Work together to achieve bigger goal – Chair of COTED
Posted in: Press Releases | 17 November 2016 | 522
The time is ripe for the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to “really bring economic trade and development to the Region” through public-private partnerships and strengthened institutional relationships within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
These were the views Her Excellency Sieglien Burleson, Minister of Trade and Industry of Suriname, and Chair of the Forty-Third Meeting of COTED, expressed on Thursday at the Princess Ramada Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana, where the two-day meeting is being held.
The Community, she told the Ministers responsible for regional trade and other delegates, needed to be more productive and competitive and transform its economic base.
But she zoned in on unsolved, long-standing issues on the COTED’s agenda and pointed out that “we cannot afford to have issues like the refusal of market access or burdensome administrative procedures in place between each other”.
“Let us work together to achieve a bigger goal,” she entreated delegates.
She added that there were important issues on the table that would support growth and development. Decisions had to be taken that could determine the way forward for trade negotiations.
Mr. Joseph Cox, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, also addressed the opening ceremony. He stressed the need for faster decision-making and the implementation of commitments that were made.
Referring to the transformation of the global economic landscape, he said:
“…our work is cut out for us, and our task is to ensure that all our actions are pragmatic and strategic, and all the structures that we create are economically prudent and responsive to the wishes of the people of the Community. We must continue to build a robust trade and economic environment in which innovation is encouraged, and where benefits are distributed equitably.
“If we can do this, we will have created a durable vehicle for our growth and development.
Among the key items the Ministers will deal with with at the Meeting are the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), trade in goods, trade in agriculture, external economic relations. Discussions on the CSME are expected to feed into the review of the regional flagship programme that Heads of Government mandated at their conference in July 2016. The review is to be tabled at the intersessional meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in February 2017.
Two health related matters – a regulatory system for medicines and inter-sectoral action against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – are also on the agenda.
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