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Regional Strategies Case Study

(iv) Resources are scarce The four sets of trade negotiations have required extraordinarily large sums of money. Travel from the Caribbean to Geneva, Brussels and even within the Caribbean is expensive. Meetings are also sometimes held in Africa, the Pacific and South America. Aside from this, the region has to carry out numerous studies, convene working groups for the 15 (or 16) countries, and undertake large, capacity building exercises. Many countries have not been able to travel to the scores of meetings that they were required to attend. On many occasions they have approached the CRNM for assistance but the CRNM itself has suffered from the lack of sufficient and timely funding, both from governments and the donor community. In 2003, the CRNM set up a Technical Co-operation Unit to help mobilize funds for its activities. Table 1 in section 3 illustrates the kind of support that has been given over the past few years. ‘Aid for Trade’ has assisted the region tremendously in building negotiating capacity and facilitating participation in multilateral, inter-regional and bilateral negotiations. The benefits of the training provided from the present series of trade negotiations are likely to be spread over long periods of time since negotiating skills are typically sharpened with experience. 2.2. Intra-Regional Trade: The CSME Regional Coordinating Mechanisms

The structure and mechanisms for the CSME are designed to ensure wide national and regional participation. At the highest level is the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME, which is chaired by the Prime Minister of Barbados and reports to the CARICOM Heads of Government Conference. It includes other Heads of Government with responsibility for Governance, Legal Matters, Labour and Social Security. The Sub-Committee is assisted in its work by COTED, which has overall responsibility “to promote the development and oversee the operation of the CSME.” Given the multi-faceted nature of the CSME, a need has arisen in recent times for COTED to meet with other bodies such as the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) to consider the wider socio-economic impacts of the CSME. Besides COTED, an Advisory Council assists the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee in its deliberations. This Council has representation from the private sector, NGOs, and regional institutions and bodies. There are specific mechanisms within each country to promote the CSME. There is a Ministry with responsibility for CARICOM Affairs and a national consultative system, consisting of an Inter-Ministerial Consultative Committee and a Business and Labour Advisory Council. Each country also has a National Focal Point. National Focal Points meet regularly with the CSME Unit, which was set up in Barbados in 2002 to facilitate the implementation of the CSME. Status of Implementation of the CSM

In order to implement the Agreements for the CSME, all countries have had to undertake numerous legislative and regulatory changes, set up institutional support mechanisms and adopt

mobilizing aid for trade: focus on latin america and the caribbean: proceedings of the regional r...  

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