Officials to discuss how Business Sector can benefit from Trade Policy Regime in the OECS Economic Union

OECS Secretariat (Castries, St. Lucia) – The preparation of a Draft Work Plan for the Implementation of the Trade Policy Regime in the Economic Union will be the focus of a meeting of Permanent Secretaries and Senior Trade Officials from the independent Member States of the OECS on Friday December 17, 2010: Virginia Paul who heads the OECS Secretariat’s Trade Policy Unit which is coordinating the meeting of OECs Trade officials says in light of the intent to ratify the OECS Economic Union Treaty by January 21, 2011, it is necessary for Officials with executive responsibility for formulating and implementing policy in Ministries of Trade, to be sensitized to the obligations of the new Treaty that will impact on the rules that govern trade and ultimately on the operation of business in their countries: “The Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Trade from the Member States will have a closer look at the Economic Union Treaty since its signature in June 2010 with a view to having an appreciation for the obligations that are contained within respect to Trade Policy so that together we can develop a programme of work to implement the Trade Police Regime in the OECS Econonomic Union.”

Paul adds that the imminent meeting of OECS Trade Officials will also speak on matters of interest for the OECS business sector: “The information will be useful to the business sector because it would alert them to the fact that it would not exactly be business as usual and that the Ministries of Trade and others involved in the implementation of Trade Policy are concerned about making it easier for them to transact business within the OECS.”

The meeting is being convened by the OECS Secretariat with financial assistance from the Hub and Spokes Project and will be held at the Bay Gardens Beach Resorts Hotel.

The Meeting will facilitate an exchange of views on legislative and administrative action required to implement the obligations of the new Treaty relating to Trade Policy Formulation and Implementation and agree on a work plan for the short, medium and long term. It is expected that once finalized the Draft Work Plan will be approved by the Ministers of Trade and Heads of Government.

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