News release 129/2006
(28 June 2006)
 
SUBSTANTIAL BENEFITS ANTICIPATED FROM CARICOM SINGLE ECONOMY

 
(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) Prime Minister of Barbados, the Rt Hon Owen Arthur told a High-Level three day Symposium, on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in Barbados on Wednesday 28 June that “we are very near to church, but still far from God. But we must persevere.”

Prime Minister Arthur said that “the substantial benefits from economic integration will in fact derive from the construction of a single regional economy. Those benefits will ensue from the integration of our production systems, and the rationalisation of the use of all of our associated resources; from the full integration and harmonised development of our financial capital markets; the coordinated development of our regional transport and communications networks, and the creation of a new enterprise culture in CARICOM by the harmonisation of our policies relating to investments, incentives and macro economic policies in general.”

The Symposium, Caribbean Connect, brings together an impressive cross- section of regional and international stakeholders to deliberate on issues critical to the Caribbean Community,” in particular, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

In reference to the recent “agreement in principle” on the contribution formula for the proposed regional Development Fund, the Prime Minister described it as “a glimmer of hope that the programme of special and differential treatment for less developed members within a CSME, can be brought into existence, and that these countries could proceed to walk within the CSME, guided by sight rather than by faith.” Despite this evidence of progress, he urged the maintenance of a realistic sense of proportion as to what has thus far been achieved, and what now remained to be accomplished.

Prime Minister Arthur sees the holding of Caribbean Connect and the current CSME implementation in the context of an observation by Caribbean Literary icon, George Lamming, “The architecture of our future is not only unfinished; the scaffolding has hardly gone up.”

CONTACT: piu@caricom.org  and/or
                cjames@caricom.org
 

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