Harmonised procedures necessary for full economic integration – CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General tells customs officials

Harmonised approaches to conducting trade across borders in the Caribbean, and effective customs valuation, are among the steps that must be taken towards full economic integration within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox, said on Monday that harmonised laws, procedures and best practices would increase the predictability with intra-regional movement of goods under the CARICOM Single Market and within the context of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

He was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of a three-day regional workshop targetting Customs officials from across Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) member states. The workshop on the Single Administrative Document (SAD) and Customs Valuation, is aimed at building capacity in CARIFORUM. The sessions are being held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

The Workshop is being facilitated by Mr. Paul Hilaire, Team Leader, and Mr. Martin Wilde, Customs expert and is part of a Project under the ACP TradeCom II Programme funded by the European Union. It has as one of its outcomes, the development of a regional SAD pursuant to Chapter 4 of the EPA, and capacity-building, which requires the promotion of regional integration, and the progressive development of systems to facilitate the electronic exchange of data among traders, customs administrators and related agencies and the implementation of a CARIFORUM SAD.

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CARICOM banks on excellent relations with UK, EU

The vote by the people of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU) notwithstanding, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) reposes confidence in the excellent relations it shares with both parties.

At a press conference at the conclusion of the 37th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on Wednesday night, Prime Minister of Dominica, the Hon Roosevelt Skerrit, Chair of the Community, stressed the importance of those relations and said that the Community would await the outcome of the negotiations of Britain’s exit from the EU.

He was supported in his comments by President of Guyana, His Excellency Brigadier David Granger, Conference co-host, with whom he shared the press conference. The implications of BREXIT for the community was discussed although taht situatoib unfolds daily, we are confident that UK and EU Will remain strong and valued partners of the Caribbean Community, he said.

The Heads of Government received an extensive briefing document from the CARICOM Secretariat on BREXIT and held discussion on the matter on Wednesday. (more…)

Much to celebrate, many opportunities in changing world – SVG PM

PM Gonsalves on BREXIT from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (right)  in good spirits with President Desi Bouterse of Suriname (left) and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados
MUCH TO CELEBRATE: Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (right) in good spirits with President Desi Bouterse of Suriname (left) and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon Ralph Gonsalves, struck an optimistic note on Monday and said there was much to celebrate and many opportunities for the Caribbean in a changing world.

In remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the Thirty-Seventh Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, Guyana, the Prime Minister warned the 43-year-old Community not to don “sack cloth and ashes and denounce our immense achievements over the last decades.

Prime Minister Gonsalves noted a certain “sense of pessimism – a species of learned helplessness” enveloping the Region, which the Community must guard against.

He opined that the authors of those opinions did not point out the progress made in integration, and did not take into account the Region’s strengths and possibilities and what were the objectives of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. (more…)

Canadian envoy commends CARICOM Single Market

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Canadian high commissioner to Jamaica, Robert Ready, has commended Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states on the significant advances made in the CARICOM Single Market, including the liberalization of the market for services and the free movement of goods and movement of skills.

Canadian High Commission to Jamaica, His Excellency Robert Ready (Photo via Caribbean News Now)
Canadian High Commission to Jamaica, His Excellency Robert Ready (Photo via Caribbean News Now)

Ready was addressing media workers and government officials during the opening ceremony of a CARICOM Single Market media workshop on March 20 in Kingston, Jamaica. The workshop, one of several activities that fall under the CSM Information Flows project is funded by the government of Canada through the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project (CTCP).

The high commissioner noted that substantial support for the Single Market had come through the Canadian-funded CTCP to assist member states in putting administrative and regulatory systems for the Single Market in place to ensure each and every Caribbean national can benefit from the free movement of goods, services, labour and capital within the region.

Read more at: Caribbean News Now