The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)

 
In the Grande Anse Declaration and Work Programme for the Advancement of the Integration Movement, Heads of Government expressed their determination to work toward establishing a single market and economy.

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy is intended to benefit the people of the Region by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell our goods and services and to attract investment. It will create one large market among the participating member states.

The main objectives of the CSME are: full use of labour (full employment) and full exploitation of the other factors of production (natural resources and capital); competitive production leading to greater variety and quantity of products and services to trade with other countries. It is expected that these objectives will in turn provide improved standards of living and work and sustained economic development.

Key elements of the Single Market and Economy include:

Free movement of goods and services - through measures such as eliminating all barriers to intra-regional movement and harmonising standards to ensure acceptability of goods and services traded;

Right of Establishment - to permit the establishment of CARICOM owned businesses in any Member State without restrictions;

A Common External Tariff - a rate of duty applied by all Members of the Market to a product imported from a country which is not a member of the market;

Free circulation - free movement of goods imported from extra regional sources which would require collection of taxes at first point of entry into the Region and the provision for sharing of collected customs revenue;

Free movement of Capital - through measures such as eliminating foreign exchange controls, convertibility of currencies (or a common currency) and integrated capital market, such as a regional stock exchange;

A Common trade policy - agreement among the members on matters related to internal and international trade and a coordinated external trade policy negotiated on a joint basis;

Free movement of labour - through measures such as removing all obstacles to intra-regional movement of skills, labour and travel, harmonising social services (education, health, etc.), providing for the transfer of social security benefits and establishing common standards and measures for accreditation and equivalency.
 
Other measures:

Harmonisation of Laws: such as the harmonisation of company, intellectual property and other laws.

There are also a number of economic, fiscal and monetary measures and policies which are also important to support the proper functioning of the CSME.

These include:


Economic Policy measure: coordinating and converging macro-economic policies and performance; harmonising foreign investment policy and adopting measures to acquire, develop and transfer appropriate technology;

Monetary Policy measures: coordinating exchange rate and interest rate policies as well as the commercial banking market;

Fiscal Policy measures: including coordinating indirect taxes and national budget deficits.


National CSME Focal Point Officers
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