Paints are to be protected under the revised CARICOM treaty.
This was announced 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 recently.
CARICOM members Guyana and Suriname 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 of the Revised Treaty of Chagaramus.
The article is designed to promote the development of industries in the LDCs of CARICOM, with these countries being allowed to deny preferential entry to certain products originating in CARICOM and extra regional countries.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to CARICOM Dr. Clarence Henry says the outcome of the COTED meeting signals maturity and recognition of the critical importance of Article 164, which focuses attention on the sensitive industries within the LDCs.
According to him, the decision offers new hope for the spirit and application of the provisions of the Revised Caricom Treaty but there is still work to be done.
Meantime, COTED has lamented the apparent influx of extra regional imports of flour and cement from Turkey, as well as the repackaging of goods from extra regional sources, seemingly in violation or breach of the Treaty.
COTED agreed to a recommendation for a stakeholder consultation on the Caribbean Single Market and Economy – the CSME – in Guyana, on June 8—9.
The aim of the stakeholder consultation is to address insufficient information on the regional project and to give ordinary citizens an opportunity to pose questions or concerns.