CSME a journey not a destination, say CARICOM heads
A comprehensive review of the current status of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was among matters before Caribbean Community heads of government at the just concluded 28th inter-sessional meeting in Guyana.
The review, mandated by the heads at their previous meeting in July 2016, spoke to the achievements to date, the matters being held up by member states or community organs, work that is in train or still to be done, and the challenges being faced.
The meeting agreed that there was significant progress in the implementation of the CSME and noted that the areas of achievement include legal and institutional measures and mechanisms to support free movement of goods, services, skills and the cross border establishment of businesses.
The heads were, however, concerned that for some areas decisions taken were not complied with by member states and they agreed that the necessary action will be taken to effect compliance, according to a release from the CARICOM secretariat.
They identified some impediments to further development of the CSME, including capacity constraints at the national level, the need for effective consultative mechanisms, and the necessity for timely meetings of the responsible community’s organs and bodies.
Some priority areas noted for attention going forward include the challenges with payments for goods and services traded in the region and completion of the protocol relating to facilitation of travel.
The CSME, conceived by CARICOM in 1989, is intended to better position member states to grow by accessing and using their combined, rather than individual resources.
Its successful legal and institutional measures and mechanisms include transforming regional arrangements into domestic law.
There have also been agreements to establish and operationalise various community institutions needed for the effective operation of the CSME.