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.


Regional Trade Ministers meet

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Trade representatives of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States on Monday morning began a two-day meeting in preparation for the Ministerial Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) 9-10 November, 2017.

Given its importance, and the mandate issued by CARICOM Heads of Government last year for a full review, the implementation CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will be a main agenda item at the two-day Meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown. Discussions will centre on a draft Public Procurement Protocol, police certificates of character, and the harmonisation of laws.


PM Stuart to attend CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting

Lead Head of Government of the CSME, Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean
Barbados Prime Minister, the Hon. Freundel Stuart and his Foreign Minister, the Hon Maxine McClean, will be in Grenada for the 38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will leave Barbados on Monday, July 3, to attend the Thirty-Eighth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), at the Radisson Hotel in St. George’s, Grenada.

The opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, July 4, at the Grenada Trade Centre, and the conference will conclude on Thursday, July 6.

Mr. Stuart and his CARICOM counterparts will have a packed agenda for the upcoming summit, with Heads of Government expected to review the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and plans for its implementation among Member States. They will also be given an update on the progress towards completing the Protocol on the Refusal of Entry of Persons.

When they meet in a closed-door session, regional leaders will discuss the matter of regional security, as it relates to CARICOM’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, especially as the Caribbean attempts to grapple with terrorism and violent extremism.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

Trade Policy Experts offer solutions to issues affecting Trade in the Caribbean

Trade Policy experts Meet, June, 2017Strategies to deal with the effects of global issues affecting trade in the Caribbean were advanced at a recent meeting of international and regional stakeholders which sought to outline trade policy challenges impacting OECS and CARICOM countries and discuss the way forward.

The two-day meeting, organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), was held on 26-27 June, 2017, in Saint Lucia and convened Senior Trade Officials from OECS and CARICOM Member States; Commonwealth and CARICOM Secretariats; Ambassadors of Member States in Geneva; Regional Advisers of the Hubs and Spokes Programme; and international consultants.

Working sessions included presentations and discussions on six main topics:

  • The Caribbean Region in the Trade Slowdown: Implications for Growth and Development;
  • Connectivity and Global Value Chains: Implications for the Caribbean;
  • Strengthening Trade Multilateralism: Preparations for WTO MC11 and Beyond;
  • Emerging Issues in World Trade: Implications for the Caribbean;
  • Regional Trade Developments in the Caribbean; and
  • The Implications of Brexit for Caribbean Trade and Integration

Read more at: OECS

UK commits to closer relations with CARICOM

Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque welcomes UK High Commissioner Ms Janet Douglas

Even as the United Kingdom continues to face its fair share of challenging events, it has committed to closer relations with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

New High Commissioner of the UK to the Eastern Caribbean and CARICOM, Her Excellency Janet Douglas said on Thursday, 22 June, that her country wanted to infuse fresh vigour in its relations with the Region. She was at time presenting her Letter of Credence to CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

In the wake of the recent acts of terrorism in the UK, Ambassador LaRocque placed on record the Community’s unreserved condemnation of orchestrated attacks perpetrated against innocent civilians.

He said: “CARICOM joins its voice to that of the international community in condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  Such disruptive and vicious acts underscore the need for the international community to deepen cooperation in the battle against terrorism.”