Trade Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) yesterday began discussions for cooperation with the region’s private sector during the two-day 38th Ministerial Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED).
The meeting is intended to focus on a number of critical areas including an assessment of the state of play of the negotiations with Canada for a Trade and Development agreement; progress of the Transportation Commission and the Commission on the Economy, and a special session with the business community.
Addressing the meeting during the opening, CARICOM Secretary-General, Irwin La Rocque, stated that the private sector is the key to economic growth in the region, noting that the critical role of this sector has been under discussion in CARICOM for some time. He added that this involvement would be conducive to attracting business and critical for employment and economic growth.
La Rocque also focused on other issues to be addressed during the meeting such as regional transportation. The issue seeks to address air and maritime matters, and to advise on solutions to the economic challenges that currently face the Community.
To be addressed would be the effective delivery of transportation, cost and sustainability of transportation in the Region, and the ease of travel, a Government statement said.
Regarding relations with the regional private sector, the Commission on the Economy is supported by the participation of regional institutions including the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the University of the West Indies (UWI).
“There has already been an endorsed preliminary report that covers fiscal sustainability including debt management, resource mobilisation, private sector stimulation, and transitioning to sustainable growth.”
It is expected that an interaction with the regional business leaders during the COTED meeting will see the development of strategic direction to guide the work of the Council in acknowledgement of the pivotal role the private sector plays in sustainable growth and development. The discussions are expected to elicit from the business community the requirements for production and trade, and for stimulating an environment that is conducive to the growth of the Region’s private sector, business and trade.
A team from Guyana’s Foreign Ministry is representing the country at the COTED.
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