CARICOM heads of government at their 28th inter-sessional meeting in Georgetown, Guyana
By Kathyann Husbands
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member countries have a deadline of March 31 to submit comments on the review of the various regimes of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The review shows the status of implementation, for each country, of the measures intended to bring the CSME into effect.
In an interview at the end of the 28th inter-sessional meeting of CARICOM heads of government in Georgetown, Guyana, Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart explained that the “comprehensive” review had been carried out by the CARICOM Secretariat under his oversight as lead head for the CSME, and as directed by the conference of heads of government last July.
“What the review has done is to highlight all those things that we have achieved, which are many, as well as those things that we have not achieved but can be done once member states implement the necessary legislation, or put other mechanisms in place to make the operation of the CSME more effective in the respective areas,” Stuart noted.
The prime minister observed that, despite various challenges, there was still a “high level of enthusiasm” for the regional integration movement, and a high level of interest in the goal of a CSME.
“I made the point during our presentation to the conference that the CSME is not a destination, it’s a journey, and there will always be work to do. What we want to ensure is that we have a regional integration movement that is alive, and that we’re responding appropriately to the multiple challenges that arise from time to time,” he emphasised.
The heads of government will consider again the progress of the CSME at their next regular meeting, which will be held from July 4 to 6, in St Georges, Grenada. That meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell.
In addition, Stuart disclosed that his delegation had apprised the conference of preparations for CARIFESTA XIII, to be held in Barbados from August 17 to 27; and had also participated actively in the discussions on regional security, correspondent banking, ICT, tourism, CARICOM’s relationship with the United States, and the prospects for the ACP group of countries.