JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has announced that the signing of the Agreement to bring the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) into being between Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago as of January 2005 will take place in Bridgetown, Barbados on January 5. Mr. Patterson made the disclosure on Friday (Nov. 26) while addressing the official launch of a book entitled ‘Our Caribbean Community – An Introduction’.
Mr. Patterson said the CSME will have far-reaching implications for the region noting that the elements of the single market which are already in place have given rise to profitable trans-Caribbean businesses. “These enterprises have solidified their operational base in CARICOM as a launching pad for effective initiatives in the wider international markets and economies,” the Prime Minister said.
The CSME is designed to create a single economic space that enables the free movement of people, goods, services and capital. Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago have agreed to lead the CSME implementation process by completing all the required provisions as of 31st December 2004, in order to be fully CSME compliant as of January 1, 2005. The remaining CARICOM territories will complete the process by December 2005 to enable the region-wide launch of the CSME on January 1, 2006.
Prime Minister Patterson said that as the regional integration process progresses it is important for Caribbean citizens to be engaged in the discussions at every level. He said the book which is a product of the CARICOM Secretariat, can make a significant contribution to this process.
“Our citizens need to understand why greater unity among ourselves is an inescapable necessity. They want to be convinced about the practical benefits to be derived from closer regional economic and social collaboration,” Mr. Patterson said.
He said the region should also provide channels for the involvement of the Caribbean Diaspora so as to enlist their abundant loyalty, goodwill and support for Caribbean development. This Mr. Patterson stated should involve attractively packaged bond issues targeting the Caribbean Diaspora. “Such capital inflows could be directed towards specific development needs in the region such as the modernizing, restructuring and strengthening of regional air transport, with the multiplier effect such a move would provide,” Mr. Patterson said.
The book which was launched at the University of the West Indies, presents the background to the Caribbean Community and explains the workings of its Pillars, Organs and Institutions. It offers suggestions on the way forward for the Community, in a manner that allows readers to make their own assessment of the worth and work of CARICOM, its viability and the logic of advancing the integration movement.

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