Consultations required

As CARICOM Member States refocus on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), a CARICOM official said there needs to be widespread stakeholder consultations at both the national and regional levels.

It has come from Secretary General of CARICOM, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. LaRocque made the comments as he delivered remarks at the Ninth Meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday morning, as he said such collaboration would ensure more effective decision making and implementation of systems, while at the same time creating the feeling of togetherness.

“When our stakeholders, private sector and other non-state actors met in Georgetown last June, they confirmed that the CSME remained the best viable option and platform to achieve the goal of sustainable development for the Community. They urged that there be more engagement with them as beneficiaries of the measures, in order to gauge the progress and iron out the difficulties in exercising their rights and accepting their obligations under the various regimes,” LaRocque stated.

The Secretary General’s comments came as he commended the decision by the Heads of Government to have more frequent meetings of the Sub-Committee on the CSME, which he explained has been done in recognition of the need for more intense focus on the CSME going forward. With that in mind, he said those regular sessions will keep the developments and progress under review, and seek to address the challenges on an ongoing basis.

“It is also a clear signal from the Community’s leadership of the commitment to make the CSME more effective,” he added.
To that end, he indicated that member states must make every effort to implement their agreed commitments and obligations. He maintained this is an important aspect of moving the CSME process forward. LaRocque’s remarks came as he reflected on the meeting of the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) held earlier this week, during which he said a timeframe was agreed to in relation to the implementation a number of the features of the single economy, which are key to enhancing the effective use and operation of the single market.

“The approved implementation plan sets out timeframes for so doing in the short, medium and long term. The efforts to fulfil these requirements would be a significant and positive signal that we mean business,” he surmised. (JRT)

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