COTED urged to reassess orientation of external trade

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A review of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) external trade relations, strengthened capacity, and Member States’ strong support of each other will ensure that the Region is in a better position to confront the challenges it faces.

This is the view of Suriname Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, Chairman of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) now underway at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana.

In remarks at the opening of the two-day Meeting Thursday morning, the Minister alluded to global development challenges, including the consequences anticipated from the withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union (EU).

“For us to be better equipped and face all these challenges we must first work on strengthening the capacities of our communities and strongly support each other, to achieve economic growth and welfare for all of us in the Region”, Minister Welzijn said.

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Full, safe, unhindered access to Single Market needed for sustainable growth – COTED Chair

Chairman of COTED,  the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname
Chairman of COTED, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname

The private sector’s full, safe and unhindered access to the CARICOM Single Market was important for the promotion and  sustainability of economic growth, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn, said on Thursday.

Delivering remarks at the opening of the Forty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Georgetown, Guyana, Minister Welzijn, who is chairing the Meeting, said that development depended on public-private partnership.

 “After all it is the private sector that trades and does business,” he pointed out.

His remarks were made in the context of one the main  item for discussion at the Meeting – the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).  The Minister said that his background in the private sector provided a full understanding of the concerns and frustration of entrepreneurs who were facing trade difficulties within CARICOM. (more…)

‘We must do better’ – CARICOM SG (with Video)

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname, the Hon Ferdinand Welzijn and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr.  Joseph Cox at the opening of the 44th Meeting of COTED
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of Suriname, the Hon Ferdinand Welzijn and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox at the opening of the 44th Meeting of COTED

While the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has significantly advanced the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), “we must do better”, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General said Thursday.

“Yes, we have done a lot, but we must do better.

“The private sector is asking us to do better.

“The people of the Region are asking us to do better”, the Secretary-General said.

He was at the time delivering remarks at the opening of the Forty-Fourth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana. The COTED is responsible for the promotion of trade and economic development of CARICOM. In particular, it is required to oversee the development, operation and implementation of the CSME.

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Bahamians vote in new government

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Prime Minister-elect in The Bahamas Dr. Hubert Minnis

Bahamians voted for change in Wednesday’s general elections, giving a landslide victory to Dr. Hubert Minnis and his Free National Movement (FNM) over outgoing Prime Minister Perry Christie and his Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).

“I called Dr. Minnis this evening to congratulate him on his party’s victory. I understand, as perhaps few others, the challenges that await Dr. Minnis, and I wish him only success on behalf of our nation.  He has my full support for a smooth succession,” Mr. Christie said in a concession statement last night.

In response, the Prime Minister-elect who took the stage at the FNM celebrations, said it was a long fought battle “but victory is not mine. The victory is yours, this is the people’s time and I am your servant.”

An eleven Member CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission monitored the elections and will issue a preliminary  report.

 

Bahamians vote today in General Elections – CARICOM Mission observing process

Bahamians go to the polls today to elect representatives to the country’s 41-member Parliament.

An estimated 180,000 persons are registered to vote at polling stations which opened at 8:00 a.m. and are scheduled to close at 6:00.

They will choose from the  incumbent Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) led by Prime Minister Perry Christie, the main opposition Free National Movement (FNM) headed by Dr. Hubert Minnis and the smaller opposition Democratic National Alliance (DNA) led by Mr. Branville McCartney.

Josephine-Tamai
Ms Josephine Tamai

An eleven-member CARICOM Electoral Observation Mission has been in The Bahamas since 4 May engaging various stakeholders and will observe Election Day activities starting with the opening of the polls through to the tabulation and announcement of the results.

The Mission, headed by Ms Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Office of Belize, with Mr. Orette Fisher, Director of the Elections Commission of Jamaica as her Deputy, will issue a Preliminary Statement following the elections, which will outline its initial assessment of the process. A final report will subsequently be submitted to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.