Knight in Ecuador for FTAA meeting
Thursday, October 31, 2002
MINISTER OF Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade K.D. Knight is in Quito, Ecuador to participate in the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) scheduled for November 1.
Trade Ministers from the 34 FTAA member countries will meet to review the progress achieved to date and to give guidance to negotiators for the final phase of the negotiations which are to conclude no later than January 2005. Negotiations in the FTAA began earlier this year in May and the second draft of the free trade agreement is expected to be presented to the ministers.
The Trade Ministers will also receive recommendations from private business leaders who participated in the 7th Business Forum of the Americas held immediately before the trade ministerial. A Jamaican private sector delegation is at present in Quito attending the forum.
The Ministerial meeting will be preceded by the twelfth meeting of the FTAA Trade Negotiation Committee (TNC), which has been co-ordinating the negotiating process on the nine discipline market access for manufactured products, agriculture, services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy, government procurement and dispute settlement which will comprise the FTAA.
Minister Knight, who is also CARICOM's Trade Minister with lead responsibility for the FTAA negotiations, is head of Jamaica's delegation which includes, Under-secretary for Trade, Ambassador Gail Mathurin; Director General of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery, Ambassador Richard Bernal and Private Sector Adviser, James Moss Solomon.
He returns to the island on Saturday, November 2.