Tourism stakeholders in Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), member countries are being given an opportunity to better prepare themselves to effectively participate in the ongoing trade negotiation process.
CTO has organised a two-day training workshop on Tourism Services Negotiation Issues to cover the fundamentals of trade negotiations.
The workshop, to be held on October 2 and 3, 2003 at CTO headquarters in Barbados, will address the various services-related trade negotiations in which the Caribbean region is currently engaged. These include the World Trade Organisation/General Agreement in Trades in Services (WTO/GATS), the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
“The outcome of these negotiations, particularly those at the World Trade Organisation under the General Agreement in Trade in Services (GATS) are likely to have a profound impact on the way the tourism industry does business, and therefore on the development of this region,” said Karen Ford-Warner, deputy secretary general of the CTO.
“In order to ensure that the interests of Caribbean tourism stakeholders are put on the table, Caribbean trade negotiators need to be armed with national and regional negotiating positions that are derived from consultations and agreement between private and public sector tourism interests.”
“CTO is committed to playing a key role in strengthening the capacity and knowledge base of these stakeholders to enable more effective engagement in the trade negotiating process on an on-going basis,” Mrs. Ford-Warner added.
During the two-day workshop, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Senior Trade Specialist and Head of CARICOM Capacity Building at the Trade Unit of the Organisation of American States will lead discussion on “Tourism Services in the World Tourism Organisation;” Lawrence Placide, Director of the International Trade Negotiations Unit of the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Commerce will talk on “Services in the Free Trade Area of the Americas;” Mrs. Desiree Field-Ridley, Advisor, Single Market and Sectoral Programmes at the CARICOM Secretariat will address “Services in the Caribbean Single Market and Economy;” and Ramesh Chaitoo, Services Trade Specialist at the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery will discuss “Tourism Services Negotiations Issues: Implications for CARIFORUM.” Participants will also seek to draft recommendations on possible positions to be adopted in the context of the negotiations that reflect Caribbean tourism interests. Recommendations will be submitted to Ministers for discussion at the upcoming Ministers of Tourism meeting to be held in St. Thomas, USVI on October 15, 2003.
Since the start of this year, CTO has hosted discussions with key strategic regional partners, including the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA), Caribbean Latin American Action (CLAA), and the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) on the trade talks and the challenges for the region in international negotiations in services.
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