Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)COTEDCSMEGuyanaInstitutions within the CommunityMemberPress ReleasesTrade


The Fifth Meeting of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Council For Trade and Economic Development (COTED) begins in Georgetown, Guyana on Thursday.

Ministers, mainly those with responsibility for Trade, will discuss an agenda dominated by matters related to the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSM&E) as well as External Trade and Economic Relations. COTED promotes trade and economic development of the Community and oversees the operations of the CSM&E. From last Monday officials from the 14 Member States and the institutions of the Community have been meeting at the CARICOM Secretariat’s headquarters in Georgetown to pave the way for the ministerial sessions.

Chief among the topics has been the consideration of Protocols IV (Trade Policy), VI (Transportation Policy), VII (Disadvantaged Countries, Regions and Sectors) and IX (Rules of Competition). These are four of the nine Protocols amending the Treaty of Chaguaramas which established CARICOM.

Protocol I (Organs and Institutions) has already been implemented while Protocol II (Rights of Establishment, Provision of Services and Movement of Capital) has been provisionally applied. Protocols III (Industrial Policy) and V (Agricultural Policy) have been signed.. Protocol VIII relates to Disputes Settlement. It is expected that all the Protocols will be completed and signed by July 1999 enabling the establishment of the Single Market and Economy in the year 2000.

Matters relating to enhancing enterprise competitiveness in the Region as well as the status of implementation of decisions regarding the free movement of university graduates, journalists, sports persons, artistes and musicians and progress in making the Agreement on Social Security operational will also be discussed. These issues are an integral part of the arrangements for the Single Market and Economy.

With respect to External Trade and Economic Relations, the Ministers will be updated on the status of the CARICOM/Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. They will also review action to implement the Protocol Amending the Agreement on Trade, Economic and Technical Co-operation between CARICOM and Colombia as well as receive a report on the second meeting of the Caribbean/United States Joint Committee on Finance, Development and Environmental Issues and discuss trade liberalisation issues particularly in respect of the World Trade Organisation.

At the three-day meeting Ministers will also consider matters with respect to Sustainable Development, Agriculture, the Industrial Sector, with emphasis on the restructuring of the Caribbean Common Market Standards Council (CCMSC), the Common External Tariff and the Services Sector. At a meeting in Georgetown last week a committee finalised the draft of an agreement which would put in place a new juridically independent standards body to replace the CCMSC. The new institution will be called the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ).

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