COTED decision a lifeline for CARICOM sugarThursday, November 28, 2019
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Directors of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) are due to meet in early December to reflect on the 49th Meeting of The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) outcomes, which agreed to the incremental enforcement of tariffs on imported white sugar as and when the region produces it.
The SAC said this decision will provide the incentives needed by regional sugar producers for continued investment in value-added products with the confidence that they will have a home in their own regional market.
The SAC noted that presently over two-thirds of market demand in CARICOM is imported from outside the region, leaving sugar producers little choice than to export their own product on the global market at unremunerative prices.
“The meeting also agreed to the immediate establishment of a mechanism to monitor all regional sugar flows. This will play a major part in strengthening enforcement of existing arrangements for extra-regional sugar imports, providing a realistic assessment of supply and demand moving forward. Part of this will be to ensure that the CET on brown sugar, which is currently entering the market from outside the region, must be rigorously enforced by member states,” SAC said in a press release.
The association said the COTED decisions came following a detailed analysis of the widespread use of Plantation White sugar in manufacturing both globally and within the region.
“These decisions also reflect an understanding between manufacturers and sugar producers that when quality of regional production is assured, it will receive tariff protection in accordance with the provisions of the revised treaty,” SAC said.
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