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Saint Lucia hosts regional trade conference

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Contact: Julita Peter


Tuesday, June 16, 2009 – Over thirty-five selected government officials and professionals from fifteen Caribbean countries met in Saint Lucia on Monday June 15th, to take stock of national and regional experiences in the areas of trade in services with emphasis on tourism, gender and trade, and trade facilitation among others. The forum provided the avenue for participants to discuss international support mechanisms such as the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System and the World Bank.


Organized by the  International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF) and the Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation (AITIC), the two and a half day forum is in  keeping with their objective to promote cooperation in favour of the less developed countries.


“I am sure that the discussion and brainstorming during this seminar will not only open our eyes and mind in the field, but also bring us close for further cooperation and action,” said Dr. Pai-po Lee, Deputy Secretary General, Taiwan ICDF. 


Addressing the participants, External Affairs and International Trade Minister Hon. Rufus Bousquet said the government of Saint Lucia recognizes the role of trade as the engine of growth and its use as a medium to reduce poverty.  He commented that demands have been placed on our private sector to cope and manage the multiplicity of issues related to trade and the working of the World Trade Organization.


“It is my hope that this programme will provide the medium which will help continue the process of capacity development to enhance the quality of knowledge and the skills of our officials. The exposure will facilitate an atmosphere that will enable them to rapidly learn and embrace best practices,” he added.  


Executive Director of the Agency for International Trade Information and Cooperation Dr. Esparanza Duran, and Acting Prime Minister Hon. Lenard Montoute also addressed participants at the opening of the seminar.  Mr. Montoute urged participants to find ways to conquer trade related challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented.

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