Free Movement Of Labour – Holness urges greater cooperation within CARICOM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that the threat that climate change poses to Caribbean countries should spur regional leaders to work towards greater cooperation among states across the region.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing the IMF High Level Caribbean Forum yesterday.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing the IMF High Level Caribbean Forum yesterday.

Speaking yesterday at the sixth High Level Caribbean Forum, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, Holness said that there was a tendency for regional states to focus on the free movement of goods without making a connection with the free movement of labour.

“It becomes a particular concern when viewed against the backdrop of natural disasters. Can you imagine a sustained fallout in our sister islands? How will those economies recover if there is not a mechanism to allow the free movement of labour, even temporarily, to help in the recovery and relief efforts?” Holness questioned.

He said that after the recent impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, many students from some countries in the Eastern Caribbean had to complete their studies in sister Caribbean territories that had not been affected.

“It is this capacity for our respective economies and countries to open our societies, open our schools, that will give us, collectively, the ability to respond to disasters and crises,” he added.

 

Read More: Jamaica Gleaner

Online Platforms launched to promote regional trade and business

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(From left) Barbados Labour Minister Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo; CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan; Barbados Ambassador to CARICOM Robert Morris; Ms Gladys Young, CARICOM Secretariat; EU Representative Stephen Boyce

The Caribbean Community’s development of a Single Market and Economy has been given a boost with the launch of four new on-line platforms aimed at promoting trade and improving the ease of doing business.

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CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan addressing the Launch

The CARICOM Secretariat, with support from the European Union, on Monday launched the CARICOM Online Companies Registries; Labour Market Information System;  Community Public Procurement Notice Board; and the CARREX Platform and On-Line Public Portal, at a ceremony in Barbados.

The CARICOM Online Companies Registries provide a region-wide electronic platform for online name searches and name reservation,  business and company registration, public access to records, e-payment and e-signature, among other features. It will also facilitate a better overview of the prevailing business climate in the Region, helping for example, to identify areas of saturation, those with growth potential, and even the role of the informal economy.

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Part of the audience at the Launch

The EU’s Dr Stephen Boyce, in remarks at the launch, said at least one recent high profile example illustrates the critical importance of this platform.

“A few years ago, the inflight magazine on LIAT was rebranded as LIME. This was just a few weeks before a telecommunications giant in the region acquired a similar moniker.  The result was a further rebranding to Zing to avoid any conclusion. A regional register would have avoided this,” he noted.

The development of this platform required automating the more than half of the national company registries in CARICOM which were still paper based, upgrading those already automated, and providing a functioning web software/application information system. (more…)

Strong regional foreign policy coordination critical in changing global environment – President Granger

PRESIDENT David Granger served as Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from January to July, 2017 and during his tenure, he emphasised the economic, environmental and physical security of the citizens who make up the populations of member states. The Guyanese Head of State placed at the top of the regional agenda our right, as members of the Community, to citizenship, to food security and economic viability, a safe and secure existence and the protection of our territorial integrity.

AGRICULTURE TALKS: Guyana's President David Granger and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart
MEGA FARM VISIT: Guyana’s President David Granger (centre) and Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart (right)

 

 

Recognising that the small states that make up the Region must stand firmly together in the face of a constantly changing global environment, President Granger believes that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is the key to addressing these bread and butter issues for CARICOM citizens.

Foreign Policy Coordination
Effective foreign policy coordination is viewed as an important enabler for building resilience by effectively positioning CARICOM and the Member States in the global arena through collaboration, cooperation and strategic alliances, the promotion and protection of the interest of CARICOM and other small states to mitigate vulnerability and the leveraging of resources for regional priorities. Heads of Government of CARICOM continue to articulate and harmonise policies and programmes to safeguard and promote the Community’s interests within the global environment. President Granger has attached great importance to foreign policy coordination, even as individual states within the Community pursue their national interests. He believes that foreign policy coordination is one of the four pillars on which the Caribbean Community stands.

Within a current international environment that is replete with uncertainty and complexity, President Granger warned that the efficacy of the Community’s international advocacy could be impaired if coordinated regional positions are weakened.

“The Caribbean Community cannot cling to an obsolete model of insularity in light of these international changes. The mirage of 15 airlines, 15 cricket teams, 15 defence forces and 15 embassies in the capitals of the world might mesmerise a few sentimental romantics, but could deplete the treasuries of our states. The Community, challenged by the constantly changing international situation, must redouble its efforts to ensure a more safe society for its citizens, more stable economies for its countries, deeper solidarity and a more secure hemisphere,” the President said.

Read More: Guyana Chronicle 

CSME the best response to changes in Europe – Outgoing Chair

 

Outgoing Chairman of CARICOM, H.E. David Granger, President of Guyana delivering his address to the Conference
Outgoing Chairman of CARICOM, His Excellency David Granger, President of Guyana, delivering his address to the Conference

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is the Community’s best response to the inevitable changes in its traditional markets in Europe, the prevalence of economic liberalisation and the emergence of economic blocs, Outgoing CARICOM Chairman, President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger said Tuesday evening.

Speaking at the opening of the 38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM at the Grenada Trade Centre in Grand Anse, the President of Guyana said the CSME is still the best vehicle to allow small states like those of CARICOM to compete in the global economy while promoting economic and social development.

CARICOM Heads of Governments, who began the first business session of their two-day meeting on Wednesday, were expected to examine the findings of a comprehensive review of the CSME. (more…)