Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud remotely chairs the first NACEN meeting of 2021
The National Advisory Committee on External Negotiations (NACEN) held a virtual meeting on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, during which, among other areas, they discussed the status of the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) and addressed matters that had arisen at the 51st Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) meeting and the 89th Special Meeting of the COTED which were held on November 27-28, 2020 and February 4, 2021, respectively.
NACEN is a platform for engagement between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and representatives of the private sector, civil society, and academia on matters relating to the crafting, development, and execution of the country’s national trade policies.
During the first meeting of the year, Chair and Foreign Secretary, Mr. Robert Persaud extended congratulations to the newly appointed Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is the seventh WTO Director-General and the first woman and African to hold the position.
The Foreign Secretary and officials of the Ministry provided updates on relevant trade matters and sought feedback from members. They also engaged in a discussion on trade agreements, specifically the Caribbean Forum-European Union (CARIFORUM-EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and the Caribbean Forum-United Kingdom CARIFORUM-UK EPA.
Established on September 1, 1997, the body continues to serve as the main consultative body to the Ministry on the conduct of external negotiations and the Foreign Trade Policy Programme.