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Incoming CARICOM chairman calls for deepened regional integration

Published:Saturday | December 31, 2016 | 12:19 PM

Guyana assumes the chairmanship of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping with President David Granger saying that 2017 holds great promise for the Caribbean countries to advance” our integration process which can only be possible through the involvement and participation of all.

“Let us resolve to play our part in strengthening our Caribbean Community and to making regional unity a living, breathing experience,” Granger said in a message ahead of taking over from Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit from January 1.

Granger, who will hold the position for the next six months, said that 2016 marked the mid-point of the Five-Year Strategic Plan which he described as “a foundational element in the Community’s Reform Process.

“That process is geared towards ensuring that our people feel the impact of the integration movement in their daily lives. Integration is not merely about systems and institutions. It is mostly about people.

“It is in the interest of developing our people that we are taking steps to ensure that they are fully equipped to address the requirements of the 21st Century economy and society.  Our Commission on Human Resource Development is developing a Regional Education and Human Resource Strategy with special attention to ICT in Education and Human Resource Development."

Granger said that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region, remains “the vehicle through which we can achieve the growth and development, timely assessments will serve to ensure that we maximise its benefits for our citizens".