Hub and Spokes Programme: providing critical Trade Support to Caribbean economies

Georgetown, Guyana (April 23, 2018) – Caribbean development partners and beneficiaries of the Hub and Spokes Programme, an aid-for-trade initiative, began a three-day regional planning workshop (April 23 – 25), with appreciation of the programmes tangible impact on the ground. The workshop is being held at the Guyana Marriott Hotel Georgetown, Guyana.

Caribbean Country beneficiaries and Advisers will work to develop a new framework that is likely to govern the implementation and management of a successor Programme. The proposed framework will aim to support sustainable and inclusive development through technical assistance and capacity-building in international trade.

The Hub and Spokes programme is a multi-donor aid-for-trade initiative of the European Union, the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP) Group Secretariat, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF). Its current implementation phase in the regions ends in August 2018.

With the current programme coming to an end, the Regional Planning Meeting proposed that a successor programme should build upon current best practice and incorporate new and emerging trade-related issues into a future work programme. The framework should also be localised into the Caribbean context, to capture and contribute to regional priorities relating to trade and development. (more…)

UPDATE: Ensure average person benefits from progress in energy – COTED Chair

Regional Ministers of Energy on Thursday met at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and were charged to ensure that the progress that the sector is registering is felt by the average Caribbean person.

Barbados Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator the Hon. Darcy Boyce chaired the one-day 73rd Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Energy, and expressed satisfaction with the progress the Region was making on the energy front.

However, he cautioned that the benefits of those efforts that are being taken filter to the average Caribbean person.

“We also have to make ensure that the benefits of the work that we are doing in energy efficiency and renewable energy redound to the benefit of the average consumer, in the homes, in the businesses of our countries”, he said.

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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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Keron Bruce tops Energy Photograph and Art Competition again

Guyanese photographer Keron Bruce is encouraging others in his field to be serious about their work and become more competitive so as to reap the benefits.

He knows what he’s talking about! He has twice copped the first prize in the Region-wide 2016 CARICOM Energy Month Professional Photograph and Art Competition. CARICOM Energy Month is held each year in November. In addition to topping the photography field twice, he also placed third in the video competition that was held also as a part of CARICOM Energy Month.

Mr. Bruce threw out the challenge to youth on Wednesday 25 May, 2017, after he collected his US$3000 first prize and Beats Headphones third prize at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana. The prizes were presented by Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox, in the presence of Programme Manager, Energy at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr. Devon Gardner, Mr. Glynn Morris of the GIZ Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Programme, and other Energy officials. (more…)

Ministers green-light Single ICT Space Integrated Work Plan

Special COTED ICT 19 May 2017 from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.

“The work on the Single ICT space forces us to collaborate like never before as Ministers, policy-makers, officials and civil society, if we are going to succeed and advance as a Region.” Chair of COTED ICT, the Hon. Ferdinand Welzijn
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Friday, 19 May, 2017, approved the Integrated Work Plan for the Community’s Single ICT Space.

The approval came during discussions at the Sixty-Eighth Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on ICT. The Virtual Meeting was anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana.

The Single ICT Space is conceptualised as the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Region’s flagship programme. It encompasses the management of Regional information, human resources, legislation and infrastructure in the sector to elicit maximum benefit for the Region’s populace.

The Single ICT space and the Region’s Digital Agenda 2025 are premised on the Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDDS) which was approved in 2013, and will also have inputs from key regional Commissions and the Post-2015 Agenda.

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