GEORGETOWN, Guyana: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has agreed to put in place new measures to make it easier for citizens of the regional organization to work and travel among member nations.
An announcement issued at the close of the 33rd regular meeting of the conference of heads of government of CARICOM, which took place in Gros Islet, St. Lucia earlier this month, stated that the Caribbean leaders had recommitted to achieving the original objectives of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). These goals include the free movement of skilled Community nationals, access to the region’s resources and creating the environment for competitive production.
After evaluating the status of the CSME, the government heads agreed to focus on the expansion of the categories of skilled CARICOM nationals who could then work freely in member states.
They also agreed that all CARICOM nations would be automatically granted a six-month stay when entering a member state, provided there were no security problems, in order to ensure that CARICOM nationals were made welcome.
Another agreement was that if any member states were able to proceed with integration at a faster rate, they should be allowed to do so, provided that the door is always left open for other member states to join when they are able.
Other commitments included creating the environment for competitive production and making key institutions more effective.
When it comes to the Single Economy element of the CSME, the heads agreed on specific, but currently undisclosed, elements of the Work Programme and Timetable for implementation in the short to medium term.
The meeting was chaired by the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony.
Other leaders present included: the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer; the Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart; the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerritt; the Prime Minister of Grenada, Tillman Thomas; the President of the Republic of Guyana, Donald Ramotar; the President of Haiti, Michel Martelly; the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Portia Simpson-Miller; the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis, Dr. Denzil Douglas; the Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; the President of Suriname, Desiré Bouterse; and the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The Bahamas was represented by Frederick Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Belize by Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Associate members in attendance were the Chief Minister of Anguilla, Hubert Hughes; and Derrick Burgess of Bermuda.