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Govt/private sector delegation leaving for WTO meeting on Friday

A government and private sector delegation is leaving town on Friday to attend the fourth Meeting of the Working Party on the accession of The Bahamas to the World Trade Organization (WTO), in Geneva, Switzerland.

A press release issued yesterday explained that the delegation is being led by Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration Brent Symonette, who will be accompanied by Chief Negotiator for The Bahamas’ accession to the WTO Zhivargo Laing, along with other senior technical officers from the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources and the Bahamas Customs Department.

The release also revealed that members of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC) will be joining the mission as observers.

This comes as the BCCEC prepares to receive and release a report on the possible negative and positive effects accession to the WTO could have on The Bahamas.

“A number of bilateral meetings with WTO member states will precede the fourth Working Party meeting from the first to the fourth of April, 2019,” the release states.

“The delegation is also expected to hold meetings with officials of the WTO Secretariat and other Geneva-based organizations to discuss ongoing and future technical assistance for The Bahamas.

“A debriefing session will be convened once the delegation returns to advise on the outcomes and pertinent issues arising during the fourth Working Party meeting and bilateral meetings with third states, and to discuss the way forward.”

Former BCCEC CEO Edison Sumner said on Friday it is almost a guarantee that The Bahamas’ accession to the WTO will occur by the end of the year, or at the latest within the next 15 months.

JUMPLINE: Delegation being led by Minister of Financial Services Brent Symonette

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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