CARICOM making reasonable progress on CSME, will focus on improving quality of citizens’ lives – President Granger

DPI, Guyana, Friday, July 7, 2017

The concerns raised about the progress of some aspects of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) have been endorsed by President David Granger but he remains optimistic about the “reasonable progress being made.”

The Guyanese Head of State reminded that in his opening remarks as out-going Chairman of the Conference of the Heads of Government, the combined region possessed a greater land space than Sweden. The move towards achieve food security and the progress being made towards the creation of a single domestic, ICT and airspace is significant, he noted. He stated, “These are significant landmarks in creating unity and movement towards the single market and economy.”

In terms of term of cohesion, President Granger said that, “the steps forward in terms of tourism are significant. He noted that the region offers from the sun, sand and sea to the eco-tourism of mainland states such Guyana, Suriname and Belize, “When you look at them together, there is not another economic grouping in the world which combines these varieties of tourism products.”

He further noted that as the only member state that shared a border with Venezuela, Guyana was extremely happy that the Conference took a principled position on the situation affecting the Spanish speaking nation. He made it clear that, “We are not panicking. We are interested in a peaceful outcome to the troubles in Venezuela and we continue to work as a community. We continue to work within the framework of the Organisation of American States (OAS) to ensure that everything possible is done by other states in this hemisphere to satisfy the people of Venezuela and of course one that keeps the region as a zone of peace.”

The focus on the region’s citizens was also noted by the President. He said that the Conference put a lot of emphasis on social services, human resources, education conditions of life of ordinary citizens, “that was paramount.” He added that it not about the interest of the individual member states but about the interest (for example health) of the community. The changes that are occurring in the United States, the United Kingdom and European Union are being noted, President Granger further added, “We are concerned that those changes should not negatively affect the quality of life of our citizens and the solidarity of the Caribbean community.”


By: Paul McAdam


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