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Caricom, South Korea sign cooperation pact

Stabroek News, Guyana

Caricom, South Korea sign cooperation pact

6 May 2006

Caricom and the Republic of Korea have identified seven areas of cooperation to be pursued including the promotion, expansion and diversification of trade and investment flows; and the exchange of views and information on measures to facilitate access to their respective markets, Caricom Secretary-General Edwin Carrington said.

These areas are contained in an agreement for the establishment of a consultation and cooperation mechanism between Caricom and South Korea signed earlier this week.

Carrington signed on behalf of Caricom while Ambassador Soong-chull Shin, who signed on behalf of South Korea said that the agreement would lay a fundamental base in furthering Caricom-South Korea cooperation.

Congratulating the Community on the establishment of the Caricom Single Market, the South Korean Ambassador expressed hope that the agreement would serve to assist Caricom to strengthen the Single Market.

The others areas covered under the agreement include deepening the level of mutual understanding between each other; strengthening consultations concerning bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest; promotion of investment and tourism; fostering entrepreneurial, scientific, technological and personnel exchange; and the use of information and communication technology for development in the community.

Carrington noted that despite the lack of any previous formal agreement, due to the current relations that exist between the two, Seoul has granted the regional integration movement various development assistance initiatives including in the area of governance.

Due to the recent intervention, he said that Caricom was able to undertake an Electoral Observer Mission in Haiti for the Presidential Elections.

He noted that at present, Caricom was carrying out a much-needed study on improving the structure of governance in the community with the objective of ensuring that it functions with greater effectiveness and efficiency.

That study is being conducted by a Technical Working Group led by former Prime Minister of St Lucia, Professor Vaughn Lewis and comprises a number of eminent Caribbean experts. South Korea’s support to this ongoing critical project, he said was greatly appreciated.