CARICOM gets European funding to advance regional economic integration
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
by Gordon French
Caribbean Net News Guyana Correspondent
GEORGTOWN, Guyana: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will benefit from a 40.5 million euro grant to support the Caribbean region in achieving its objective of regional economic integration and repositioning into the world economy.
CARICOM Secretary General, Edwin Carrington, and European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Luis Michel, on Monday signed a financing agreement at commission’s headquarters in Brussels, to realise the funding.
The EC funding comes from the Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme of the 9th European Development Fund (EDF). It is the largest and most important individual EDF package of support to the Caribbean region and is crucial for advancing work on the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). For its part, CARICOM is contributing 900,000 million euro to this programme.
Among the key programme components are support to the range of measures to implement the CSME and general support to the CARICOM Secretariat.
The agreement covers support to the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) to enable it to provide CARIFORUM countries with technical support and training on macro-economic questions; as well as support to the improvement and harmonised production of economic statistical data at the regional and national levels in CARICOM.
Under the agreement, support will be extended to the external trade negotiations carried out by CARIFORUM countries, through the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), based in Barbados.
The CRNM is in charge of coordinating trade negotiations for the region, in particular the negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU. Assistance will also be rendered to the OECS representation in Geneva dealing with WTO matters.
In addition, the agreement covers support for the establishment and operation of the Caribbean Institute of Translation and Information to be located in Suriname and support for the development of the Caribbean Information and Communication Society.
The terms of the agreement also provide for support for the reduction of supply and demand for illegal drugs.
A component of the agreement grants support to phase two of the Ogle Airport Development Programme in Guyana.