CARICOM Heads agree to measures to fast-track CSME implementation
– Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee Meeting on CSME hosted in Trinidad
– Meeting called by Barbados’ PM Mottley and chaired by Jamaica’s PM Holness
– Heads of Government sign declaration in show of commitment to moving process forward
– schedule of deadlines to set the stage for 2020 implementation
– new categories of workers included for free movement throughout the region
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge recently attended the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee Meeting in Trinidad where measures to fast-track the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were discussed.
The minister, speaking to the Department of Public Information (DPI) today on the sidelines of the 2019 National Budget Debate, said the meeting was called by Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, who chairs the Quasi Cabinet that addresses matters related to the CSME.
The meeting, he noted, was chaired by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness. Minister Greenidge said all countries expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of progress as it relates to the implementation of the CSME.
“The Heads [of Government] embraced the declaration which shows that they are committed to all the major areas both of the single market and of the single economy, meaning apart from the movement of goods…there is also the question of services and complementing the movement of services of course involves people,” the minister said.
The declaration, Minister Greenidge noted demonstrates the countries’ commitment to ensuring that the 10 categories of workers agreed to previously, would enjoy free movement throughout the region. New categories were also added, among them agricultural workers, persons working in the fashion industry and related fields such as barbering and hairdressing, among others.
The minister said it was agreed too that the necessary infrastructure must be in place and a single Information and Communications Technology (ICT) space created.
“They looked at transport which is a big problem throughout the region; infrastructure wise… and also maritime infrastructure. They looked at the Caribbean Development Fund, which is intended to provide support to the smaller territories in the region, the OECS and those in the lower-income category,” he noted.
Heads of Government also agreed to a schedule of deadlines to ensure certain measures are put into effect within the next three months, at the end of 2019 and subsequently implementation by 2020, Minister Greenidge added.
In the area of Governance, the leaders also agreed to involve educational institutions such the University of the West Indies (UWI), agencies like the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF), private sector, employers and representatives of Unions in the discussions.
The meeting, the Foreign Affairs Minister revealed, included these said representatives who were able to share their views on the CSME and other matters including airline travel and others.
Image: Keno George.