Regional CARICOM Conference in Bahamas to Discuss Single Economy Preparations

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Dr. Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Ambassador Irwin Larocque, assistant secretary general for Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat, at the Council for Economic Trade and Development meeting on Monday, March 3, 2008 at the Sheraton Cable Beach Resort. (Photo/Patrick Hanna)

Nassau, The Bahamas – Preparations for the CARICOM Single Economy (CSE), the framework of which is to be in place this year, the status of the proposed Regional Development Agency (RDA) and of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF), will be examined at the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) which convenes in The Bahamas on 6 March 2008.

The Twelfth Meeting of the COFAP is the penultimate of a series of Caribbean Community meetings being held in Nassau during this week. The Twenty-Fourth Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on 5 March precedes the COFAP. The Nineteenth Inter-Sessional Heads of Government Meeting on 7-8 March will cap the Nassau meetings.

With regard to the CSE, issues to be considered by COFAP include the performance and convergence of CARICOM economies, as well as the status of inter-connectivity of the Stock Exchanges in the Community.

The establishment of the RDA and the launch of the CDF will be deliberated on under the broad heading of Reducing Disparities in the Single Economic Space. The RDA is required to attract investment, assist industries to become efficient and competitive, promote structural diversification and infrastructure development while the CDF is to provide financial and technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors.

The COFAP will also discuss the financial and developmental implications of the EPA.

In addition, the Caribbean Hotel Association will brief the meeting on the establishment of a Tourism Investment Fund, while the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility will report to the forum on its operations.