The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will be one of the main areas of focus when Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers with responsibility for Trade meet in Georgetown, Guyana, Thursday and Friday. In preparation for the two-day Ministerial Meeting, officials met on Monday and on Tuesday at the CARICOM Secretariat. The Ministers will consider the regional flagship programme during the 44th Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) which will be held at the Pegasus Hotel. The implementation of the CSME is a key agenda item of the Council which is moving to advance it based on the mandate of the CARICOM Heads of Government. In July, 2016, the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM mandated a comprehensive review of the CSME. The review was done and was considered at the Intersessional Meeting of the Heads of Government held in Georgetown in February, 2017.
“What the review has done is to highlight all those things that we have achieved, which are many, as well as those things that we have not achieved but can be done once Member States implement the necessary legislation, or put other mechanisms in place to make the operation of the CSME more effective in the respective areas,” said the Hon Freundel Stuart earlier this year. Mr. Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados, is the lead Head of Government with responsibility for the CSME in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet.[caption id="attachment_21525" align="aligncenter" width="702"] CARICOM ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Joseph Cox, makes a point to chair of the Meeting of Officials, Ms. Yvette Rokadji, Deputy Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry of Suriname.[/caption] July 13, 2016
The Ministerial Meeting will look at timelines for the implementation of aspects of the CSME, including the facilitation of travel, movement of skills, private sector facilitation and the movement of goods and services. The future of the Community's external trade policy and strategy, and its preparation for Britain's departure from the European Union are also on the agenda.