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Posts Tagged ‘COTED’
In this article, Mr. Jerrol Renfurm MA, MPA presents a comparative analysis between two regional internal markets and the free movement of its citizens. The objective is to highlight not only similarities and differences, but also indicate some possible elements for a more successful regional development in the Caribbean. The underlying aim of the paper is to also highlight the relevance that both regional markets have on Suriname.
Mr. Jerrol Renfurm MA, MPA, is Policy Advisor at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands and a Master’s Public Administration at the Lim A Po Institute for Social Sciences in Paramaribo.
PARAMARIBO–Suriname may take its grievances over levies on exports to Caricom countries to the Caribbean Court of Justice. “At the just-concluded Thirty-Second Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in Guyana, we warned that countries courtcases could be initiated by Surinamese exporters, because they’re often treated unfairly on the Caricom market,” Trade and Industry Minister Michael Miskin has reported.
Suriname has been with the 15-member Caricom since July 1995. With as its main purposes promoting economic integration and cooperation among members, the Guyana headquartered diplomatic institute is supposed to see to free trade of goods and services. Suriname companies have been complaining about unfair treatment however. In December 2010 Michel Brahim, Director of softdrinks producer Fernandes expressed hopes that when Suriname takes the chair of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) per July 1st 2011, the country will be able to fix some of the hiccups that Surinamese manufacturers eying the Caribbean encounter.
But things seem to be getting out of hand. Miskin says that Suriname wants measures soon. Coted should be cautious, Miskin said. He said that Suriname complained at the meeting, about an environment tax that Guyana is now levying on Suriname exports. Now it’s softdrink producer Rudisa who is getting the Cinderella treatment. Apparently the tax is making it difficult for the company to be competitive on the Caribbean market.
“We have asked that the Governments take measures to have these taxes and the discrimination dropped. And if they can’t be dropped, they should apply to their local producers as well,” said Miskin. He said that if measures are not taken soon, countries may well face courtcases.
PARAMARIBO, Suriname–Badrissein Sital, Government’s rice coordinator has said that though the continuance of Suriname’s tax-free rice exports to Caricom countries has dodged another bullet recently, it’s imperative that Caricom ensures “equal dealing”. The bullet in question concerns a request by Caricom member country Jamaica to allow rice imports from the US; the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED, which governs these matters, has denied jamaica’s request.
Sital, satisfied with the COTED decision, remains realistic though, because Jamaica’s request is characteristic of how Suriname rice is treated. “(Being a member of) Caricom certainly has its benefits, but we need to be able to rely on equal dealing. We’re structurally competed against. IT is not the first time another Caricom country has tried to work around the Caricom rules of origin; Suriname and Guyana receive the short end of the stick and the larger member states do not get sanctioned,” he told journalist Eliazer Pross of De Ware Tijd daily.
Under Caricom’s rules of origin, certain goods are eligible to enter the Caribbean Common Market free of customs duty provided that they must either be grown in a CARICOM country or produced from raw materials which originated in a CARICOM country.