JIS News

A mandate from the conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM has resulted in the Secretariat carrying out an appraisal of the state of implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), in the region.
This is according to Programme Manager, CSME Unit, Ivor Carryl, who was speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank in Kingston.
Mr. Carryl is part of a CARICOM team visiting Jamaica, March 30-April 3, to do a local appraisal of the CSME Regime, including challenges faced by participants.
“This appraisal is a stocktaking of how far each CARICOM state has gone towards fulfilling its obligations under the revised Treaty,” Mr. Carryl said.
“To do this exercise, we are essentially looking at the legislative changes which have been made pursuant to the Treaty. We are also looking at whether the arrangements within the various departments of governments have been organized in such a way that they are in the best position to carry out the functions of the state, as required by the Treaty,” he added.
He said that his team is looking at the regulations that have to be developed, or have been reformed, as a result of the accession to the CSME Treaty. The last Heads of Government meeting in Belize, the mandate to the appraisal team was extended to include enquiring about the experiences of Caribbean government departments, since the introduction of the CSME, in July 2007.
“They are trying to get a feel of what the challenges are and whether the frontline operators in these government departments have any recommendations they wish to make, regarding actions that may be taken to improve the overall effectiveness of the CSME,” he said.
The CSME 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 investment. It is intended to create one large market among the participating member states.
The CSME is expected to free up trade in the region. Other elements of the CSME Treaty include the free movement of goods and services, a common external tariff for all members, free movement of capital and free movement of workers.
An aspect of the treaty which has been ratified by most CARICOM countries, is the right of establishment, which allows CARICOM owned businesses to set up shop in any other member state without restrictions, and for the free circulation goods from other sources, once these goods were subject to taxation at the first port of entry.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding expressed concern that the regional audit, needed to speed up the process of fully establishing the CSME, is still incomplete, on his return from the Belize Heads of Government meeting in March.
“We need to see who is complying and who is not, why they are not complying and why the dream still seems so far away from achievement,” the Prime Minister said.
He pointed out that a report is to be made to the Heads of Government in time for their next meeting in Guyana

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