Sep 24, 2022 News
– to create easier connection between regional sellers and buyers
Kaieteur News – Regional producers and persons interested in purchasing goods and services within the region, will soon be able to do so with much less effort as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) sets to launch an online market place that will allow traders from the regional bloc to access each other easier.
A statement from the regional body on Friday said that it will be launching “a major regional platform to facilitate intra-regional trade in goods and agricultural products.” The statement said that, “this CARICOM Marketplace dubbed CIMSUPRO (CARICOM Market Place and Suspension Procedure) will register suppliers and buyers of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) originating goods.”
CIMSUPRO, when populated, will create a ‘Marketplace’ that will allow regional buyers to find sellers of regionally produced goods, thereby creating the conditions for direct contact between parties, the CARICOM Secretariat informed. It noted too that the online platform has the potential for improving the efficiency of the application process for a suspension of the Common External Tariff (CET). A common external tariff is usually introduced when a group of countries forms a customs union. The same customs duties, import quotas, preferences or other non-tariff barriers to trade apply to all goods entering the area, regardless of which country within the area they are entering from.
It should be noted that there has been of recent, an energised conversation relating to the removal of trade barriers, especially since the Caribbean Bloc has embarked on a food security programme that will see the region reducing its food importation bill by 25 percent by the year 2025.
At a three-day Agri- Forum and Expo that was held here in Guyana, replicated in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago so far, conversations on removing barriers to trade remained a topical issue as Caribbean nations had vowed to purchase more from each other rather than seek their food necessities from far flung countries. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that regional leaders became worried as when they sought to purchase food from regular overseas suppliers, they were unable to do so even with money in hand. Shortages of food and other products also led to high prices because of the slowdown resulting from the pandemic. Regional leaders had pledged to create a pact for the benefit of the Caribbean bloc, and towards its quest to achieve regional food security.
Trade barriers have been a specific way in which countries, particularly their business sectors, keep goods from other countries from entering their markets. Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Keith Rowley had said that it was one way that persons with vested interests were keeping the status quo. Using his country as an example, Rowley had said that while the Trinidad Government was committed to the efforts to remove trade barriers, “Look very carefully at what is going to be said, and who is going to be saying it, and categorise them either in defense of the status quo or in support of the change that we require to put us in a better position.” Several Caribbean leaders, during the Agri Forum and Expo sought to implement dates for the removal of trade barriers.
Current Chair of CARICOM, the President of Suriname, His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi, will nonetheless give remarks and a ‘call-to-action’ before launching the online portal this Monday, September 26, 2022 at 10 am ECT or 11 am Suriname time. A brief launching ceremony will be held online and presentations are also expected from the CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett, the Suriname Minister of Economic Affairs, Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation, Honourable Rishma N. Kuldipsingh and a representative from the private sector.
CARICOM Trade Ministers had approved a proposal from the Government of Suriname to create an online tool to promote intra-regional trade. Stakeholders, especially suppliers of regionally produced goods, can access the portal and register via the following link https://www.cimsupro.com/user/register.
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