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PRESS RELEASE – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for Trade began a two-day Meeting on Thursday against the background of greater urgency being attached to consolidating the Community’s gains under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Addressing the Opening ceremony of the 40th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Thursday morning at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque placed emphasis on the progress being made on the CSME in the face of challenges the Community continued to face as a result of the volatile global economic environment.
In our ceaseless efforts to boost our growth and economic prospects, utilising the provisions of the CSME to its fullest, provides us with the best option. It would allow us to exploit the full potential of our human resources as our skilled personnel move freely throughout the Community.
The easier movement of capital would help to generate much needed investment. Our trade in goods and services can only be enhanced by the removal of whatever restrictions still remain,” he told the Ministers.
Secretary-General LaRocque also referred to the Secretariat’s continuing quest to improve the efficiency of the CSME systems and processes via the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project, funded by the Canada.
The project aims at improving the operational effectiveness of the Single Market as well as the acces of nationals to their rights under the regimes of the Single Market.
That project would transform and harmonise the administrative practices and procedures under the five regimes of the CSME, and would also provide for the application of web-based technology.
Once this Council takes the necessary decisions, those seeking skills certificates, for example, would be able to do so online in any Member State. The programme has the added bonus of furthering e-government processes in Member States,” Ambassador LaRocque said.
Matters related to the CARICOM Single Market are among the key agenda items the Ministers will consider.