Prime Minister??David Thompson??

Government is pleased with Barbados’ progress in becoming compliant with the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) regulations, and is readying its economy and legislative and regulatory structures to be Single Economy compliant.

Prime Minister David Thompson made this observation on Tuesday, as he delivered remarks at the Commonwealth Business Forum on the "Commonwealth and the Americas" in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Noting that Barbados had recently completed an internal appraisal on the status of its compliance under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, Mr. Thompson said its involvement in the CSME was linked to its path of sustainable economic development.

He also commended the region for making "tremendous strides towards economic integration", adding that it was also on track for the Single Market phase of the CSME.

"From our perspective, the CSME represents an opportunity for CARICOM to harmonise our laws and administrative procedures that will create a single economic space.

"On completion of the Single Market phase, some 450 restrictions would have been removed, thereby making it easier for capital flows and the provision of services and skilled labour within our region," the Prime Minister stated.???? ???????????? ??

He pointed out that the recently held Convocation on the CSME had provided regional stakeholders with the opportunity to examine the progress that individual Member States had made in implementing the CSM and to gauge their readiness for implementing the Single Economy.

"Our findings are that notwithstanding some challenges with regard to differing capacities and governance structures, we are on track for full implementation of the Single Market.

"Despite the gloom and doom propagated about the fate of the CARICOM integration movement, there is more to be celebrated than there is about which??to complain," Mr. Thompson stated.

He also revealed that the regional private sector, through its umbrella body, the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce, had expressed support for the CSME and highlighted a number of areas where the pace of implementation should be advanced.

These included the urgent implementation of the movement of capital; and the establishment of a Regional Stock Exchange and accompanying regulatory framework that would allow businesses to raise capital and function as one economic space.

The regional private sector also recommended finalisation of the CARICOM Financial Services Agreement, which would allow the regional financial services sector to source capital at the lowest rate possible; and the creation of a Regional Credit Bureau, which would allow for the sharing and exchange of credit information on clients seeking to raise capital anywhere in the region.

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