The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is an ambitious and ongoing effort by twelve CARICOM countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago) to deepen their economic integration.
Three members of CARICOM, the Bahamas, Haiti and Montserrat are not yet party to the CSME. The decision to enter into a CSME was taken in October 1989 in Grande Anse, Grenada.
Three CARICOM Members are to launch the Single Market prior to the other Member States. These are Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The remaining states will complete their work to meet the requirements of the Single Market during the course of 2005.
Why a CSME?
Barbados considers the CSME to be of increasing importance. CARICOM is now fully engaged in establishing the CSME as soon as possible.
As a group of small economies, access to premium inputs to production can be difficult and costly, and therefore reduces our ability to compete effectively in a competitive world economy.
In addition, the region is involved in a range of trade Agreements and negotiations at the bilateral, hemispheric and multilateral levels, and it is considered necessary to have a unified regional platform, such as the CSME.
Booklet "Deepening Caribbean Integration: BARBADOS IN THE CSME"
Barbados & the CSME
CARICOM is one of Barbados' major trading partners. In an effort to ensure that positive economic relations prevail among the members of CARICOM, the CSME is being developed. The Prime Minister of Barbados, the Rt. Hon. Owen S. Arthur is the lead CARICOM Head of Government with responsibility for the implementation of the CSME.
To date, several pieces of legislation have been amended to facilitate the entry of CARICOM nationals and the establishment of regional businesses. Likewise local businesses and residents will have the right to enter and carry on commercial activity in other regional markets.
As the integration effort proceeds wider pool of resources - human, physical, intellectual and otherwise - will be available providing the environment for greater economic growth domestically and regionally.
Implementing the CSME
A Unit responsible for coordinating Barbados' implementation of its obligations under the CSME has been established in the Prime Minister's Office.
The Single Market
Restrictions to trade in goods among CARICOM states were systematically removed over the past ten years and a common external tariff (CET) introduced. Barbados has removed all barriers to imports and exports for CARICOM states.
Restrictions to trade in services have also been removed. Those remaining restrictions provide security to the economic and social systems. Those procedures required to ensure the health and safety of the country, as well as those to verify that legitimate activity takes place, remain in effect in Barbados.
The Single Economy
Much work remains ahead of CARICOM in order to implement a Single Economy. The key elements of the Single Economy are (i) the macro-economic framework; (ii) sectoral development; and (iii) institutional arrangements.