Stage set for CARICOM’s Thirty-First Summit

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – The Community Council of Ministers of CARICOM and the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on External Negotiations will convene in Montego Bay, Jamaica, ahead of Sunday’s formal opening of the 31st Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM.

The Twenty-Sixth Meeting of the Community Council on Saturday 3 July at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa, A Hilton Resort, will finalise the Summit’s agenda, and discuss matters pertaining to the CARICOM Secretariat’s Strategic Plan for 2009-2015 with a view to determining its priorities over the next five years.

The Council will consider other matters within four sectoral clusters, namely: Legal Affairs, Human and Social Development, Foreign and Community Relations, and Trade and Economic Development.

Among the items on the agenda of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on External Trade Negotiations which meets on Sunday at the same venue, is the status of the negotiations of the CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement, which is about to enter its third round.

Exploratory talks between Senior Trade Officials of CARICOM and Canada began formally in November 2009 with CARICOM putting forward its interest in a strong development component, as a distinct chapter of the agreement. The Second Round of Negotiations was held late March 2010 in Barbados.

Sunday’s Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee meeting will also consider matters related to the implementation of Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM)-European Community (EC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in October 2008, and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Doha Round. The Committee Members will also exchange views on the implications of CARICOM’s continued participation in Free Trade Negotiations in the current economic crisis.

The formal opening of the Heads of Government Meeting at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay will follow the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee Meeting.

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