Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, The Hon. Rev. Joseph Atherley
The CARICOM Single Market has reaped early dividends for the region with the emergence of Pan Caribbean companies which are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the expanded regional market.
That is the view of Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Reverend Joseph Atherley who was speaking during the opening ceremony of the Tripartite Caribbean Labour Forum at the Barbados Hilton this morning.
He observed that these regional companies have made full pursuit of one of the critical objectives of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, namely production integration.
“This is happening in insurance and financial services with companies such as Sagicor who are using the increased market size as a platform for global expansion. Equally in communications, we have the recently created ‘One Caribbean Media’ which is in the process of offering shares to the average Caribbean person, thus broadening ownership and investment in this region,” he said.
Mr. Atherley also lauded the CaribVision television channel launched by the Caribbean Media Corporation which he believes is pivotal in the region’s information sharing network and providing an outlet for the Caribbean’s cultural product.
In addition, he revealed that Barbadian exports to CARICOM countries had increased by some 30 percent, a growth which accounts for 74 percent of this country’s total increase in exports.
Furthermore, Minister Atherley pointed out that the Barbadian private sector had already intensified its investment in infrastructural development in other Caribbean countries such as St. Lucia, the Bahamas and Belize.
The Minister also revealed that after consultation with relevant stakeholders last week, Barbados was seeking to present a document articulating the framework for the single economy and how it is to be achieved at the Special Meeting of the Heads of Government in November.