COTED Statement on the World Trade Organisation
CARICOM Trade Ministers, meeting in Georgetown, Guyana, on 15 and 16 November 2018, at the Forty-Seventh Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), re-iterated the Caribbean Community’s support for the rules-based, multilateral trading system embodied in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
They viewed with great concern the growing threats to the multilateral trading system. In particular, they noted that the issue of WTO reform was being discussed in various quarters and that there were a number of proposals on the table which have largely been advanced by developed countries. In light of the importance of the issues to the WTO as a whole and to the global multi-lateral trading system, they called for inclusive, transparent discussions involving all WTO members.
They emphasised the need to include small developing countries in these discussions to ensure their interests are secured and to preserve and strengthen the long-established principles, including Technical Assistance and Capacity Building (TACB), Special and Differential Treatment and the recognition of the concept of Small and Vulnerable Economies. They stressed that these are all linked to the sustainable development and successful integration of CARICOM Member States into the global economy.