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.

New CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General makes familarisation visits

New CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General for Trade and Economic Integration (TEI) Mr. Joseph Cox visited key Institutions and Departments during a visit to Barbados. Mr. Cox, a Jamaican, joined the management team at the CARICOM Secretariat at the start of this month.

ASG Cox (3rd from right) paid a courtesy call on the President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Mr. Warren Smith (3rd from left). Others in the photo (from left) Lilia Ramjeawan, Special Assistant to the ASG-TEI; Desiree Field-Ridley, Advisor Single Market and Sectoral Programme, CARICOM Secretariat; Gladys Young, CSME Unit; Ian Durant, Deputy Director, Economics Department, CDB.

ASG Cox also visited Compete Caribbean, a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. (From left) Ms. Ramjeawan; Joel Branski, IDB Representative in Barbados: Ms. Field-Ridley; ASG Cox; Ms. Sylvia Dohnert, Executive Director of the Compete Caribbean Program and Michael Hennessey, Operations Coordinator, Compete Caribbean.TEI_ASG TEI WITH THE CSME UNIT TEAM
The ASG also met with the team at the CSME Unit in Barbados