Caribbean nations and citizens need to embrace the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
This was stressed by Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong, while speaking to the Barbados Government Information Service recently about the importance of the régime to national and regional development.
He explained that at the CARICOM level it was recognised that member states had to rapidly complete components of the CSME, since it was through this mechanism that economic enfranchisement could be obtained.
He noted: “So, at the level of the CARICOM Secretariat, we are looking at regional transportation.
“We know that LIAT has gone under, but a lot of work is being done to encourage new airlines [to come on board]. There is a lot of strategising about how we can relaunch a CARICOM shipping service – where we will have ships that can transport, in the first instance, cargo across the region, and then subsequently, even passengers.”
The envoy emphasised that the CARICOM skills national programme was still very relevant, because it facilitated the movement of important skills across borders to generate additional job opportunities.
He maintained: “You are not just moving people for the sake of moving people. You’re really saying that if a particular country needs skills that can be augmented from another CARICOM country, then we want to do that because we need to understand that by having skilled persons in an economy, working, [and] producing, what that is doing is generating additional economic activity, additional jobs and sometimes we don’t understand this. Some of us have this false belief that there is a finite number of jobs, [and] that if a person comes in and they start to work that what they are doing is taking away a job form the national populace. That’s the wrong way of looking at it.”
He explained that the CSME was designed to facilitate self-sufficiency by circulating resources, thereby creating economic opportunities for all and saving foreign exchange.