CARICOM trade ministers to meet this week

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Officials with responsibility for trade in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday morning began deliberations in preparation for the thirty-first ministerial meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), which opens in Georgetown, Guyana, on 2 December 2010.

Trade ministers have on the agenda of their two-day meeting a wide range of issues, including those related to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), agricultural trade, trade in goods and external economic and trade relations.

Among the matters the meeting will consider under agricultural trade, are a proposal by Haiti for non-reciprocal preferential access to the regional market for some goods for a period of three years, and an update on the Caribbean Agricultural Health and Food Safety Agency (CAHFSA), which was launched in Suriname earlier this year.

The COTED will discuss developments related to the CARICOM-United States Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) as well as the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). With regard to the latter, deliberations will centre on the activities that have been undertaken to implement the EPA.

Other issues ministers will pay attention to include services, a permanent headquarters for the Caribbean aviation safety and security oversight system (CASSOS) and matters related to the inter-governmental task force for treaty revision.

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