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Caribbean to launch Aid for Trade Strategy

Haitian President Michel Martelly

The 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) will launch the Caribbean Regional Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti next Tuesday, the Guyana-based regional headquarters said in a statement.

Michel Martelly, the President of Haiti and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), will be joined by Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Pascal Lamy and Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the ceremony on Tuesday morning. President Martelly will deliver the feature address with Mr Lamy and Ambassador LaRocque as well as the Wilson Laleau, Minister of Trade and Industry of Haiti making remarks.

Aid for Trade refers to the flow of development finance from developed countries and multilateral funding agencies to developing countries to enhance their participation in the multilateral trading system. The Caribbean Strategy, which was developed with the assistance of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), aims to create consensus within CARICOM on priorities for ensuring growth and a more diversified regional economy. It presents a coherent approach to obtaining funding and provides a framework for collaboration among CARICOM Member States and international development partners (IDPs) or investors with an interest in providing support for the Region’s development.

The IDB, along with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the WTO and the Caribbean Export Development Agency all have collaborated with the CARICOM Secretariat for Tuesday’s Launch under the theme “Turning Market Access Into Market Presence”.

The programme for the Launchincludes two panel discussions following the speeches. The first is entitled “Consideration of the key elements of the Regional AfT Strategy,” and will draw on presenters from the CARICOM and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Secretariats as well as the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), the WTO and the Geneva-based International Trade Centre (ITC). The second panel will look at “Moving from Strategy to Reality” and will feature participants from the IDB, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Trade Mark of Southern Africa, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Caribbean Export Development Agency, and the European Union (EU).