CARICOM secretary-general Irwin LaRocque and Chair of the CARICOM Council of Ministers for Trade and Economic Development, Sandra Husbands, at the meeting in Guyana. (GP)
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CARICOM Trade Ministers approved a range of recommendations aimed at positioning the region’s rum industry to better take advantage of the global market.
At today’s meeting in Guyana, the measures addressed several domestic and international issues that affect the competitiveness of the industry, which is considered the region’s premier export sector and its largest foreign exchange earner, after mineral exports.
Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge chaired the special working group set up by trade ministers that agreed on a range of strategies and measures.
They addressed issues including constraints facing the industry as producers seek to take advantage of a fast-growing international market for their premium products.
The recommendations of the working group encompassed a broad set of initiatives on international trade strategies, measures to improve the domestic regulatory environment and strengthening of linkages with the agriculture and tourism sectors, as well as a regional initiative to address the impact of harmful alcohol consumption.
Chair of the CARICOM Council of Ministers for Trade and Economic Development, Minister in the Barbados Ministry of Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands, speaking on behalf of the Council, welcomed the report from the working group and its recommendations, and called on the industry and governments to continue working together to realise the full potential of the industry.
Chairman of the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA) and head of the regional conglomerate Demerara Distillers, Komal Samaroo, thanked the governments for their support.
“As the home of rum and an industry well known for quality products competing at the top of the premium and super-premium market segments, the measures will provide the basis on which the industry is poised to grow from strength to strength,” Samaroo said. (PR/SAT)