The regulatory framework for Professional Services in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was one of the topics discussed at a recent meeting in St. George’s of the National Trade Policy Coordinating Committee. Another topic discussed was titled, “Rum – The Threat to Exports from the Caribbean.’’
The National Trade Policy Coordinating Committee is an advisory body set up by the Ministry of Environment, Foreign Trade and Export Development to provide inputs from key players in the development of policies with respect to trade and export. The committee comprises representatives from government ministries and statutory bodies, private sector, non-governmental organisations and other trade groups.
The meeting was chaired by Hon. Joseph Gilbert, Minister for Trade and Export Development who updated members on the involvement of Grenada on regional and international trade issues in preparation for the Thirty-third meeting of the Council on Trade and Economic Development (COTED).
Minister Gilbert and Senior Trade Officer, Khalil Lewis-Smith, are currently attending the COTED meeting in Guyana, which ends November 19. The agenda includes the approval for the establishment of a policy and regulatory framework related to the movement of professional services within CARICOM. The COTED has given priority to seven professional service sectors that include finance; information and communication; tourism; education; health and wellness; and recreation, culture and sports.
Another major issue on the agenda of the Guyana meeting is the threat to the rum industry in the Caribbean. Grenada and other CARICOM countries have expressed concern with the possible effects on rum production in the region by new developments in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) and Puerto Rico.
Grenada and other CARICOM countries are concerned that the injection of additional funds to the rum industry of these two islands has the potential to threaten the health – and perhaps survival – of the Caribbean’s rum industry.