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Canadian official hails Caricom

- Says community must take rightful place in int’l trade blocs
From left: Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Arnaldo Brown; Senior technical officer of the Caribbean Single Market Economy Unit at the Caribbeab Community Secretariat, Wanya Iles; Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica Robert Ready; and Marcia Thomas, under secretary for foreign trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade review the contents of a booklet at the recently held Caricom Single Market media workshop in Kingston. Photo: Jamaica Observer

Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica Robert Ready has commended Caricom member states on the advances made with respect to the Caricom Single Market, including the liberalisation of the market for services, the free movement of goods and the movement of skills.

Addressing media workers and representatives of the Government of Jamaica at the opening of a Caricom Single Market media workshop in Kingston on March 20, the high commissioner noted that substantial support for the Single Market had come through the Caricom Trade and Competitiveness Project, a Canada-funded initiative which assisted member states to put administrative and regulatory systems for the single market in place.

Ready said further that the Government of Canada was pleased to partner with Caricom to the tune of CDN$15 million through the CTCP to implement new, and in some cases, extensive reforms of existing legislation, regulations, and associated procedural and administrative arrangements to operationalise the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME).

Such changes, he observed must be reflected in national priorities and coupled with the right skill sets developed through appropriate education programmes.

"The Caricom Trade and Competitiveness Project is promoting a more integrated Caribbean community in order to increase opportunities across the region for the average Caricom citizen," the high commissioner said.

To this end, he expressed the hope that regional integration would continue to provide numerous opportunities for Jamaica and the other member states.

Making the point that the rest of the world is increasingly moving to consolidate its trade relations internationally, High Commissioner Ready urged Caricom to not only focus on developing regional trade, but to take its place in the international trading world.

The media workshop is one of several activities funded through the CTCP under component 300, entitled the Caricom Single Market Information Flows Project. The project is mandated to set the framework for heightened public education and awareness on the CSME led by the focal point Ministries in six Caricom Member States. This includes capacity building initiatives, worksite meetings, sustainable public education strategies and information channels, and workshop training of the media, teachers and spokespersons to spread the word among their significant stakeholders and publics. The project is being implemented in Belize, Jamaica, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Guyana.

More than 20 media workers, primarily from Kingston-based media houses, participated in the workshop.

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