COTEDPress Releases


A range of matters including progress towards the implementation of a CARICOM Single Market and Economy, and the Regional Transformation Programme for agriculture are among items on the agenda of the Sixth Meeting of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which got underway on 4 June, 1999 in Georgetown, Guyana.

The two-day meeting which is being held at the Secretariat’s headquarters in Georgetown, Guyana will also look at external negotiations, the establishment of a new standards body, and trade matters which have arisen among Member States.

Speaking at the opening of the meeting CARICOM Secretary General Edwin Carrington underscored the importance of agriculture in the Region pointing to its critical role in economic development. Mr. Carrington noted the concern by Regional Heads of Government about the slow progress towards the implementation of a Regional Transformation Programme for Agriculture, and expressed optimism that this COTED meeting will give the desired impetus and fillip to accelerate the process and develop the programme.

Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture, Reepu Daman Persaud welcomed the delegates, and noted the timeliness in having agriculture feature prominently on the meeting’s agenda. He reassured the meeting of his country’s commitment to the regional integration process, and expressed optimism that the standards for rice be approved at this meeting.

The meeting is being chaired by Dr. Reeza Mohammed, Minister of Agriculture, Land, and Marine Resources of Trinidad and Tobago.

Regional Ministers responsible for Trade, Agriculture and or Economic matters will apart from deliberating on the implementation of the Regional Transformation Programme for Agriculture, they will examine proposals, recommendations, and studies for agri-business development. Marketing, Fisheries, Forestry Development, and other support areas such as agricultural policy, technology generation, validation and transfer will be discussed.

The Ministers will look at the time-frame for the completion of the remaining Protocols amending the Treaty of Chaguaramas. Protocols I, II, III, and V have already been signed, and it is expected that the remaining Protocols will be signed by the year 2000.

Haiti’s membership of the Caribbean Community, trade agreements with third countries, particularly the Dominican Republic, and the issue of the European Union’s banana import regime are also significant items on the agenda.

Under trade, progress on the implementation of programmes for the reduction of the Common External Tariff (CET), and of the revised structure of the CET will be addressed by participants.

This COTED, and the Legal Affairs Committee meeting currently in session in Grenada are the last Ministerial Council meetings leading up to that of the Community Council on 11-12 June,1999 in Guyana, and the 20th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Community on 4-7 July, 1999 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Show More
Back to top button