CARICOM trade ministers agree on reopening of economies

By: Josimar Scott
The Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) yesterday approved a strategy for the reopening of the economies of its member states after the spread of the coronavirus forced territories to implement lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Members of the CARICOM delegation to the Special COTED Meeting on agriculture that was conducted via video conference anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat. (Photo: CARICOM Today)

At the 50th meeting of COTED, chaired by Oliver Joseph, Grenada’s Minister for Trade, on Wednesday, May 6 the region’s minister’s of trade agreed on “a framework centred on the development and adherence to defined metrics related to the COVID-19 virus, which will guide in the re-opening process”.

“The strategy recommends a graduated model which sees governments relaxing restrictions in a deliberate, phased and incremental manner based on the transmission risk profile of the pandemic in specified geographical locations, sectors or businesses,” a release from the Caricom Secretariat outlined.

Further, the framework calls for the establishment of a national public-private consultative mechanism to govern the relaunch of economic activity in each territory, and adds that minimum standards must be attained before the relaxation of restrictions and communications to build public trust.

“There is also the proposal for Certificates of Operation to be issued to businesses that have been verified to be compliant [with] the protocols established for the industry,” the release advised.

In addition to government ministers and public servants, the virtual meeting also included the participation of representatives of the private sector.

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