CSME challenges being addressed at Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee meeting in Barbados
As a sign of the ongoing commitment of CARICOM Heads of Government to make the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) more effective, the body which provides political oversight and strategic direction will meet today to iron out challenges to the way forward.
This ninth Meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on CSME is being held in Barbados under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mia Mottley who has lead responsibility for the Single Market and Economy in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet. It is being attended by six CARICOM Heads of Government, including CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica, and the CARICOM Secretary-General.
Wednesday’s meeting follows agreement by CARICOM Heads at their July Summit in Montego Bay that there should be more frequent engagements by the Sub-Committee in recognition of the need for more intense focus on the CSME.
“An important aspect of moving the process forward is the need for Member States to make every effort to implement the agreed commitments and obligations,” Secretary-General LaRocque urged in opening remarks.
“The approved implementation plan sets out time frames for so doing in the short, medium and long terms. The efforts to fulfil those requirements will be of significant and positive signal that be mean business,” he added, while also advocating consultations at both the national and regional levels to involve the private sector, labour, the youth and other stakeholders more intimately in the implementation process.
Prime Minister Mottley praised the confidence reignited in the single market project since the Montego Bay meeting and the signing of the Protocol on Contingent Rights with provision for the spouses and dependents of persons moving across the Community. But she noted there were several other projects requiring urgent attention.
“Some have been identified. Some are in process and some are to be put back fully on the agenda. I refer […for example] to the need for us to make life easier for individuals and companies who want to move between our countries, without having to re-register and pay significant sums of monies in each territory in order to do business. It is a matter that we believe can easily be remedied and will make that definable difference for those of our citizens doing business in each of our territories,” the Prime Minister noted.
She also highlighted the Region’s commitment to the creation of a single domestic space for transportation and communication, and to agreement on a regional Protocol on Government Procurement which will facilitate easier regional bidding for government contracts.
The Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee Meeting was preceded on Tuesday by a Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Finance and Planning which, among other things, agreed to a timeframe to implement a number of elements of the Single Economy that would enhance the effective use and operation of the Single Market.
The sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday will set the stage for a Special Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government on the CSME to be held later this year in Trinidad and Tobago.
See photo album of the Opening: Ceremony: https://www.flickr.com/photos/141562286@N04/albums/72157700709119924/with/43585455225/