The revised Treaty of Chaguaramas is to be amended to allow representatives of the private sector and the Caribbean Congress of Labour to participate in CARICOM Heads of Government meetings, says Barbadian Prime Minister, Hon. Mia Mottley.
She said the decision was made at a recent gathering of Heads in Trinidad and Tobago on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The Barbadian Prime Minister, who has lead responsibility for the CSME within the quasi-CARICOM Cabinet, noted that the inclusion of the private sector and labour movement is necessary for the region “to have a successful single market and economy”.
She added that the move is among the early steps to be taken in order to “unlock growth within the region”.
Ms. Mottley was speaking at the 14th regional Investments and Capital Markets Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on January 23.
She pointed out that regional institutions such as the University of the West Indies (UWI) are associate members of CARICOM and can attend meetings of Heads of Government.
“The private sector and the labour movement must become associate members of CARICOM… . We [must] have the players and the factors of production that affect growth, and those are the people who control capital and the people who control labour,” she argued.
Ms. Mottley advised that this year, the regional private sector and labour bodies will be engaged to concentrate on four critical areas of growth in the region requiring strategic attention.
These include food security; regional area and maritime transport; renewable energy; and information and communications technology.
“This year we (the region) will also be moving to the adoption of model securities legislation and work towards integrated capital markets. There is no doubt that the Jamaica Stock Exchange has been a leader with respect to the development of the stock exchange in the region and can work to play a significant role with us in leading the region in integrated capital markets,” Ms. Mottley said.
First signed in 2001, the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas established the Caribbean Community including the CSME.
Among the objectives of the revised treaty are: improved standards of living and work; full employment of labour and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated and sustained economic development and convergence and the expansion of trade; and economic relations with third States.