CDB support for regional trade facilitation initiative
PORT-OF-SPAIN – Making regional trade easier is the goal of a recent grant which the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The Bank’s Board of Directors signed off Monday on CDB’s support of US $43 665 in grant funding to finance completion of the CARICOM Interactive Marketplace and Suspension Procedure Portal (CIMSuPro).
The portal’s development makes it easier for CARICOM states to administer the common external tariff (CET), the system underpinning regional trade, which all CARICOM states are required to maintain. The CET is a uniform set of tariffs imposed by CARICOM members on goods from third countries.
Suspension of the CET can be granted to allow importation of goods in short supply within the Region. However, information on the actual supply of goods in CARICOM is limited and officials grapple with a high volume of CET suspension requests.
CIMSuPro seeks to encourage more intra-regional trade by allowing buyers to find regionally produced goods as their first option. The portal allows buyers to find appropriate regional products by description or tariff code.
It also provides an on-line mechanism to create a faster process to handle CET suspension requests.
CDB’s funding will support training and technical support for trade officials and traders.
Director of Projects Daniel Best was optimistic the portal would contribute to a more enabling environment for Regional manufacturers and producers.
“CIMSuPro is designed to take the CSME process a step further by allowing our producers and our retailers to find each other more easily. CSME is intended to give our producers access to the larger regional market and to leverage economies of scale. A fully operational CIMSuPro will bring greater certainty to intra-regional trade,” he said.
The project is aligned with CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development as well as its corporate priority of promoting private sector development, competitiveness and innovation. (PR/SAT)