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CARICOM 48th COTED opens: Takeaways from Secretary-General’s Remarks

Posted in: Press Releases by volderine | 30 April 2019 | 2791

    CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the opening of the 48th COTED Meeting
    CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the opening of the 48th COTED Meeting

    Ambassador Irwin  LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, delivered  remarks at the opening  of the Forty-Eighth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development  (COTED) taking place  from 29 to 30 April 2019,  in Georgetown. Guyana.

     Following are some takeaways from the Secretary-General’s remarks:

    An urgency to complete the agreed measures and make the CSME a lived reality for our citizens, has been the hallmark of the recent discussions among our Heads of Government.  As the Council tasked under the Revised Treaty to “promote the development and oversee the operation of the CSME” you have a pivotal role to play in ensuring that we accomplish the goals in that regard.

    A fundamental element of the Single Market is the Trade in Goods. A review of the Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin, the Community’s two major trade policy instruments, has been undertaken to assist in increasing the effectiveness of the Trade-in-Goods Regime. It aims to bring those instruments up to date, given the changes to our production structures that have taken place since they were first drafted. 

    Our small economies face a number of challenges, which we have to confront head on.  Nevertheless, we continue to demonstrate to the world that a group of small and vulnerable economies can make progress on the basis of joint commitments to human and economic development.  Small size should not in itself be a hindrance to progress. What matters is the extent to which we continue to develop our human capital, foster innovation within our economies, and present ourselves to the outside world as a Region that is welcoming to international partnerships and investment.

    Completing our internal market and economic arrangements will allow us to engage more effectively as a unit with our international trading partners.   We have been active in that arena, with most notably ensuring that our trading relationship with the United Kingdom will remain essentially the same when that country leaves the European Union. To that end at the CARIFORUM level, we have concluded and signed the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement. The agreement is designed to ensure continued preferential access to UK markets and safeguards current and future trade flow between the countries of the Region and the UK.


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    CSME stands for CARICOM Single MARKET & Economy.

    The CSME Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat is the implementation office which assists the Member States in fulfilling the requirements of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

    Learn more