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Jamaica threatens to leave CSME

RACHELLE AGARD, [email protected]

Jamaica threatens to leave CSME

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Jamaica may pull out of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) if a clear programme and definitive commitment to have it fully operational within the next five years do not materialise.

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding disclosed this during his remarks on the report of the commission to review Jamaica’s relations with the CARICOM and CARIFORUM frameworks on Friday at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

“In the absence of a commitment by member states as outlined above, and its diligent execution, Jamaica should withdraw from the CSME, but retain its membership of CARICOM in a capacity similar to that of The Bahamas,” the report read in part.

The commission consisted of 18 members, with Golding as chairman. They interviewed 26 people, received 25 written submissions and 33 recommendations.

CARICOM was established in 1973 and remodelled in 2001, with the Revised Treaty Of Chaguaramas laying out a design for the region to be converted into a single market and economy.

There are currently 12 registered CSME countries, three non-CSME countries and five “associate members”, with applications from Aruba, Curacao, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Maarten for associate membership. The Dominican Republic’s application for full membership was suspended in 2013 because of the controversy surrounding the legal status of people born there to undocumented Haitian immigrants.

Golding said the mandate that the commission was given could be broken down into three broad areas: to assess the impact that CARICOM had on Jamaica in particular, but across the region; to identify its shortcomings; and to make recommendations for the way forward.

Based on questions posed to the commission, they concluded CARICOM made good sense and the region stood a better chance of advancing through economic integration.

The objectives of CARICOM have not been met although there was some success in foreign policy and trade and while it was not doomed to fail, there was a general reluctance among member states to embrace the challenges of CSME. (RA)