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CARICOM decision promotes industry in less developed nations

By Anicia Antoine, GIS

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(GIS) – Article 164 of the Treaty of Chaguaramas seeks to promote industrial development in the less developed countries of CARICOM, including Saint Lucia.

In accordance with a decision made at the 74th special meeting of CARICOM Council for Trade and Development, the Ministry of Commerce has informed that in January 2020, the tariff rates on selected items from more developed countries coming to less developed countries will be adjusted upwards.

Dr. Thomas Samuel, Director of International Trade at the Ministry of Commerce, said the tariffs will help regionally produced goods gain a competitive advantage. He noted that Saint Lucia is amongst countries that are required to suspend the original treaty agreement and apply the approved rates on classified goods until December 2028, except for curry, pasta, and powder which expires on December 2023.

Cosbert Woods, Programme Officer at the OECS Commission explained that various interventions will be undertaken to enhance capacity and develop the skillset and standards of the businesses in less developed countries to increase their competitiveness. Under the new agreement, imports of selected items from CARICOM and countries of the OECS, Haiti, and Belize will benefit from community origin treatment and will attract a tariff rate of zero percent.

All less developed countries have formally lent their support to the revised agreement of Article 164.

View the GIS ‘Interview’ program on Article 164:

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