Coordinated approach necessary to manage external relations – COTED hears

The importance of effectively managing the external relations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was strongly underscored at the opening of the 45th meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Thursday in Georgetown, Guyana.

Chair of the COTED, the Hon. Paula Gopie-Scoon, Trade and Industry Minister of Trinidad and Tobago,  and Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary General referred to the current international trade climate and stressed the need for coordinated approach to external economic relations.

While many of the agenda items focus on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the Region’s flagship programme, and trade in goods, Ministers will place emphasis on matters such as future trade with the United Kingdom post-BREXIT; developments within the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and the state of the rum industry in CARIFORUM.

“We must remember that our strength as a Region depends on a coordinated approach to policies. This includes the external economic and trade relations of the Community which we will address during the course of this Meeting”, Minister Gopie-Scoon said at the opening session.

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More opportunities provided for private sector as CARICOM, Cuba expand duty-free market access

 

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Cuba on Thursday signed the Second Protocol to an Agreement that will expand access to each other’s markets for goods.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and Cuban Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, signed the Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba during the opening of the 45th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana.

Under the Second Protocol, Cuba will expand duty free access to more than 320 items including meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, beer, rum, cement, soap and apparel. CARICOM will grant duty free access to some 50 items, including fish, pharmaceutical products, fertilisers and articles of iron and steel. The Community will also offer differentiated treatment on 22 items. The differentiated treatment includes phased reduction of duty by Most Developed Countries in CARICOM.

The CARICOM Secretary-General said that signing the Second Protocol marked a further deepening of the trade and economic relations between CARICOM and Cuba and provided further opportunities for the Region’s private sector.

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Seize opportunity to help hurricane-hit countries build back better – CARICOM SG

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States must seize the opportunity to help the countries that were devastated by the recent hurricanes to build back better and become the first climate-resilient nations in the world.

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, delivered this charge in remarks he made at the opening of the Forty-Fifth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana, Thursday morning.

The impact of the hurricanes wrought on some CARICOM Member States and Associate Members  have affected various sectors including agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, housing, infrastructure, energy, and communications. The impact has also caused ripple effects across the Region, given the level of integration, the Secretary-General pointed out.

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Guyana’s contribution to regional integration lauded during accreditation of the country’s new Ambassador to CARICOM

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Guyana’s new Ambassador to CARICOM H.E Charlene Phoenix presents Letter of Credence to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque

Guyana was on Wednesday lauded for its seminal role in the evolution of the regional integration movement, as the country’s new Ambassador to CARICOM Ms Charlene Phoenix presented her credentials to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

The Secretary-General, in remarks at the accreditation ceremony, recalled Guyana’s role, along with Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda, in restarting the integration process through the formation of the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA), and then, through the Georgetown Accord, fashioning the pivotal movement from CARIFTA to CARICOM.  He also noted Guyana’s Lead Responsibility for Agriculture in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet and the importance of the sector to the Community’s efforts to enhance its food security.

“You therefore represent, Ambassador, a country rich not only in the tradition and history of our Community but also in being a full participant in forging the ties that bind us as a people,” the Secretary-General said. (more…)

Media Advisory – Opening, Forty-Fifth Meeting of COTED

Trade Officials at a meeting on Monday at the CARICOM Secretariat in preparation for the Ministerial session of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)

The Forty-Fifth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) will be held on 9-10 November, 2017, at the Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.

Deliberations will be preceded by an opening session that begins at 9:30 am.

During the opening, the Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba will be signed.

Please see details below:

 

EVENT: Opening, Forty-Fifth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)

DATE: 9 November, 2017

VENUE: Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana

TIME: 9:30 am

 

Kindly make every effort to be present at least 15 minutes before the ceremony for ease of security clearance and timely coverage of this event.