Trade Facilitation, Trade Engagement and Competitiveness are at the forefront of the regional integration plans of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). In April, the Commission launched the development of an Integrated Regional OECS Private Sector Trade Facilitation and Engagement Strategy. This strategy aims to broaden and deepen the holistic encouragement of the private sector in advancing strategic solutions that lower transaction costs and improve the capacity of the OECS Private Sector.
Dr. Claudius Preville of Preville & Associates has been contracted to develop this critical strategy. Dr. Preville is a well-established consultant with over 15 years of experience in the field of Economic Development and Trade Policy. As a part of his engagement, he will be conducting consultations with national and regional private sector stakeholder bodies, including the Chambers of Commerce, National Private Sector Associations, the OECS Business Council to obtain their views and aspirations regarding expectations of the national, regional and international trade policies which govern and regulate their participation in the global marketplace.
In addition, he will be engaging national and regional trade policy makers such as the Ministries of Trade, Customs Departments, Caribbean Export Development Agency, National Trade and Export Promotion Agencies, National Trade Policy Committees, and other relevant decision-making bodies to garner their views on modern and appropriate competitiveness strategies to strengthen and deepen the integration of the ECEU into economically viable value chains and the wider global economy.
This project is a part of several initiatives being conducted under the ACP TradeCom II Programme. To date, the Programme has provided scholarships to OECS citizens for a Master’s Degree in International Trade Policy, launched trade analytical tools and hired firms to conduct studies which are critical to the advancement of the OECS region.
The OECS launched the ACP TradeCom II programme on 24th October 2019, “Consolidating the OECS Economic Union through Sustainable Trade Capacity Building” (STCB). Through the joint contributions of the European Union Europe Aid Grants Programme and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the total budget of the project is 3.6 million Euros and is being disbursed through the EU-ACP TradeCom II Rapid Response Facility Programme.
The overall objective of the Programme is to assist the OECS Protocol Member States and the OECS Commission to advance the implementation of the OECS Economic Union, as stipulated in the Revised Treaty of Basseterre (RTB) and the OECS Strategic Objectives. This programme seeks to strengthen the Member States’ capacity and institutional framework for developing and implementing trade and private sector growth policies and strategies. This will be facilitated through the development of well-defined mechanisms for involving the private sector in trade policy dialogue and decision-making.