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Enhancing the Digital Economy in the OECS Region!

Enhancing the Digital Economy in the OECS Region!

Stakeholder Consultation

Digital technology and communication infrastructure are growing in importance. Increasingly, they are transforming how we interact, conduct business, and participate in the global economy. However, several challenges impede the digital transformation of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This has resulted in a growing digital divide limiting the ability of many OECS Member States to fully tap into the benefits of the digital economy in the same way as many advanced economies.  With this in mind, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission is partnering with the Commonwealth Secretariat to convene a virtual stakeholder workshop on digital trade and electronic commerce (eCommerce) readiness, and associate capacity building on 8th June 2021.

The workshop forms part of a broader OECS project which is being funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat to assess Digital Trade and eCommerce readiness in six Member States of the OECS. The project is assessing six pillars of e-commerce readiness namely citizens’ readiness; business readiness; information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and accessibility; logistics and delivery; policy and regulations; and the financial and banking eco-system to support e-commerce.

The workshop will bring together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to further assess the identified six pillars of e-commerce readiness. Stakeholder input is expected to enhance insights into the existing e-commerce infrastructure and help identify legal and regulatory gaps that may impede the growth of OECS digital trade and access to external markets.

The strategic objective that the Commission aims to achieve through this intervention is to support digital transformation and spur OECS entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities to scale through access to eCommerce. A more intermediate outcome for the Commission is to identify the key limiting factors to the expansion of digital trade in the OECS.

According to the OECS Permanent Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva, given that Ecommerce is also being discussed at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other international fora, there is an urgent need for all OECS Member States to be sensitized to the evolving regulatory environment that is likely to emerge from these talks. This is even more important against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic which has revealed both the necessity for digital transformation, as well as the extent of the prevailing digital divide between and among countries.

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H.E Stephen Fevrier Head of the OECS Permanent Delegation to the United Nations, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
H.E Stephen Fevrier Head of the OECS Permanent Delegation to the United Nations, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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