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CARICOM strategy for reopening economies


CARICOM strategy for reopening economies

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Georgetown – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Trade and Economic Development Ministers have approved a strategy for the reopening of economies in the 15-member grouping after they had been placed in a lockdown due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

A statement issued Thursday, following the 15th meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) held on Wednesday, said agreement had been reached on “a framework centred on the development and adherence to defined metrics related to the COVID-19 virus, which will guide in the reopening process”.

“The strategy recommends a graduated model which sees governments relaxing restrictions in a deliberate, phased and incremental manner based on the transmission risk profile of the pandemic in specified geographical locations, sectors or businesses,” it said.

The statement noted that the framework suggests establishing a national public private consultative mechanism to govern the relaunch of economic activity at the member state level; minimum standards which must be attained before relaxation of restrictions and communications to build public trust.

“There is also the proposal for Certificates of Operation to be issued to businesses that have been verified to be compliant in the protocols established for the industry,” the statement added.

Wednesday’s virtual meeting was chaired by Grenada Minister of Economic Development, Trade, Planning and Labour, Oliver Joseph and the statement noted that it was also attended by representatives from the public and private sectors.

Caribbean countries have been seeking to reopen their economies after they were forced into implementing measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus that was first detected in China last December and blamed for more than 250 000 deaths and the infection of nearly four million others worldwide. (CMC)