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Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings by admin | 29 May 2006 | Release Ref #: 100/2006 | 2206

    (CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) CARICOM Secretary-General His Excellency Edwin Carrington and a team of Officials of the CARICOM Secretariat completed a three-day official visit to Suriname on Wednesday 24 May 2006, as guests of His Excellency President Runaaldo Ronald Venetiaan and his government.

    The Secretary-General and his team met with the President, Ministers of Government, and senior government officials, Vice President, H.E. Ramdien Sardjoe, Chairman of the National Assembly, H.E. Paul Somohardjo, Members of the National Assembly, and delegation from the State Council, the Suriname Chambers of Commerce, the Trade and Industry Association, the Manufactures Association of Suriname, and was the guest of a business lunch hosted by the Central Bank of Suriname, the Bankers’ Association, and the Association of Insurance Companies.

    A significant element of the Secretary-General’s mission was the inclusion of the CARICOM Technical Working Group on Governance, led by its chairman Professor Vaughn Lewis, of the University of the West Indies, and including Professor Denis Benn, also of the University of the West Indies, and Dr. Barton Scotland, Legal and Foreign Affairs specialist.

    At a special evening session, the Secretary-General responded to in-depth and insightful questioning from students of the University of Suriname, Institute of international Relations, Non governmental organisations and other parties interested in CARICOM issues.

    In the initial meeting with President Venetiaan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lygia Kraag Keteldijk, Minister of Trade and Industry, H.E. Clifford Marica, 0fficials to the Cabinet of the President and of both Ministries, the Secretary-General described participation in the CARICOM Single Market as “the way forward for the Caribbean Community”.

    On 1 January, Suriname was one of the six original members of the CARICOM Single Market, along with Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

    Suriname has confirmed its policy of non-discrimination in relation to CARICOM Nationals and their right to enter, live and work. Suriname is also the first CARICOM Member State to issue a CARICOM passport.

    Significant announcements during the visit include the siting of the CARICOM Competition Commission in Paramaribo by mid-2007 and the proposed establishment of a CARICOM Institute of Translation and Interpretation, also in Suriname.