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.

CARICOM, UN to strengthen cooperation at New York meeting

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CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the United Nations (UN) System will be further strengthened around several issues including climate change, security, human development, health and education at the Ninth CARICOM-United Nations General Meeting this week.

The two-day meeting begins 20 July 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It is happening against the backdrop of a changing international environment, replete with uncertainty and complexity, and requiring greater collaboration.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque is leading a delegation from the CARICOM Secretariat which also includes Ambassador Colin Granderson, Assistant Secretary-General, Foreign and Community Relations, and Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development. The Community’s representatives are also drawn from regional organisations including the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD), Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), University of the West Indies (UWI), and the University of Guyana (UG). (more…)

People will know CARICOM is working when they see, taste, feel – The Bahamas Prime Minister

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New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
New Prime Minister of The Bahamas delivering his inaugural address to the Conference
“CARICOM is a community of the people we serve, not a club of officials and politicians. We need to cast our nets far and wide to engage the combined spirit and the collective brain-trust of the Region. We must blend various languages and accents in order to speak to the world with one voice about the aspirations of our people and the mission of CARICOM.” Dr. Hubert Minnis
Dr. The Hon. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, has signalled his readiness to help deliver the mandates of CARICOM to provide better, healthier and more prosperous lives for the people of the Community.

In doing so, the newest Member of the Conference of Heads of Government also expressed confidence in organs and institutions of the Caribbean Community to deliver benefits of integration.

His inaugural address to the Community, at the opening of the 38th CARICOM Summit, in Grand Anse, Grenada, Tuesday evening, was punctuated with an urgent call for unity. (more…)

Happy CARICOM Day!

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) comprises 15 Member States and five Associate Members.

At the Eighth Heads of Government Conference of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) held in April 1973 in Georgetown, Guyana, the decision to establish the Caribbean Community was brought to fruition. The process through which it was established is set out in the Georgetown Accord issued by that Conference. The Accord which was agreed to in April 1973 contained the draft treaty which we now know as the Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The original signatories to the Treaty on 4 July, 1973, were Prime Ministers Hon. Errol Barrow for Barbados; Hon. Forbes Burnham for Guyana; Hon. Michael Manley for Jamaica; and Hon. Eric Williams for Trinidad and Tobago. By 1 May 1974, all other members of CARIFTA had signed the Agreement to become full members of CARICOM, except Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis. They both signed the Agreement in July 1974. (more…)

Working together – CARICOM SG, Ambassadors and Heads of Community Institutions

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Work to strengthen the Region’s governance and implementation structures continued Thursday with the first joint meeting of the CARICOM Secretary-General, Heads of Community Institutions and the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors  at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.

Thursday’s exchanges followed the fifth Meeting of the Committee of Ambassadors, held at the CARICOM Secretariat, also in Georgetown, on Wednesday. The Committee plays an important role in the governance structure of the Community, providing strategic advice and recommendations to the Community Council towards advancing the integration movement.

The Heads of Community Institutions  meet regularly with the Secretary-General to seek to harmonise efforts towards implementation of the CARICOM Strategic Plan.

Several participants joined the meeting via video conference.