CARICOM to measure contribution of international community to regional economies 

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping is embarking on a project to strengthen capacity to measure the contribution of international trade in services to the economies of the 15 member states by their trading partners.

The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said the project is to be funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

“The general objective of the project is to provide the decision-makers in CARICOM with core, high quality statistics for the establishment and monitoring of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). It will be undertaken as more emphasis is being placed on the production of quality statistics in the region,” the Secretariat said in a statement.

It recalled that regional  leaders at their summit here in July endorsed a Plan of Action for Statistics that was developed by the Standing Committee of Caribbean Statisticians (SCCS) and aimed at facilitating the bridging of data gaps in key areas of statistics such as in Trade in Services.

CARICOM said that the plan supports a regional approach to the development of statistics, and, among other things, will enable the upgrading of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and provide overall support to human resource development.

It said that the International Trade in Services project will build on work that was already undertaken in the Region in this area.

Six pilot countries are involved in the project, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Lucia, and Suriname.

“The scope of the work of the project includes the piloting of a questionnaire to collect information by trading partners for the Standard Components of the Extended Balance of Payments Services Classification (EBOPS), and the application of technical assistance in pilot countries to improve the coverage and quality of the EBOPS Statistics.

“Additionally, the project will facilitate the convening of a regional workshop to reinforce and harmonise the in-country technical assistance in order to enable the production of comparable Services Statistics across all Member States and in the sharing of best practices.”

The CARICOM Secretariat said a consultant with expertise in the area of trade in services statistics has been recruited under the project for the purpose of developing and strengthening the capacity of the regional and national statistical systems, to produce and disseminate harmonised statistics on Trade in Services and Investment Flows in accordance with international and regional recommendations.

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