March 1, 2021

Caricom expects to have specific agreements on the single market in February

The countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) expect to have concrete agreements on the future Single Market and Economy (CSME) next February, an ambitious regional objective that seeks to facilitate the free movement of goods and people in the area.

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, main responsible for the development of the CSME, said during the press conference that closed the 40th Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the regional group held in St. Lucia that agreements may be presented in February, during the next meeting between sessions of the organization.

Mottley said that by that date it is expected that "a number of key aspects" of the CSME initiative will be ready to advance the free circulation of labor and services through the 15 Caricom members.

He stressed that the objectives are to promote the harmonization of investment policy and the stock exchanges of different countries, among other initiatives.

"We have done a lot, but we have to carry out initiatives such as the multilateral air services agreement, a legal instrument that will allow operational freedom in the skies of the region," he said.

The president of Caricom and the prime minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet, said that they worked during the meeting to advance the measures described in the implementation plan of the CMSE.

The Prime Minister of Saint Lucia said that the regional leaders also made efforts to move towards the establishment of the Private Sector Organization (CPSO, in English) of the Caricom.

Chastanet, on the other hand, stressed that an issue of "deep concern" for regional leaders is the inclusion in the blacklist of the European Union (EU) of some Caribbean countries members of Caricom, which he stressed constitutes "a clear threat and direct for the economy and well-being of those territories and the region.

"We agreed to redefine Caricom's strategy regarding blacklists" of the European Union, he said, without giving details.

The president of Caricom noted that the regional leaders had a "fruitful" meeting with the Prime Minister of Norway -the country invited to the meeting-, Erna Solberg, with which issues such as the response to natural disasters, climate change, environment and sustainable economy.

He said Solberg indicated that he appreciated the region's position on the issues and supported them to a large extent.

Chastanet stressed that the presence of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, at the meeting shows the importance of the meeting held in Saint Lucia.

Within the political sphere, the crises affecting Venezuela and Haiti were the axes of the 40th Ordinary Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caricom Community.

The general secretary of Caricom, Irwin LaRocque, said during the meeting that the organization maintains a common position before the crisis in Venezuela, which involves non-interference, dialogue, non-politicization of aid, peaceful resolution and recognition of the state of law and the Constitution of that country.

In addition, it was agreed to send a delegation of the highest level, composed of prime ministers, to Haiti to investigate the situation in that country, where the opposition is trying to remove the president, Jovenel Moise, for an alleged irregular management of Petrocaribe funds.

. (tagsToTranslate) Caricom (t) February (t) specific agreements (t) (t) market

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