• Login
  • / CARICOM Song /
  • Webmail /


Posted in: Press Releases by admin | 16 June 2000 | Release Ref #: 72/2000 | 3160

    Delegates attending the Ninth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), have been encouraged to use the opportunity to assess the progress towards establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the flagship programme of the regional integration movement, at this critical juncture of the Community's future development.

    In addressing the opening session this morning, Barbados' Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ms. Billie Miller, stated that establishing the CSME should continue to be the number one priority of the Community, if CARICOM is to provide the required responses to global economic and trade challenges facing the Region.

    "We are confronted with the serious challenges of discharging our obligations under the WTO (World Trade Organisation)," Ms Miller noted. "We are also confronted with the challenge of participation in the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). And, we ought not to forget the challenge that awaits us with Europe. The critical point to note here is that in all of these expected new relationships, reciprocity will be the underlying factor."

    The Barbados Deputy Prime Minister therefore urged the COTED delegates to "take stock" of the regional integration movement, while committing themselves to the timely achievement of the CSME.

    In his remarks, CARICOM Secretary-General Mr. Edwin Carrington emphasised the importance of the Meeting as it addresses issues affecting the lives of Caribbean people.

    The two-day Meeting is focusing on matters of Agriculture, Trade in Services, External Negotiations, Human Resource Development, among other things.  Mr. Carrington also welcomed the new Chairman of COTED, the Hon. Ralph Fonseca, the Minister for Investment and Trade in Belize.  Mr. Fonseca underscored the importance of the Meeting, and called on delegates to settle any contentious issues facing the Community in a spirit of unity.

    "No less is expected in a competitive world," declared Mr. Fonseca.

    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