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Region ranks low on ease of doing business
It is not only T&T but the entire Caribbean region that ranks low on the global Ease of Doing Business ranking, says Trade Minster Vasant Bharath. “The Caribbean’s regional average in the world in this area is 123 out of 183 economies which I humbly submit is possibly deserving of some discussion during the course of this week as to perhaps how within the rules of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) or the wider administration of justice in the region you may be able to assist in improving the international competitiveness of the Caribbean,” he said.
According to the Annual Ease of Doing Business Rankings prepared by the World Bank, the Caribbean Regional Average in 2012 stands at 81st out of 183 countries world-wide. This is far below the 48th position for Asia-Pacific Countries, 38th for the European Union (EU) and 29th for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Bharath said within the Ease of Doing Business methodology is the important pillar of “Enforcing Contracts” which measures the efficiency of the judicial system in member states in resolving commercial disputes. He was speaking on Monday evening at the opening ceremony of the second International Law Seminar of the Caribbean Academy for Law and Court Administration (CALCA), which is the CCJ’s education arm, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.
“As most of you would know, almost all serious technical analysis of the Caribbean’s development prospects identifies the need for the region to increase its productivity and efficiency. This is an area I am focusing most of my energies on in my dual portfolios (as Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment and Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Economy) here in T&T,” he said.
He also said he understands that the successful and beneficial outcome of any trade agreement rests on the ability to enforce its rules. “However, beyond all the technical and legal discussions you will have this week on such ‘stimulating’ topics as ‘The WTO Law and Jurisprudence’ or ‘Dispute settlement of the multilateral and pluri-lateral trading systems’ or even ‘The Original Jurisdiction of the CCJ’ and the many other areas which arise as a result of the intersection of international law and international economics, I urge that the main reason behind all these legal agreements be the improvement of the well-being and prosperity of all the peoples of the Caribbean,” he said.
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