CARICOM Single Market and Economy beneficial to Region – St. Kitts and Nevis Trade Official

Trade Policy Officer in The Ministry of International Trade, Lyndis Harris (Photo via SKNIS)
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Basseterre, St. Kitts, (SKNIS): The idea of having a CARICOM Single Market and Economy is considered beneficial to the Region as it affords persons more and better opportunities for employment, to produce and sell goods and services, and to attract investment.

This is according to Trade Policy Officer in The Ministry of International Trade, Lyndis Harris, who described the CSME as a vital part of integration in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Ms. Harris spoke to the five core components of the CSME.

“With these five components persons throughout CARICOM they are afforded the opportunity in any of the participating member states to seek employment,” said Ms. Harris, while commenting on the fiscal aspect of the initiative. “And of course, CSME has economic activity, so therefore, persons are allowed to move only to provide services or to work. You’re not just moving to relax and be a burden on the country.”

With the Ministry of International Trade being the focal point for the CSME matters, Ms. Harris said that there are requirements that must first be met before entering any territory under the CSME movement.

“Persons who wish to move throughout the Caribbean Community acquire what we call a CARICOM Skills Certificate or Certificate of Recognition of Caribbean Communities Skills Qualification in order to move. So, moving under that regime is based on a skill,” she said. “Participating in the CSME, we have a larger pool of jobs and benefits to the CSME.”

The trade policy officer said that although the CSME provides endless opportunities there is still room for improvement. One such, is that of security. This, she said, is extremely important when working with stakeholders.

“It is important that persons moving throughout the Region be certified first of all to move freely and ply their trade. But when it comes to security that is one of the main issues that we have. For example, we have persons submitting fraudulent certificates and so in an effort to correct those measures security is one of the main elements of the CSME,” said Ms. Harris.

According to csmeonline.org, the CSME seeks to implement provisions for the removal of trade and professional restrictions. These provisions facilitate the right to establishment businesses, to provide regional services, the free movement of capital and the coordination of economic policies. In the ensuing years, some Caribbean economies, under the auspices of multilateral lending institutions, implemented structural adjustment programmes having at their core, programmes of economic, financial and trade liberalization that far exceeded their commitments as expressed in the Treaty of Chaguaramas.

The fundamental aspects of CSME are as follows: Consumer Affairs, Competition Policy, Social Security, Contingent Rights, Immigration Arrangements for Free Movement of Persons, Administrative Arrangements for Commercial Establishment, Government Procurement and Trade and Competitiveness in CARICOM.

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