By Dana Niland
Suriname’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has signed two historic agreements for projects with the Caribbean Development Bank to facilitate Suriname’s implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and European Partnership Agreement (EPA).
“With the support of the Caribbean Development Bank, CARIFORUM and the EU, we will be able to accomplish some important goals with these projects,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Don Tosendjojo. “These grants through the Trade Facilities will allow us to bridge the gap between world trends in Trade Facilitation and our current system, as well as prepare ourselves to deal with the increasing challenges of operating in competitive world markets.
The projects will be implemented by the Suriname Business Forum (SBF) in addition to the Ministry, and will be funded by the CSME Standby Facility and EPA Standby Facility.
A grant from the EPA Standby Facility will help establish an Electronic Single Window, which will allow importers and exporters to submit the necessary documentation to obtain licenses to train online.
Under the current systems, such applications must be submitted in hard copies and processed manually, which can taking up to a month.
The CSME Standby Facility and SBF are funding a project which will improve relations between Suriname-based agrifood exporters and importers and distributors in the CARICOM markets of Barbados and Trinidad.
“These two projects, when fully implemented, will in a tangible way demonstrate how the region’s trading regime can be used to create sustainable economic opportunities for our people,” said Edward Greene, Division Chief in theTechnical Cooperation Division of the Caribbean Development Bank.