‘Purpose fit solutions’ needed to close CSME implementation gap

“As a region we are not where we want to be with the implementation of the CSME, and as we consider the sub items on the agenda we must do so in a manner to report and achieve progress going forward.”- Chair of COTED, the Hon. Chet Greene
As Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for trade meet in Georgetown, Guyana, calls have been made to ramp up the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The Ministers are in Georgetown for the two-day Forty-Sixth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which opened on Wednesday at the CARICOM Secretariat. The CSME is one of the main agenda items of the Meeting.

Speaking at the opening session, both Chair of the Meeting, the  Hon Chet Greene, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration of Antigua and Barbuda, and Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, placed emphasis on the CSME and wanted swifter action on its implementation.

“…Article 15 section 2 (b) confers on this Council the responsibility to, “promote the development and oversee the operations of the CSME”. As a region we are not where we want to be with the implementation of the CSME, and as we consider the sub items on the agenda we must do so in a manner to report and achieve progress going forward. Certainly, the confidence of our people and our businesses within the integration process must not be shattered”, Minister Greene said.

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COTED plays crucial role in advancing integration – CARICOM SG

CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, said matters under consideration at the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) presented an opportunity to provide solutions that would advance the regional integration movement.

He was speaking on Wednesday morning at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, during the opening session of the Forty-Sixth Meeting of the COTED.


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Caribbean customs departments aim to improve business facilitation, trade

One regional association is about to turn up the pressure on Barbados and other Caribbean territories that have not yet fully implemented systems in their customs department to improve business facilitation and trade.

Officials of the revamped Caribbean Association of Customs Brokers (CACUB), say after a nine-year hiatus, the organisation has a renewed mission – to make the clearing of goods in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) more efficient and to improve the ranking in the Doing Business report.

Customs Broker Louis Forde told Barbados TODAY a “major problem” contributing to the inefficiency in customs in Barbados was the slow implementation of the ASYCUDA World system and the Electronic Single Window. ASYCUDA is a computerised customs management system, which generates trade data and covers most foreign trade procedures including accounting and customs declaration.

Forde said a major part of the delay in fully implementing the ASYCUDA World system, an upgrade to ASYCUDA, was the deferral in merging the Customs Department into the Barbados Revenue Authority over the past three years.

“That is why we have not implemented our ASYCUDA World or have other systems implemented because [of] the labour aspect. You have the will on the political side to move everyone into a revenue authority, but the staff does not want to go,” Forde told Barbados TODAY, following a recent one-day meeting of CACUB members at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) office.

Read more at: Barbados Today