Leaders end retreat

rhondathompson, rhondathompson@nationnews.com

Added 22 May 2011

caricomsecretariat

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders have ended their two-day retreat here indicating that the process towards a single economy within the 15-member grouping that would have gone into effect by 2015, will now “take longer than anticipated’. The leaders from 10 of the Caribbean countries - Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Suriname, St. Lucia and the Bahamas prime ministers were absent – said in a statement afterwards that they would now await a restructuring of the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat before establishing an over-arching decision-implementation arm to ensure regional policies are adhered to.  “As regards the Single Economy, they recognised that the process towards full implementation would take longer than anticipated and agreed it may be best to pause and consolidate the gains of the Single Market before taking any further action on certain specific elements of the Single Economy, such as the creation of a single currency,” the statement said. The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is intended to benefit the region by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell goods and services and to attract investment. It will create one large market among the participating member states. “The main objectives of the CSME are: full use of labour (full employment) and full exploitation of the other factors of production (natural resources and capital); competitive production leading to greater variety and quantity of products and services to trade with other countries. It is expected that these objectives will in turn provide improved standards of living and work and sustained economic development,”” according to the CARICOM Secretariat.  “In respect of Governance, they reaffirmed the decision taken at their Inter-Sessional Meeting in Grenada in February to await the completion of the current review of the CARICOM Secretariat, before taking any firm decisions towards the establishment of the Permanent Committee of CARICOM Ambassadors (PCCA),” the statement said after the retreat held at BK International’s quarry resort at Teperu, Mazaruni. (CMC)

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