Caricom Heads of Govt meet to strengthen CSME

─ confidence in CSME renewed – PM Mia Mottley

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Heads of Government from around the Caribbean gathered in Barbados for the ninth meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy which commenced this morning.

President David Granger and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge are attending the meeting in Barbados.

Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairperson of the forum, Mia Mottley, in her opening remarks stated that since the last CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica, the confidence of the Caribbean citizens has been renewed in the CSME project.

Mottley stated that the CSME project can “make a definable difference in their lives.” According to her “the fact that COFAP [Council of Ministers of Finance and Planning] has met twice in the last four months having not met for five years is also a signal of our intention t0 be serious about the region’s business.”

Prime Minister Mottley reiterated the committee’s devotion to meeting CSME’s demands.

“We remain committed to being able to identify how best we can reach the Single Market and the Single Domestic Space in Transport and the Single Domestic Space in Communications.”

CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin La Rocque stated that the sub-committee provides political oversight and strategic direction to advance the CSME.

SG LaRocque disclosed that in Montego Bay, Jamaica last July at the Heads of Government conference, a decision was taken to allow for “more frequent meetings of the sub-committee in recognition of the need for more intense focus on the CSME.”

The CARICOM General-Secretary related that “these additional regular sessions will keep the developments and progress under review and seek to address the challenges on an ongoing basis and it is also a clear signal from the community’s leadership to make the CSME more effective”

It was noted that when stakeholders met in Guyana last June, it was confirmed that “the CSME remained the best viable option and platform to achieve the goal of sustainable development” for the Caribbean Community.

The focus of the meeting will centre on stakeholders’ outlook and recommendations for an effective CSME, including objectives and priorities; the free movement of persons; the role of the private sector and labour; as well as education.

By: Anara Khan.

Images: Charles Jong (Barbados)

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