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Regional Trade Officials Consult on CARICOM-Canada Trade Talks

CHRIST CHURCH, BARBADOS – The ‘CARICOM Exploratory Group on CARICOM-Canada Trade Negotiations’ met in Barbados, May 28.
The consultation was convened with a view to taking stock of deliberations between CARICOM and Canada on the scope and elements of negotiations for a CARICOM-Canada enhanced trade arrangement. Officials sought to refine positions on areas that would be under negotiation, including Services, Market Access, Agriculture, and Investment.
CARICOM countries have expressed keen interest in provisions for Services in the arrangement. Mr. Oliver Joseph, Chief Trade Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Grenada, who represented Grenada at the meeting, said “it is in Services where Grenada has the greatest potential, and stands to benefit the most”.
The meeting sought to finalize recommendations to go to the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), regarding the priorities and modalities which CARICOM will be advancing in negotiations with Canada.
The exchange of information between CARICOM and Canada will continue, as part of preparations for the commencement of negotiations.
The consultation was organized by the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (RNM). A contingent of RNM technical staff took part.
Today’s proceedings were Chaired by the Director-General of the RNM, Ambassador Dr. Richard Bernal.
CARICOM Member States represented at the meeting included: Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago. The CARICOM Secretariat was also represented.

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