Antigua and Barbuda Trade Minister E.P Chet Greene has underscored the critical
role that trade plays in the economies of the small, highly open and vulnerable
island developing states that comprise the OECS.
Greene observed on Tuesday during his remarks at the opening of the 5 th Meeting
of the Council of Ministers of Trade now taking place in Castries, St. Lucia.
“The formulation, development, and implementation of a fit-for-purpose trade
policy is a critical function of all our states. A key component of our trade policy
is the coordination and harmonisation of strategies and work plans at the sub-
regional level,” Greene stated.
He reminded his colleagues that at the 4 th meeting last year, they took decisions
that were aimed at strengthening the trade policy coordinating mechanisms and
frameworks within the OECS. “In this regard, we endorsed the establishment of an
OECS Trade Policy Committee and recommended elements of the six-year OECS
Regional Private Sector Trade Facilitation and Engagement Strategy. I believe that
the full realisation of these decisions will improve our coordinating and
consultative capacity to bring sound analysis and recommendations to the Council
for decision making,” he observed.
Trade Minister Greene also spoke about the significant role that the OECS
Commission plays in this process. “Strengthening the capacity of the OECS
Commission to assess, evaluate, represent, and advance the trade policy interests of
Member States, cannot be overlooked,” he emphasised.
The Antigua and Barbuda Trade minister also reported to the meeting about the
OECS’ participation in the World Trade Organisation’s recent meeting in Geneva,
where he led the OECS team as they presented their reports to the world body. A
report of that engagement is among matters down for discussion at the St. Lucia
Trace Coordinator, Dr. Clarence Henry, is accompanying Minister Greene at the