In 1972, Commonwealth Caribbean leaders at the Seventh Heads of Government
Conference decided to transform the Caribbean Free Trade Association
(CARIFTA) into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community,
of which the Common Market would be an integral part.
The signing of
the Treaty establishing the Caribbean Community, Chaguaramas, 4th July
was a defining moment in the history of the Commonwealth
Caribbean. Although a free-trade area had been established, CARIFTA did
not provide for the free movement of labour and capital, or the coordination
of agricultural, industrial and foreign policies.
The objectives of the Community, identified in Article 6 of the Revised
Treaty, are: to improve standards of living and work; the full employment
of labour and other factors of production; accelerated, coordinated
and sustained economic development and convergence; expansion of trade
economic relations with third States; enhanced levels of international
competitiveness; organisation for increased production and productivity;
achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness
of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of States and
entities of any description and the enhanced co-ordination of Member
and foreign economic policies and enhanced functional co-operation.
The Revised Treaty
In 1989, when the Heads of Government made the decision to transform
the Common Market into a single market and economy in which factors
move freely as a basis for internationally competitive production of
and provision of services, it was also decided that for the transformation
to take place, the Treaty would have to be revised.
following the adoption of the report of the West Indian Commission,
an Inter-governmental Task Force was established, to work on the revision
of the Treaty.
Between 1993 and 2000, the Inter-Governmental Task Force (IGTF) which
was composed of representatives of all Member States, produced nine
Protocols, for the purpose of amending the Treaty. These nine Protocols
combined to create a new version of the Treaty, called formally, The
Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas Establishing the Caribbean Community,
including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.
Allowances have been
made for the subsequent inclusion in the Revised
Treaty, by way of additional Protocols, new issues such as e-commerce,
government procurement, trade in goods from free zones, free circulation
of goods, and the rights contingent on the free movement of persons.