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Trade expert to aid region

Dawne Parris

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Barbados and its Caribbean neighbours are being urged to take advantage of a trade expert being provided by the Commonwealth to help build export capacity.
Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma said the expert – one of two working out of a recently opened office in Geneva, the other focusing on human rights – has been made available to provide small states with assistance in trade.
He told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that the office would also help these countries interact with the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the International Trade Commission (ITC).
“The second aspect is what we can do for individual member states in the Caribbean, and we have a programme called the Hub and Spokes programme which has been extremely successful,” he said, explaining that the initiative promotes the effective participation of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in international trade negotiations and strengthens their capacity to formulate and implement trade policies.
“We help them with advocacy in negotiating their priorities, in extracting the greatest value from these organizations, and we help in building trade capacity and the ability also to access export finance. This is one of the big items with the Group of 20.”
The Group of 20, or G20, is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies.
“Through the Group of 20 we are particularly talking of what it is that the group can do in respect of the trading requirements for Commonwealth member states, including Caribbean member states, to help them in earning revenue and getting economic stability and to advance the national wealth,” the Commonwealth secretary general added.