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Trinidad and Jamaica Meet in Qatar to Discuss Trade, Caribbean Court of Justice

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 21, 2012

Above: Jamaican Foreign Minister AJ Nicholson (JIS Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaican Foreign Minister AJ Nicholson met Friday in Doha with Trinidad Trade Minister Stephen Cadiz to discuss a range of issues, including regional trade and CARICOM.

According to Nicholson, he is particularly concerned about the issue of free movement within CARICOM. While legislation exists, he said the implementation process has been lacking and that CARICOM leaders need to address the situation and regularize the process.

The meeting came ahead of the UNCTAD XIII trade and development talks in Qatar.

The Foreign Minister also outlined the potential for increased partnership between Jamaica and Trinidad on energy issues, a call which Cadiz said he would relay to Trinidad Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine.

Also under discussion was Jamaica’s reported intention to withdraw from the Privy Council and accede to the Caribbean Court of Justice as its final court of appeal.

“How wonderful would it be, for example, if during this year of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, if both countries could table in their respective parliaments, on the same day, a bill to be a part, fully of the Caribbean Court of Justice,” Nicholson said. “How wonderful that would be.”

Thus far, only Barbados, Belize and Guyana have joined the CCJ, which has its seat in Port of Spain.

Prior to UNCTAD, Nicholson also addressed the High-Level Global Services Forum, also in Doha, where he spoke of the importance of the service industry to Jamaica and the Caribbean.

According to Nicholson, the service industries contributed to more than 80 percent of GDP in 2011 in Jamaica.

“Such exports are largely concentrated in tourism, which experienced a great contraction in demand during and following the global economic crisis, and travel and transportation services, rather than in the knowledge and information-based services,” he said.

The Minister also said a CARICOM Coalition of Service Providers is in the process of being established.

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