The director general of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), Amb. Richard Bernal will address regional tourism ministers and the board of directors of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) when they convene for a series of crucial meetings at Caribbean Week in New York.
Ambassador Bernal will speak on the issue of trade in services negotiations, Jean Holder, CTO’s secretary general has disclosed.
“We have asked Amb. Bernal to speak to our ministers and our private sector about this issue to help to bring us up to speed and to galvanize us into action on the whole question of trade in services negotiations,” said Mr. Holder.
“Amb. Bernal has been involved in negotiations in both trade and services for the Caribbean for a number of years and we are looking forward to what he has to say,” he added.
Earlier this year, CTO held talks with a number of strategic regional partners, including the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), the Caribbean Latin American Action (CLAA), and the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), on the implications for the tourism sector of a series of trade negotiations which Caribbean member states are currently involved in and which deal with tourism services.
All CTO member states are involved in the World Trade Organisation/ General Agreement in Trade in Services (WTO/GATS) negotiations, and with the exception of Cuba, the Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA).
CARIFORUM member states are currently participating in three sets of international trade negotiations, all involving tourism services. These are the WTO/ GATS, FTAA and the African, Caribbean and Pacific - European Union (ACP-EU) negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).
Additionally, CARICOM member states are involved in the CARICOM - Canada enhanced trade agreement and in talks among themselves for a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
“These negotiations will have an incredible impact upon the lives of all the people in the world, particularly regions like the Caribbean which are so dependent on services,” stated Mr. Holder.
The secretary general said that the invitation to Amb. Bernal was in keeping with CTO’s responsibility to educate its membership on the issue and the process.
Amb. Bernal will address the 39th meeting of the CTO board of directors which will be held at the Metropolitan Hotel on Thursday 5th June 2003.