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Wednesday, June 01, 2005 - Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation Mr. Cosmos Richardson has dispelled the view that issues of trade are to be confined to governmental circles.  Mr. Richardson made the comments at a handing over ceremony of a Trade Reference Centre linking St. Lucia to the trade data bases of thirteen Caribbean countries. The presentation took place on Monday, May 30th at the Central Library in Castries.

This Trade Reference Centre which comprises domestic, regional and international trade information is meant to bolster the country’s ability to make strategic contributions to the global trade dialogue. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation Mr. Cosmos Richardson says as Saint Lucia remains integrally involved in several trade negotiations such as the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) the World Trade Organisation -WTO and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) among others, information related specifically to global and Caribbean trade have mushroomed into an absolute necessity.

“The aim of this project is to facilitate access to information on the topics addressed in trade negotiations and to increase public awareness on trade issues in Caribbean countries by making available copies of the OAS Foreign Trade Information System Data Base on trade agreements, national legislation and related information on topics of the negotiations process.”

Director of the OAS Office in St. Lucia Mr. Alphonsus Antoine says “the attitude of this information is to support the bread and butter planning that must take place in St. Lucia and the Caribbean if we are to survive and prosper in the 21st century. That is why three computers that will contain this critical information will be various locations where every facet of the society will be able to access the information.”

Copies of the database will also be made available to stake holders through the country including several public libraries.

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