Ministers and delegates attending the Fourth Regular Meeting of the OECS Ministers of Trade are meeting in St. John’s over the next two days to discuss important trade issues affecting the group, the Caribbean and beyond.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Trade Minister, E. P. Chet Greene, as host, will deliver the feature address today at the Royalton Resort, venue of the meeting.
The outgoing chairman of the conference, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Trade Minister, Keisal Melissa Peters will debrief the meeting on the opening.
Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules, will also speak at the opening ceremony.
One of the main topics to be discussed involves the strengthening of the OECS Trade Policy Coordination.
Under this item, the Council will deliberate four subtopics related to the strengthening of trade policy coordination in the OECS.
Under the Revised Treaty of Basseterre establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Economic Union, Member States committed to coordinating, harmonising, and undertaking joint policy actions and pursuing joint policies in a number of areas in or related to trade policy.
The Council will also consider establishing National and OECS Trade Policy Committees. A conference document said this proposal was presented to the Meeting of Senior Trade Officials on August 16, 2022.
This meeting of officials will report on their review and consultations and make recommendations to the ministers for endorsement to establish an OECS Trade Policy Committee (TPC) to succeed the TNG and to the establishment or designation of National Trade Policy Committees (NTPCs) in each Member State.
The trade ministers will also discuss implementing a Private Sector Trade Facilitation and Engagement Strategy.
The conference document said the OECS Commission with support under the ACP TradeCom II programme has sought to develop an Integrated Regional OECS Private Sector Trade Facilitation and Engagement Strategy to broaden and deepen the holistic encouragement of the private sector in advancing strategic solutions that lower transaction costs and improve the capacity of the OECS private sector.