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Maritime Security – A Critical Trade Issue

Caribbean
Central American Action (CCAA), announced recently that Regional Maritime
Security will be prominent among the issues on the agenda for the December 5 to
7, 2005 Miami Conference on the Caribbean Basin due to its critical importance
to trade flows in the region.

Trade
facilitation and the constraints to efficient trade within the hemisphere are
among the issues political leaders are discussing at their fourth summit now in
session in Argentina, and
this month’s Miami Conference will provide for follow-up discussions
involving both the private and public sectors representing nations in the
Caribbean Basin
and their major trading partner, the
United States.

In the
wake of 9/11 and the increased incidents of terrorist threats worldwide, the
Caribbean
Basin continues to be seen as
vulnerable.Although most of the
ports in the region have met the ISPS deadline, compliance with security
requirements are difficult and costly. 
Can these countries afford not to mobilize resources, both financial and
human to improve security and respond to potential threats? Most importantly, according to Mr.
Edmunds is “whether the Caribbean
Basin should create a
regional standard consistent with identified best practices which could also
allow for the true assessment of security needs. We cannot afford for the Third Border to
be deemed insecure.”

CCAA has
been leading public-private sector initiatives on the issue of maritime
security and trade in the region, partnering with the Caribbean Shipping
Association, the Port Management Association of the Caribbean,
the Florida Ports Council and other entities including carriers such as
Tropical Shipping and Seaboard Marine. 
Most recently, the organization has led the implementation of
public-private sector initiatives, partially funded by USAID, both in the
Eastern Caribbean and Haiti. In
Haiti, the initiative seeks to
address identified deficiencies in that country’s ports.

This
year’s Miami Conference session includes discussants from the US Coast
Guard, Florida
and regional ports and private sector leaders concerned about the issue.

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