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Energy Ministers to meet in Guyana

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Energy ministers from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) meet in Guyana on Thursday amidst the current volatility of oil prices on the world market. 
The 35th Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) will be preceded by a meeting of energy officials on Tuesday. 
A CARICOM statement said the COTED “will scrutinise an overview of the energy situation and trends in CARICOM as well as national and regional responses to global developments” and that the ministers are “expected to consider, endorse and provide direction to those responses”. 
It said they will also review a report on a Regional Energy Sector Assessment commissioned by the CARICOM Secretariat with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2010. That Assessment was conducted to help make clear the energy situation in CARICOM and to inform strategic responses.  
The energy ministers will also consider the Draft CARICOM Energy Policy, which was developed by a Task Force comprising representatives of Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.  
The policy is intended to address issues such as security of energy supplies, energy pricing policy and the impact on relative competitiveness in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and purchasing and transportation arrangements. 
The CARICOM Secretariat said that since the submission of the Draft Policy, a number of developments impacting the energy sector have taken place at the global, regional and national levels. 
“Against that backdrop, the ministers will re-examine the Draft Energy Policy and conduct a Gap Analysis to update the recommendations,” the statement said, adding that the meeting will also discuss other topics including sustainable energy development in CARICOM; integration of energy systems; opportunities for financing sustainable energy; and matters pertaining to energy services and development within the context of the CARICOM-Canada Trade Negotiations. (CMC)