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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC – The Caribbean Community (Caricom) grouping has reiterated its support for the World Trade Organization (WTO) amid growing concerns to the multilateral trading system.
The Guyana-based Caricom Secretariat yesterday said the region’s trade and economic affairs ministers at their meeting here last week “reiterated the Caribbean Community’s support for the rules-based, multilateral trading system embodied in the WTO”.
It said the ministers who met during the 47th meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), viewed with great concern the growing threats to the multilateral trading system.
“In particular, they noted that the issue of WTO reform was being discussed in various quarters and that there were a number of proposals on the table which have largely been advanced by developed countries.
“In light of the importance of the issues to the WTO as a whole and to the global multilateral trading system, they called for inclusive, transparent discussions involving all WTO members,” the statement said.
It added that the ministers “emphasised the need to include small developing countries in these discussions to ensure their interests are secured and to preserve and strengthen the long-established principles, including technical assistance and capacity building, special and differential treatment and the recognition of the concept of small and vulnerable economies.
“They stressed that these are all linked to the sustainable development and successful integration of Caricom member states into the global economy,” the statement added.
The highlight of the meeting here were the discussions on the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) ahead of the special Caricom summit to be held in Trinidad early next month. The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, services, labour and skills among the 15-member regional grouping.