St Kitts and Nevis will play host to the CPA’s event, which was originally intended for St Lucia, but due to damages suffered during the passage of Hurricane Tomas, two weeks ago, the meeting had to be shifted to St. Kitts.
Senior Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris and Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce, Consumer Affairs, says he welcomes the opportunity provided by the seminar, for regional parliamentarians to learn more about key issues on the international trade agenda, and to foster a greater understanding of, and interest in, the multilateral trading system.
“We are integrated in the globalized trading system. We are members of the WTO, signatories to the EU Partnership Agreement and we are discussing free trade arrangements with Canada and Brazil. All these will fundamentally impact on our people as consumers and producers, our competitiveness, our balance of trade, our fiscal account and for matters of such far reaching significance it seems to be in the self interest of parliamentarians to hone the best understanding of trade issues that they can”, he said.
According to Harris “This seminar serves as a reminder to parliamentarians, of the duty to inform themselves. It also raises another matter from an accountability perspective, whether such fundamental trade agreements ought not, first be debated in the parliaments of Caribbean jurisdictions.”
Dr Harris outlined that topics to be covered include: the role of the modern day parliament in the management and oversight of trade policy; principles and functioning of the international trading system and regional trading arrangements.