Wednesday, May 18, 2011

OECS and WTO Discuss Tariff Liberalization

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has said during the meeting with World Trade Organization (WTO) that securing flexibility in negotiations on tariff liberalization will enable governments to avoid cuts to border taxes.

The topics discussed during the meeting of trade officials included market access for agricultural and industrial goods, trade facilitation, fisheries subsidies, intellectual property rights and services, as well as all the matters which have proved controversial.

The OECS Technical Mission in Geneva reported significant progress for the OECS in most spheres of the negotiations with World Trade Organization (WTO). By words of the head of the OECS Technical Mission, Ricardo James, in the area of tariff liberalization “a special concession has been granted to Small Vulnerable Economies (SVEs), such as the OECS member states, that will significantly modulate the depth of tariff cuts.”

The OECS recognized that more needs are to be done, in particular, in such areas as Intellectual Property Rights, Dispute Settlement and the Harmonized Liberalization of Services sectors within the context of the establishment of the OECS Economic Union. According to James, each country will have to provide an offer regarding the additional services sectors they would want to liberalize and by how much.

The British Virgin Islands is an associate member of the OECS.

No comments: