ITC and Caribbean region discuss future projects
The International Trade Centre and the Caribbean region reaffirmed their commitments of working in partnership in a meeting held within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Eighth Ministerial Conference. ‘We already enjoy a good relationship with the Caribbean and are looking to now increase our partnerships in some specific ways,’ said Patricia R. Francis, Executive Director of ITC.
Ms. Francis told the attendees, including representatives from Caribbean nations as well as from CARICOM and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), that ITC is working in the region on issues of national export strategy development, strengthening trade support institutions (TSIs) and building partnerships between the public and private sectors.
Looking ahead to 2012, ITC is seeking to work with the Caribbean region in three specific ways. First, through the Ethical Fashion Programme, which is being expanded from Africa to Haiti, the Caribbean region’s only least developed country. The second area of work is a benchmarking programme scheme for TSIs which ITC would like to conduct regionally with the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
And third, ITC is seeking a partner in the region to conduct a survey on non-tariff measures (NTMs). The NTM survey would be similar to those facilitated by ITC in other countries, but would specifically look at barriers faced in trade in services. Mr. Anders Aero, Director of ITC’s Division of Market Development, emphasized that the survey is a collaborative process, and would be undertaken by partners trained by ITC, adding, ‘It is a means to an end, allowing the private sector to benchmark where they are, what need to be done and then moving towards the public-private partnerships to address the needs.’
The Honorable Stephen Cadiz, Minister of Trade Trinidad and Tobego, thanked ITC for its work in the Caribbean and welcomed new initiatives and reaffirming CARICOM’s commitment, saying, ‘There’s an awful lot of work to be done, and we hope ITC sees a renewed ways of doing things from CARICOM.’