JIS News

History will record the significance of January 2006 to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). On January 1, the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) took effect, signalling the formal establishment of the newest trade bloc. In January also, the region will be clearer as to the mandate of the CARICOM Development Fund after President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Professor Compton Bourne makes the announcement. Additionally, the framework for the regional Stock Exchange is to be determined.
Specialists from the Caricom Single market and Economy (CSME) Unit in Barbados, regional trade negotiation experts such as Professor Norman Girvan, Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States, and local representatives will also engage the Jamaican public in deeper discussions about the CSM during the month.
CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Edwin Carrington and some CARICOM Prime Ministers will also be present in Jamaica. Their focus, however, will be on the symbolic signing of the CSM, which is set for the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies.For the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable, P.J. Patterson, the event is particularly significant, as wearing the hat as the country’s Trade Minister, he was a witness at the signing of the original Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4, 1973, which established CARICOM.
“We have seen a great evolution in the integration movement since that signing with regional leaders, such as Eric Gairy (Grenada), Forbes Burnham (Guyana), Michael Manley (Jamaica) and Eric Williams (Trinidad and Tobago), and later the Grand Anse Declaration in 1989 which introduced a new phase in the movement toward the Single Market,” said Mr. Patterson after he signed the agreement establishing the CSM, on December 30.
In the meantime, a team from the Barbadian CSME Unit will further examine and explain the benefits and the required CSM compliance measures to ensure as smooth as possible a transition to the Single Market.
Whilst Jamaica has the prime ministerial lead for trade matters in CARICOM, Barbados has responsibility for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and it is there that the regional CSME unit is set up. Other CARICOM countries, including Barbados, have their national CSME Units.
Members from the Barbadian CSME team, which will include Ivan Karel, Head of the regional CSME Unit; Solace Hamilton, spokesperson for the media; Stephen McAndrew, the free movement resource person, and others, will conduct private sector consultations during the ‘CSM Week’ in late January at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. “These will be one-on-one sessions with big companies,” Robert Miller, Head of the CSME Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade told JIS News.
He noted that some of the popular topics to be covered are Caribbean export and free movement of people, capital and goods.
It is also expected that other technical personnel from the Barbadian regional CSME will cover legal issues during the ‘CSME Week’ here.
Mr. Miller also informed JIS News that there would be a media question and answer session. The importance of the University of the West Indies to the Caribbean integration movement will also be highlighted during that week. Not only will the Mona campus be the backdrop and setting for the symbolic CSM launch ceremony, but it is expected that CARICOM Prime Ministers and officials will play instrumental roles in the institution’s Research Day on Thursday, January 26.
Officials will also be on hand to address some 200 students on CARICOM and this will be facilitated through the Jamaica Library Service.