Time for deliberate, impactful action – COTED Chairman

Chairman of COTED, Minister Chet Greene (centre), Dr. Richard Brown, (r), and ASG Joseph Cox
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Chairman of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), the Hon. Chet Greene, said that Ministers had to provide clear recommendations for follow up actions on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Mr. Greene, the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, gave the charge during brief remarks at the opening session of the Seventy-Fourth Special Meeting of the COTED. The Meeting on Thursday 14 June, 2018, is  anchored at the Georgetown Marriott Hotel, with some delegates joining virtually.

The one-day Meeting is being held to resolve some matters from the Agenda of the Forty-Six Meeting of the COTED last month, and follows the Stakeholder Consultation on the CSME which was held in Georgetown a week ago, 8-9 June, 2018.

“Colleagues, following the recent CSME Stakeholders consultation, this Council is being called upon to reflect on the recommendations to ensure collective, responsive and timely action both at the regional and national levels to address the CSME implementation gaps”, Minister Greene said.

He added that implementation – which was a major concern at the Consultation – had to take into consideration the global economy, the new and emerging realities of the region such as climate change, continuing economic challenges, fiscal reform, and de-risking. Those challenges, he said, had placed significant pressures on national structures and on the CSME framework.

“Therefore, we must not overlook the criticisms of the CSME, including calls to relook its implementation agenda, to determine the CSME’s effectiveness as part of the response to the socio-economic challenges facing the region,”he said.

“The time for deliberate, precise and impactful action is now, the Community demands it”, the Chairman added.

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