CSME suffers from lack of agreement - Trinidad
A senior Trinidad and Tobago government minister on Tuesday said a lack of agreement on key issues is preventing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME) from functioning effectively.
The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and skills across the 15-member regional bloc, but Works and Infrastructure Minister Austin 'Jack' Warner said one of the stumbling blocks is the lack of agreement on who qualifies for the benefits.
"For professional service within the context of the CARICOM Single Market and there is need ... to have a common definition of what is a professional services so that all can be clear as to are covered by the policy," he told the launch of a local registry for professionals.
"There is also no common policy on the requirement and procedures for registration and licensing of professionals," he said, noting that "at present some member states have policy and regulatory framework for the commission of professional services while others do not.
"In other words, I am saying there is no commonality among member states," Warner said, adding that until this is rectified, the CSME cannot be considered a success.
"This policy and this regulatory-service framework themselves do not cover all professional services. More importantly where this policy and regulatory framework exist, they are not similar across member states. "
Warner said as a result, "what you have, therefore, is fragmentation" adding "what you also have is the co-existence of both regulated and non-regulated market for professional services within a single space and what I am suggesting compromises the effectiveness of the single space for professional services".
In his address, Warner encouraged professionals to register with the local registry noting that it can have advantages for businesses as well as for those seeking services.
Regional governments say the CSME is intended to benefit the people of the Caribbean by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell their goods and services and to attract investment. It is intended to create one large market among the participating member states.