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September 13, 2013

31st Meeting of CARICOM Council of Trade and Economic Development


The Thirty-First meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development COTED was convened in Guyana on 1st December, 2010 with Antigua and Barbuda as Chair of the organ of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Senator Hon. Joanne Massiah, Minister of State within the Ministry of Legal Affairs, represented the Hon. Harold Lovell, the substantive Minister of Trade in the Chair of the two-day meeting at the Princess Hotel, Providence, East Bank Demerara, Guyana.

It was also the second time in the same year that Antigua and Barbuda chaired the COTED. Earlier this year, Minister Massiah chaired the meeting in the absence of her colleague Ministers from Trinidad and Tobago who was awaiting taking the oath of Office following the change of Government after the General Elections. However, on this occasion in conformity with the Rules of Procedure and the rotation of the Chairmanship of the Council, Antigua & Barbuda was appointed to the Chair.

It was also the last occasion that Sir Edwin Carrington, CARICOM Secretary General will be exchanging views with the Ministers at the Council from across the Community prior to his demitting Office at the end of the year.

Among the items on the 19 point Agenda being considered are the activities towards the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, including update on the 10th EDF Caribbean Regional Indicative Programmes (CRIP) with a component for financing implementation regionally and nationally.

The Ministerial session of the COTED was preceded by two days of deliberations by officials of Member States in the conference room at the headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, under the Chairmanship of Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry – Trade Coordinator and National Authorizing Officer, EDF, of Antigua and Barbuda. The other members of Antigua and Barbuda’s delegation were Ms Barbara Williams – Coordinator and Ms Alana Benjamin – Customs and Trade Officer of the recently established Antigua & Barbuda EPA Implementation Unit within the Office of the NAO.

On the margins of the COTED meeting, the members of the Antigua & Barbuda EPA Implementation Unit meet with members of the Regional EPA Implementation Unit to discuss areas of collaboration within their respective work programmes. Specifically, priority areas for implementation, public education initiatives and national technical assistance needs were discussed in detail. As a result, a plan of action in terms of way forward was crafted for the upcoming months.

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