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(CMC) – A senior official of the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat says efforts are being made to bridge the technological gap in trade.
Head of International Trade Policy at the Commonwealth, Teddy Soobramanien, speaking at a two-day consultation that ends here on Wednesday, said that the key agenda item is the findings of a 2018 Commonwealth Trade Review.
He said the review contains recommendations that are relevant to the Caribbean.
“There inevitably exists a technological gap between countries which need to be addressed. But our countries have to gear up quickly at the risk of being marginalised in this rapidly moving process. We at least, The Commonwealth and our partners, are trying to bridge this information gap by having such workshops and exchanges,” Soobramanien said.
The meeting here is being attended by government officials and trade experts from the Caribbean and is being hosted by the Commonwealth in collaboration with Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the Organisation of the Francophonie OIF).
Business Minister Dominic Gaskin said that the deliberations are relevant given the importance of international trade as a tool for development, particularly for small states.
“Our small domestic markets do not allow companies to grow beyond a certain level, and especially in manufacturing, that will make it viable to invest in technology, so we need to export in order to grow.”
Gaskin noted the Guyana government’s Green State Development Strategy (GSDS) seeks to achieve development through sound fiscal and monitory policy, green and inclusive economic diversity, sustainable management of natural resources, transitioning to renewable energy, resilient infrastructure, good governance and through trade investment and international cooperation.
“Our long-term trade and investment strategies will seek to increase access to international markets while encouraging investment in export industries,” he added.
During the meeting delegates will also explore how to harness digital trade opportunities, e-commerce and improving small medium enterprises access to markets among other trade issues.