Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley. (FP)

“What is in it for me?” Barbadians and other persons in the region will get the opportunity to have this question answered, at a special town hall meeting next week, on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, in her capacity as lead head with responsibility for the CSME in CARICOM’S quasi cabinet, will be the featured speaker at the event, which takes place on Monday, November 4, at the Walcott–Warner Theatre, Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, Cave Hill, St. Michael, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Ms. Mottley will be joined by CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; Principal of the University of the West Indies, Professor Eudine Barriteau; President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Warren Smith; and CARICOM Assistant Secretary General, Joseph Cox. Communications Specialist, CSME Unit, Salas Hamilton, will be the moderator.

They will examine the topics: Free Movement and Contingent Rights, Development of Skills within the Region and the Human Resource Development Strategy, Transportation, Trade Related Matters, CSME Implementation, and Financial Cooperation and Investment Policy. An interactive question and answer session will follow.

The event is being coordinated by the University of the West Indies, the Prime Minister’s Office and the CARICOM Secretariat, and will be televised and livestreamed.

The meeting will be preceded by a Regional Stakeholders’ Consultation on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, involving Members of Parliament, CARICOM Ambassadors and honorary consuls in Barbados, CSME focal points, regional institutions, international development partners, non-governmental organizations, the diplomatic corps, the private sector, labour, civil society, and the youth and farmers’ associations, among others.

The session will allow for information sharing, exchange of ideas and communication of interests, objectives and concerns on the CSME, and will ensure that participants have a greater knowledge and awareness of what the CSME can do for them, and what role they play in the development of the region.

Designed to raise awareness about the CSME and its régimes/arrangements, it will also elicit labour’s position, as well as the needs of the private sector in identifying key issues that must be addressed within the CSME, in order for there to be greater ownership and participation throughout the region.

The findings of the stakeholders’ consultation will be presented to Heads of Government to inform their decisions and policy implementation. Prime Minister Mottley will assume chairmanship of CARICOM on January 1, 2020, and Barbados will host the upcoming Intersessional Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, from February 18 to 19, of that year.

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