CARICOM Secretariat partners with Government of Barbados to launch the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project
Efforts to mould a cohesive, harmonious Caribbean Community (CARICOM) got under way this morning, with the launch of phase two of the CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project on Harmonisation and Standardisation of Administrative Practices and Procedures (CTCP), hosted at the CSME Unit, Sky Mall, St. Michael.
Government representatives and other stakeholders gathered to discuss how the Canada-funded CTCP, which began in 2007, would continue to assist regional nations in meeting their commitment to facilitate the free movement of goods, services and people throughout CARICOM.
“Naturally, we assign tremendous importance to studies undertaken on the CSME regimes. [They should] carefully assess the social, economic and political impacts of regulatory and legislative changes on each national society and on regional realities; and take into account the externalities that arise,” Senator Boyce stressed.
The CARICOM Trade and Competitiveness Project is one of many initiatives supported by Canada…The gradual progression of work undertaken through this project will result in a more integrated Caribbean, creating increased opportunities for the average CARICOM citizen,” he said, adding that this included the right for CARICOM nationals to travel, live and work in a CSME state of their choice.
“However, the benefits from the establishment and operation of the CSME will not materialise unless there’s full implementation and effective operation of the CSME,” he observed.
Offering thanks to the Canadian Government for its assistance, Programme Manager of the CARICOM CSME Unit, Ivor Carryl, expressed his satisfaction with the progress made with the CTCP project.
He revealed that the project was deemed necessary because “we discovered that, having reached agreements at the community level, often, the process by which agreements are given effect on a day-to-day basis was never taken to its logical conclusion…The person who is a wage earner doesn’t care that the Treaty says he has a right…what he’s interested in is when he turns up at a place of government, he can get the facilitation that is required…,” he stated.
The Programme Manager also noted that because each Member State “retains the right to implement the arrangements in its own image, it interprets the Treaty [of Chaguaramas] and implements the arrangements as such. The consequence being, one could end up with 12 different arrangements for every agreement. And, if this is going to be an effective single market, than the operators in the market would expect that the arrangements would be as harmonised as possible…
“What is expected from this project at the end of the day is that all of the Member States would have increased substantially their ability to operate five core regimes of the single market, primarily trade in goods, movement of service providers, provision of service, movement of capital, right to establish businesses across borders and the movement of persons for the purpose of work and travel…The Secretariat hopes that this project would’ve solved some of the more basic problems which we have encountered over the years (with the CSME),” Mr. Carryl surmised.
Additional information on the CTCP may be obtained by visiting http://www.oecs.org/our-work/projects/714-cctp. (NH/BGIS)