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Paints to be added to products protected under revised CARICOM treaty

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, Guyana and Suriname have agreed to join the region's Less Developed Countries (LDCs) in agreeing to add paints to the list of products benefiting from Article 164 protection.

This was disclosed Thursday during a news conference at the end of a meeting of the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) conference, attended by regional trade and economic affairs ministers .

Paint, is one of three items, the others being flour and certain cereals and animal feeds, beer and brewery products that have been so far agreed to pending further consultations by the More Developed Countries (MDCs) – Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados and Guyana, which have been given extra time before June 13, to complete their consultations on a raft of being requested for the support.

Article 164 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas is designed to promote the development of industries in the LDC's of CARICOM, including Belize and Haiti. These countries are allowed to deny certain products originating in CARICOM and extra regional countries from preferential entry into their markets.

According to Antigua and Barbuda's Ambassador to CARICOM, Dr Clarence Henry, the outcome of the COTED meeting, “is a signal of maturity and recognition of the critical importance of this provision of the Treaty which focused attention of the sensitive industries within the LDCs under Chapter 7 of the Revised Treaty.”

“Certainly, the decision today (Thursday)offers new hope for the spirit and application of the provisions of the Revised Caricom Treaty. This COTED, can be described as successful (but) there is still work to be done.”

During the news conference, the council also lamented the apparent influx of extra regional import of flour and cent from Turkey as well as the repackaging of goods from extra regional sources that seems to be in violation or breach of the Treaty.

The COTED agreed to a recommendation for a stakeholder consultation June 8 – 9 on the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) in Guyana, with the aim of addressing insufficient information on the regional project and to give ordinary citizens an opportunity to pose questions or concerns.

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