Call For CARICOM And Heads Of Government To Make CSME Work

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A prominent Caribbean business man has made the call for the CARICOM Secretariat and Heads of Government in the region to ensure that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) succeeds.

President of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC), Carol Evelyn, noted that a successful CSME would see marked improvements for the region. He stated this could be achieved through sustained economic development, expansion of trade and economic relations with Caribbean States, an enhanced level of international competitiveness, and increased production and productivity, as outlined within the Treaty of Chaguaramas.???? He was speaking at the recently held Convocation on the CSME at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Stating that there was still some work to be done by Caribbean Heads before the full implementation of the CSME could take place, Mr. Evelyn advised regional leaders to pay urgent attention to finalising those areas in order that the process could be explained.

"The private sector is becoming disenchanted with the slow movement of the CSME.?? The fact is that we have missed many of our deadlines for CSME implementation.?? The private sector is therefore calling for urgent attention and focus to be directed to those areas of implementation which must be addressed immediately," he said.

The President of the CAIC also called for the establishment of a regional stock exchange and regulatory framework in order to make Caribbean markets truly efficient, raise capital and function as one economic space.??

"The region should aggressively pursue the development of the regional stock exchange and maintain its objectives of … promoting the movement of capital across the region … increasing investment opportunities … encouraging optimal financing for regional firms … [and] increasing the attraction of the region as an area for investment," he maintained.

Mr. Evelyn cautioned regional leaders that "if a regional stock exchange is not implemented in due time, more and more of our large companies will have no choice but to list outside of the region, which is certain to be a set of irreversible decisions."??

kmoore@barbados.gov.bb

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