Services sector key to development
GEORGETOWN – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) trade and economic development ministers were wrapping up a one-day meeting today underscoring the importance of the services sector to the socio-economic development of the 15-member regional integration grouping.
Addressing the special meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Barbados, Sandra Husbands, said “what we are seeking to do is to look at the tremendous work that has been done over the past couple of years in terms of assessing the size of the services industry, analysing its performance, identify the SWOT pertaining to how services (sector) performs within our various territories, as well as looking at draft plans for the implementation of a strategy to take services forward”.
The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said the services sector was the largest and fastest growing within CARICOM, accounting for more than 75 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the Eastern Caribbean, and more than 55 per cent in the more developed member states.
Statistics released indicate that growth in the sector in recent years had been significant with the 2017 figures indicating an expansion of almost 2.45 per cent to EC$108.5 billion.
Husbands, who was chairing the one-day meeting, said those figures showed it was critical that nations paid close attention to the growth of the sector, as part of efforts to provide citizens with a good life.
She cautioned that there was a lot of work to be done with respect to creating the environment for the further development of the sector to fulfil its role in the improvement of the contribution to the lives of the citizens of the region. (CMC)