JIS News

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies is urging Jamaicans to take the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) very seriously, as the regional economic initiative will present many opportunities and possibilities for citizens of the states. “I want you all to take this very seriously, it is here, there are significant possibilities in looking at the Caribbean as one market,” Dr. Davies implored.

The Finance Minister was speaking at the Mayberry monthly investment forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, yesterday (January 25), where he also informed that Jamaica was ready for the CSM, which came into being on January 1, and was already ahead in several areas. “In several sectors, we are already ahead of them {regional states}, and the financial services sector is one such area,” Dr. Davies pointed out.

He indicated that the historic economic initiative would result in workers from other CARICOM states entering Jamaica to compete for jobs and businesses and as a result, Jamaicans needed to prepare themselves to meet the competition. “We have to be careful that we give ‘bang for each buck’.pretty soon workers from Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana and other member states will have equal access to activities here. Entrepreneurs from each of those countries will not be foreigners but will be part of the domestic market, and at the same time, we can move into their markets,” the Minister pointed out.

On January 30, CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Edwin Carrington and a number of CARICOM Prime Ministers will be present in Jamaica, to carry out the symbolic signing of the CSM, set for the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies. The completion of this latest trade bloc is expected in 2008, when the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will be implemented.