CARICOM heads agree to measures to fast-track full implementation of CSME

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Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley (L) and Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness, incoming CARICOM Chair, at a press conference at the end of the 39th heads of government meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, last week. JIS Photo

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) — Heads of government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have agreed to put measures in place to fast-track the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Among the strategies is a special meeting of CARICOM heads to focus solely on the CSME, to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in November this year.

This was disclosed by Jamaican prime minister and incoming CARICOM chairman, Andrew Holness, during a press conference last Friday.

The prime minister was providing details on decisions taken at the just-concluded 39th regular meeting of the conference of heads of government of CARICOM, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Jamaica from July 4 to 6.

“Furthermore, the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME will now have quarterly meetings beginning in September in Barbados, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, to give urgency to the implementation process,” Holness announced.

He further noted that government leaders also put greater focus on advancing those areas that would help to create enabling support measures for a competitive Single Market.

These include an investment policy and investment code, an incentive regime, an integrated capital market and securities legislation.

“As leaders, we expect that these matters will be ready for full adoption at the 40th meeting of Conference in July 2019.These mechanisms will enable strong support measures for a successful CSME,” the prime minister said.

In the meantime, Holness stressed the heads’ recommitment to making the mechanisms within CARICOM work, by taking decisive action.

“I am resolved as the chair to ensure that we take action. We must get things done to make a difference. We are resolved to now begin to implement the decisions we take to improve the perceptions, especially amongst our youth,” he said.

The CSME is an integrated development strategy that is intended to benefit the people of the region by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell goods and services and to attract investments.

It is built on five core regimes – free movement of capital, free movement of goods, free movement of skills, the provision of services, and the right of establishment. In addition, the CSME facilitates hassle-free travel for all CARICOM nationals.

The conference of heads of government, which consists of the heads of government of the member states, is the supreme organ of CARICOM and determines and provides its policy direction.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Wishful thinking when some members have long said they would be destroyed by the free movement in goods and people.

  2. Totally foolish idea. Maybe the single smart thing Hubert Minnis has done since taking office is to declare that we remain completely uninterested in CSME, although I am sure it took his senior civil service to point out to him the obvious: that the result would be mayhem and a virtual tsunami of economic migrants. The only three countries that have any real interest in implementation are the ones whose populations are eager to migrate: Jamaica, Guyana and Haiti.

    • Not only that.

      These three countries, because of their low costs of production, based on their huge land base and low wages, would flood the other countries with cheap agricultural produce which would put thousands of small-scale farmers out of business.

      This would be unproblematic if there were other jobs waiting for them but there are not which is why they continue to plant food on plots under three acres in size using a hoe and cutlass and family labour.

      • While I think the prospect of cheap agricultural goods would be good for my country (there being no small scale farmers to speak of – and certainly not thousands) why does it have to come along with free movement of labour? It just makes no sense. Likewise with the OECS: you would be swamped by Guyanese and Jamaican immigrants as soon as you sign up.

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