The status of implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) among member states will come into sharp focus this weekend when regional stakeholders meet here in Barbados.
A Convocation on the CSME, which comes off on October 9 and 10, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, will receive and discuss an audit of the implementation of the Single Market which came into effect in January 2006, and the challenges which member states have encountered in their quest to put the CSM into operation.
The comprehensive audit was undertaken by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat following a mandate of the Heads of Government issued at their Twenty-Ninth Meeting in July 2008 in Antigua and Barbuda.
Among the issues on the agenda at the Convocation are developments related to Contingent Rights. At the Thirtieth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in Georgetown in July of this year, core elements of a Contingent Rights Protocol were identified. Contingent Rights are those rights to which the dependents of skilled CARICOM nationals would be entitled when they exercise freedom of movement from one member state to another to accompany the skilled national who is engaged in an economic activity, such as employment or the provision of services.
A one-day meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on October 8, which precedes the Convocation, will also consider the report of the audit.
COTED will also hold discussions on the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice on the recently concluded case of Trinidad Cement Limited (TCL) vs. the Caribbean Community, and will review the procedures for the suspension of the Common External Tariff (CET).
In addition, the COTED Meeting will provide guidance on follow-up activities to the Regional Symposium on Services which was held in July this year in Antigua and Barbuda under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Baldwin Spencer.
Negotiations between CARICOM and Canada, for a Trade and Development Agreement, will also receive the attention of COTED. In particular, the meeting will consider issues arising from the CARICOM-Canada Ministerial Meeting held early last month in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the technical preparations that would be required at the regional level and by member states prior to the first round of negotiations.??