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Saturday, January 21, 2006 

Continued benefit for CARICOM from relationship with Germany
by Caricom news release
Posted: Jan 18, 2006 11:41 UTC

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - The experience of Germany as a founding Member of one of the world’s most advanced regional integration arrangements the European Union (EU) is an experience to which the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) can look to, for support.

This message came today from CARICOM Secretary-General H.E Edwin Carrington, on the occasion of the presentation of credentials by H. E Dr Helmut Ohlraun, Germany’s Plenipotentiary Representative to the Caribbean Community.At the ceremony the CARICOM Secretary-General added that the progress of the EU had influenced and inspired the regional integration movement, stressing that Germany’s friendship and support will continue to be invaluable to the Region.

The Secretary-General informed that CARICOM’s relationship with Germany is already based on solid technical cooperation from which the Region had reaped tremendous benefit. ”The German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) has provided some 2.2 million, United States dollars in assistance inter alia, to the CARICOM Youth Ambassador’s Programme (CYAP), the Technical Vocational and Educational Training Programme (TVET) and the co-financing of the Caribbean Renewable Energy Resources Project (CREDP), this last located here at the Secretariat.

The German Government also replenished in 2004 to the tune of 250,000 euros, a Study Expert Fund to finance the secondment of special experts, preparation of studies and procurement of inputs in fields as varied as environmental protection, conservation of resources, economic promotion, vocational training, health, population, diet, organisation and management consulting. This Fund expired just last month, 31 December 2005.

Perhaps its renewal would be an appropriate way of marking today’s historic step in closer relations,’ the CARICOM Secretary-General said. He added that an Agreement between the German Reconstruction Loan Corporation- Kreditanstalt fir Wiederaufbau (KfW) and the Secretariat under the coordination of the CARICOM/ Pan Caribbean Coordinating Unit in the area of HIV/AIDS was also signed in November of 2004.

In presenting his Credentials, the newly appointed Ambassador underscored the importance of the ties between Germany and the Caribbean Community, pointing to the benefits to be derived from the CARICOM Single Market, which was ushered in by six CARICOM Members States on 1 January.

The six Member States are Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. “After making a large step forward by inaugurating the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Community now moves into a new era by establishing a Single Market. As Europeans we are, of course, keenly aware of the enormous importance this will have for the future of the Region,” said the Ambassador. He added that integration had worked for the Europeans, stressing that in spite of all the “problems and setbacks” it was a success story. “Likewise, CARICOM is, in my view, the Region’s appropriate answer to the demands of a globalising economy and to a situation where security concerns, ecological problems and the maintenance of peace can no longer be addressed without international cooperation,” Ambassador Ohlraun stressed.

The appointment of Ambassador Ohlraun formalises Germany’s longstanding relationship with the Caribbean Community.

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