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Caribbean News Desk: Caricom laying ground-work to reopen trade pact talks with Canada

Caricom Secretary General, Irwin La Rocque addressing the opening of Council for Trade and Economic Development (Caricom photo)

Caribbean Trade Ministers have agreed to set up a committee to examine ways of closing the gaps in a proposed trade agreement with Canada and so revive negotiations.

Canada had set a June 30 deadline but Caricom is yet to reach consensus on the proposed agreement.

Sources said Caricom’s Ministerial Council for Trade and Economic Development agreed that political representatives from Guyana, Belize, Haiti, Jamaica and the sub-regional Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) would meet to discuss outstanding issues for the trade accord.

Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett tells Caribbean News Desk that the region would not return to the negotiating table with Canada unless concerns by a number of member-states are addressed.

Canada and Caricom in 2001 recognized the need to negotiate a Trade and Development Agreement that is compatible with World Trade Organisation rules.  The new trade accord will replace the Caribbean-Canada Trade Agreement that was established in the 1980s.

You can listen to the Friday, November 7, 2014 edition of Caribbean News Desk by downloading the programme from this link https://www.dropbox.com/s/fu08q87lz2ow3z9/caribnews_07_nov_2014.MP3?dl=0 

Also in today’s programme…

Caricom moves  to revive a talks with Canada on a trade and  development pact

Jamaican cane farmers told not to abuse loans

Guyana’s Opposition Leader wants the ruling party in a power-sharing arrangement, but suspected criminals must stay out

Anguilla reopens iconic hotel

The British Virgin Islands is expanding its port

Venezuela plans to keep oil production at 3 million barrels per day