OECS public and private sector representatives consult on exporting services to Canada and the USA
(Wednesday September 7, 2011 OECS Secretariat Castries St. Lucia) The OECS Trade Policy Unit (OTPU) says a recent Technical Study reveals that except in the case of ICT, OECS Member States need to do more to ensure that they can sufficiently export services to Canada and the United States in identified areas.
Commenting on the issue, Head of the OTPU Virginia Paul added that the Technical study which is geared towards informing the capacity of OECS Member States to sufficiently supply the identified services to those countries has suggested that services providers need to improve their state of readiness to meet the services required in the targeted markets.
OECS Member States recently considered the findings of the Draft Final Report of the Technical Study relating to enhancing services trade with Canada and the USA through Bilateral Trade Agreements at a consultation with public and private sector representatives on August 30th in Antigua and Barbuda. The consultation reviewed the existing and emerging market opportunities for OECS Services Exports to Canada and the United States of America in order to obtain tangible benefits for services exporters from the imminent Trade Agreement with Canada and any future Free Trade Agreements the USA
At the consultation Services Officials and Representatives from the Coalitions of Services Industries and the Chambers of Commerce discussed barriers and constraints that have impeded the performance of OECS services trade. They also provided negotiating strategies for enhancing export opportunities into Canada and the USA for sectors of interest such as cultural (entertainment), professional, management consulting, health tourism, education, construction services and ICT services.
The OECS Trade Policy Unit says despite some impediments there are several services export opportunities available to OECS Member States.
The consultation also identified sectors for which development assistance should be sought, as well as sectors and/or sub-sectors in which regulatory reform, institutional strengthening and marketing and development programmes are required in order to increase exports.
The workshop was facilitated under the OECS Trade Capacity Building Programme: financed by the Inter-American Development Bank.