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CARICOM wraps up with CSME review order

Published:Thursday | July 7, 2016 | 9:31 AM
CARICOM chairman Roosevelt Skerrit.

The latest CARICOM meeting of heads of government has ended with a major decision to comprehensively review the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

CARICOM chairman Roosevelt Skerrit made the announcement at a press conference in Georgetown Guyana at the end of the 37th CARICOM heads of government conference.

The CSME was established under the 2001 Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to facilitate the free movement of goods, services and people among member states.

Skerrit said the review will not be about cutting the CSME but strengthening the union, which has been facing increasing scepticism about its functionality.


CARICOM chairman Roosevelt Skerrit

The review is expected to be completed by February next year when the political leaders meet in Guyana for inter-sessional talks.

It's not the first time that CARICOM leaders have spoken of problems with the union after a heads of government meeting.

However, it's the first time a review has been ordered which suggests a desire to respond to the growing frustrations of participants.

Trade and immigration issues between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago – two of CARICOM's most powerful members have for years fuelled questions about whether the union is fair.

CARICOM has also faced criticisms about the slow pace of implementation of agreements.

Twelve of the 15-member CARICOM are participants in the CSME.