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2

Regional Co-ordination and ‘Aid For Trade’

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t present, CARICOM is pursuing trade liberalization along two paths. On the one hand, there is a drive towards opening up the region to the rest of the world where the widest markets exist. On the other hand, the region is seeking to liberalize its internal markets for goods, services and factors of production through the creation of the CSME. In both cases, the region has taken a regional approach to co-ordination. 2.1. External Trade Regional Co-ordinating Mechanisms

Article 17 of the Treaty of Chaguaramas that established the Caribbean Community had made provisions for the co-ordination of external trade policies as follows: ….member states (should) aim at their fullest possible coordination of their foreign policies within their respective competences and seek to adopt as far as possible common positions in major international issues….[21]. In order to carry out the above mandate, CARICOM countries have devised a series of mechanisms. These mechanisms and the challenges involved in coordinating the regions’s external policies are discussed below. Towards the mid-nineties, it was clear that appropriate mechanisms had to be set up to support the range of trade negotiations that were on the horizon. The FTAA negotiations were announced in 1998, the Doha Round started in 2000, and the CARIFORUM-EU EPA negotiations began in 2004. Negotiations with the EU included the Dominican Republic, which together with CARICOM, formed CARIFORUM. There were also a series of bilateral negotiations to consider. The structure that was put in place included the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on External Negotiations, which is currently led by the Prime Minister of Jamaica. This Committee reports directly to the CARICOM Heads of Government Conference, which is the highest level of policy-making in respect of international trade and economic negotiations. The Sub-Committee is assisted by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), which comprises Ministers in the region responsible for trade and economic development. COTED’s main role is to coordinate CARICOM’s common economic policies and it carries out many functions, which

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