Officials at the head table sharing a light moment during the opening ceremony:??(From Left) Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs.??Gayle Francis-Vaughn; Acting Minister of??Environment, Steve Blackett; Ambassador Edwin Laurent of the Commonwealth Secretariat; and Dr. Waldaba Stewart,??an Invited Guest.??????

Government continues to support the position that trade and environmental policies must be tied together if the country is to achieve sustainable development.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Gayle Francis-Vaughn, made this comment today, at the opening of the "Second Caribbean Dialogue on the Dynamic of the Caribbean Economic Expansion, Trade and Investment Opportunities Arising out of the Economic Partnership Agreement".??

Pointing out that this view was also held by the international environment and trade fraternities, she said a National Sub-Committee on Trade and Environment, which was set up in 1998, continued to be in place to support dialogue and research in these two areas.

Mrs. Francis-Vaughn explained that this entity monitored the decisions of the World Trade Organisation’s Committee on Trade and the Environment (CTE) with a view to determining its impacts on Barbados, and formulated negotiating positions on these issues discussed within the CTE forum, as well as those that might arise in international negotiations.

She added that it also assisted in developing national policies and programmes on trade and environment issues and facilitated cooperation among the major actors in an effort to promote the goal of sustainable development.

The Acting Permanent Secretary noted that it was within this ambit of her Ministry’s trade and environment programme that it welcomed partnering with CaribInvest (West Indies) Ltd to host the dialogue, which she hoped would provide policy guidance to relevant ministries on agenda issues, and answer what export interests existed in the region and what were the capabilities of service providers.

"Feedback such as this would be useful to our Ministry, not just for national programming, but also at the CARICOM level, where we have been raising issues of trade and environment at the Council for Trade and Economic Development," Mrs. Francis-Vaughn stated.??emcclean@barbados.gov.bb

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