environment policy, action plan for discussions

 

The consultations have been planned for Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the OECS Sub-region and Trinidad and Tobago
The consultations on the draft CARICOM Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Action Plan have been planned for Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the OECS Sub-region and Trinidad and Tobago

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has opened the draft CARICOM Environment and Natural Resources Policy, as well as the Action Plan for national, sub-regional and regional discussions beginning early August.

The consultations have been planned for Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, the OECS Sub-region and Trinidad and Tobago involving wide-ranging stakeholders drawn from the public and private sectors, civil society, CARICOM Institutions, and academia. Discussions are scheduled for August 3-4 in Barbados, 7-8 in Guyana; 14-15, Jamaica; 17-18, Saint Lucia, and 21-22 in Trinidad and Tobago.

The consultations are supported by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund. (more…)