Grand Anse and beyond

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Today, we continue to place the spotlight on Grenada ahead of the Thirty-Eighth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM. We flash back through Grenada’s milestones as a champion of closer integration among the territories of the Region. The Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government will be held from 4 – 6 July at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort. The Opening Ceremony will be held this afternoon at the Grenada Trade Centre.

 

Remembering the Landmark Grand Anse Agreement, the genesis of the CSME

Once again, Grenada became associated with  another major milestone in regional integration.  The regional integration architecture was re-fuelled in 1989 in Grand Anse, Grenada. The Grand Anse Declaration and Work Programme for the Advancement of the Integration Movement symbolised a new era of integration embodied in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, the Community’s people centred- flagship programme.

In Grande Anse, Heads of Government articulated their vision to advance the regional integration process through the establishment of a single economic space, with social and cultural spin-offs. The objectives included more efficient use of labour, natural resources, capital and other factors of production; competitive production for a greater variety and quantity of products and services to trade with other countries; and the resulting improvement in standards of living. (more…)

 

CARICOM Consumers can now transmit complaints live on-line

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) consumers now have access to the CARREX Online Electronic Platform and the live public portal for providing alerts on dangerous non-foods consumer goods on the markets in all fifteen CARICOM Member States. The platform, which went live recently, can be accessed via www.carrex.caricom.org

Registered National Contact Points (NCPs) and their alternates, national authorities and economic operators, will be able to transmit notifications on this IT platform. It was developed with assistance under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Economic Integration Programme.

Through the online platform, consumers and consumer organisations will be able to submit complaints about products that may have caused or have the potential to cause harm to them. The facility can also be used by the public to submit complaints electronically to consumer protection agencies on defective products purchased from suppliers in the Community. (more…)

Ministers meet on moving Single ICT Space forward

FLASHBACK: CARICOM DeputyProgramme Manager, ICT4D, Ms. Jennifer Britton, and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox at one of the preparatory meetings in March, 2017
FLASHBACK: CARICOM Deputy Programme Manager, ICT4D, Ms. Jennifer Britton, and Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox at one of the preparatory meetings in March, 2017

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) meet tomorrow, 19 May, 2017, as effort continue to move on the establishment of the CARICOM Single ICT Space.

The Ministers convene for the Sixty-Eighth Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on ICT via videoconferencing anchored at the CARICOM Secretariat.

Several preparatory meetings of officials were held to advance work on the Integrated Work Plan for the Single ICT Space, and the draft Terms of Reference for the CARICOM-US Joint Task Force.  The Integrated Work Plan will set out the activities that need to be completed for the development of the Single ICT Space. The activities of the work plan will focus on areas such as conducting gap analyses, public awareness, specific telecommunications issues, legal and regulatory reform cyber security, bringing technology to the people, resource mobilisation, as well as, forecasting for the CARICOM Digital Agenda 2025.

The Single ICT Space is conceptualised as the digital layer of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Region’s flagship programme. It encompasses the management of Regional information, human resources, legislation and infrastructure in the sector to elicit maximum benefit for the Region’s populace.

The Single ICT space and the Region’s Digital Agenda 2025 will be constructed on the foundation of the Regional Digital Development Strategy (RDDS) which was approved in 2013, and will also have inputs from the Commission on the Economy and the Post-2015 Agenda.

CARICOM Heads of Government approved the Road map for the Single ICT Space in February 2017.

CSME – a journey not a destination: CARICOM Heads

Opening
Plenary session at the 28th Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government

A comprehensive review of the current status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was among the matters before Caribbean Community Heads of Government at their just ended 28th inter-Sessional Meeting in Guyana.

Opening_Chair
CARICOM Chairman, President David Granger of Guyana, addressing the 28th Inter-Sessional meeting.

The review, mandated by the Heads at their previous meeting in July 2016, spoke to the achievements to date, the matters being held up by Member States or Community Organs, work that is in train or still to be done, and the challenges being faced.

The Meeting agreed that there was significant progress in the implementation of the CSME, and noted that the areas of achievement include legal and institutional measures and mechanisms to support free movement of goods, services, skills and the cross border establishment of businesses.

The Heads were however concerned that for some areas, decision taken were not complied with in Member States and they agreed that the necessary action will be taken to effect compliance.  They identified some impediments to further development of the CSME, including capacity constraints at the national level, the need for effective consultative mechanisms, and the necessity for timely meetings of the responsible Community’s Organs and Bodies.  Some priority areas noted for attention going forward include, the challenges with payments for goods and services traded in the Region, and completion of the protocol relating to facilitation of travel. (more…)

Intensified public information campaign on CSME to be undertaken

ACTION ON CSME: Prime Ministers Roosevelt Skerrit and Dr. Keith Rowley of Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively at the opening ceremony of the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting
ACTION ON CSME: Prime Ministers Roosevelt Skerrit and Dr. Keith Rowley of Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago, respectively at the opening ceremony of the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting

CARICOM Heads of Government have mandated the intensification of a public information campaign on the benefits and provisions of the regional flagship programme, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), as well as a comprehensive review of programme.

The review of the CSME will “take the process forward”, the Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica and Chair of the Community said at the conclusion of the 37th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM held in Georgetown, Guyana last week. The review will be considered at the Intersessional Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government in February 2017.

The public information campaign will be conducted in Member States and will target all levels of society, Prime Minister Skerrit said.

The CSME, and one of its integral regimes in particular, the free movement of nationals, were under scrutiny during the meeting, and Prime Minister Skerrit reiterated that the Heads of Government were fully committed to implementing all elements of the CSME regime since they remained convinced it was the only option to achieve sustainable growth and development.

Prime Minister Skerrit reported that Heads of Government held spirited discussions on free movement of nationals as they sought to address the concerns of citizens traversing the Region. He pointed out that even though the majority of nationals were moving without hindrance, there were cases where there was denial of entry at ports.

…this is a matter that has to be addressed urgently as we are aware of the negative views that surface when these instances occur. There is guidance from the CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice) as well as decisions the Conference (of Heads of Government)  has made,” he said.

The CARICOM Secretariat has the responsibility for bringing together immigration officers, CARICOM Ambassadors and other stakeholders to address the issues stymieing free movement, the CARICOM Chair said. (more…)