OECS National Statistics Offices to benefit from Technical Cooperation for Statistical and Data Management

Senior Director Randy Cato

Castries, St. Lucia (March 18th, 2010): The OECS Secretariat says a recent meeting of OECS Directors of Statistics will serve to inform critical approaches towards Statistical and Data Management.

Senior Director at the OECS Secretariat Randy Cato told Chief OECS Statisticians on Wednesday their meeting was timely as OECS Member States shift towards an Economic Union, particularly in the area of exclusive legislative competence. Under the imminent OECS Economic Union, exclusive legislative competence means the responsibility for legislative action in selected areas such as Trade Policy, will rest more with the central secretariat than that of Member States.

The OECS Secretariat, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) convened the meeting on March 17th 2010, to mark the re-activation of the OECS Technical Cooperation Project on strengthening the capabilities of the Statistical Offices of OECS Member Countries and the OECS Secretariat in Statistical and Data Management. Cato said the resumption of the project after several years of dormancy is critical in enabling the building on infrastructure to provide essential data for policy making and implementation particularly as the OECS continue to increasingly engage in dialogue on International Trade Arrangements.

This includes Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) from negotiation to implementation, with territories like the United States, Canada and South America. He said timely trade data is essential for the OECS to make maximum and optimum use of these arrangements.

OECS Directors of Statistics

Cato also encouraged OECS member countries to ensure that they make sufficient use of systems being provided through the revitalized technical co-operation agreement project. He suggested investments in training and reforming systems to enable the end use of the project to be effective: “The challenge is upon you as Heads of Statistics and the OECS Secretariat that we continue to work effectively in looking at how we energize the process of proper data for decision making”.

Programme Officer in the OECS Economic Affairs Division Sean Curtis Mathurin says the meeting was instructive in enlightening Directors of Statistics on the objectives and goals of the OECS Technical Cooperation project.

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