Contact: Primus Hutchinson
Guy Mayers - Ambassador
Thursday, August 28, 2003 - As St. Lucia prepares for the 5th Ministerial
Meeting of the World Trade Organisation WTO in Cancun-Mexico September 10-14,
2003, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, International
Trade and Civil Aviation, Cosmos Richardson has identified some of the more
sensitive areas that need to be thoroughly examined leading up to the Cancun
meeting. Richardson was at the time addressing an in-country seminar organised
by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, dubbed “ On the Road to Cancun?, is
tomorrow too late?”
The two day seminar was attended by representatives of both the private and
public sector of St. Lucia, the OECS and St. Lucia’s representatives at the WTO
Dr. Kathy Ann Brown. According to Richardson, agriculture remains an issue of
vital importance since the preservation of the value attached to preferential
arrangements continues to be critical concern for St. Lucia and the other small
Richardson identified market access as another sensitive area, particularly the
process and the formula used for tariff reduction including the time frame,
particularly given to these countries heavily dependent on revenue on
international trade taxes.
“ Services is another area we frequently mentioned, the service issue, the
question of small service suppliers is very important for us, given the
preponderance of small firms in our economy.” Richardson said.
President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Guy Mayers called for resistance
to what has been dubbed the “Singapore Issues.” Mayers explained that some
developing countries and in particular the European Union are pressing for
negotiations on these issues, which include competition policy, investment,
transparency in government procurements and trade facilitation.
“We must resist this. How can we enter negotiations on new areas while we have
not even been able to implement existing agreements? I agree with the sentiments
that the Cancun Agenda is already ambitious and that progress should be made on
existing agreement such as agriculture before the introduction of new
proposals.” Mayers said.
During the two day meeting, Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to the WTO
in Geneva, Ambassador Edwin Laurent spoke on Saint Lucia’s interest in the Doha
Other key personnel who attended the in-country seminar were CARICOM’s
representaive Byron Blake, Senior Economic Advisor at the OECS, Andrew Satney
and Saint Lucia’s representative at the WTO, Dr. Kathy Ann Brown.