Other Support Mechanisms and Structures
Posted in: Pages | 16 February 2016 | 1147
For the Single Market to operate effectively there must be safe, adequate and affordable transportation for goods and people. The Transport Policy seeks to put in place the necessary requirements to achieve an efficient transportation system on land, in the air and by sea, in an environmentally sound manner and with particular regard to the Caribbean Sea. Included among these are: promoting cooperation in providing transport services; developing and expanding air and maritime transport capabilities; and implementing standards for safe road, riverine, sea and air transport.
Allied with this Policy is the Multilateral Agreement Concerning the Operation of Air Services within the Caribbean Community, commonly called the CARICOM Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA). The principal means of transport without within our Community, particularly for persons, is by air and there are several airlines operating inside our Region and between our Community and outside countries. These airlines, such as Caribbean Airlines, Air Jamaica, and LIAT are also national airlines for some Member States. It is therefore important that there are common rules by which they operate.
MASA provides a more liberal environment for the air carriers of participating states to operate air services in the Region. The Agreement addresses issues such as licensing requirements, insurance, traffic and transit rights, market access, cabotage and safety and security concerns. MASA has been signed by all member starts except The Bahamas, Jamaica and Montserrat. The agreement took effect in November 1998 following its ratification by eight member states. This agreement is an important step towards the establishment of a single Market for air transport services as it provides the formal framework for air sercices among our member states.
Within the Single Market and Economy, it is important to use all our natural resources efficiently and on an environmentally sustainable basis, as well as to avoid duplication in the production of goods as much as possible. The Industrial Policy encourages entrepreneurship and industrial development; support the establishment of viable small businesses as well as micro-businesses; promotes stable industrial relations and balanced social and economic development. Some of the provisions of the Policy modify elements of the CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme and of the scheme to provide fiscal incentives to industry.
To secure the anticipated trade benefits to be derived from the Single Market and Economy and sustain the expected growth in regional and international trade, Member States have agreed to an overall trade policy. This policy seeks to
- fully integrate the national markets of all Members States into a single unified and open market area;
- widen the market area of the Community;
- promote the export of internationally competititve goods produced in the Community; and
- secure favourable terms of trade, that is the most advantageous access to markets and best prices for Community exports.
The Policy strengthens the rights and obligations of Member States established under the Common Market Annex to the original Treaty of Chaguaramas, including the establishment and operation of a Common External Tariff (CET).
Other provisions of the Policy include, rules of origin, free movement of goods, cooperation in customs administration and safeguard provisions. The last, in times of emergency, provide for temporary exemptions from Treaty obligations and authorize action against unfair trade practices such as dumping and subsidization and coordination of External Trade Policy, including joint negotiation of external trade agreements.
CIMSUPRO - CARICOM Interactive Marketplace & Suspension Procedure
To encourage trade between CARICOM Member States it was decided that manufacturers within the CSME should first seek and purchase within the CSME. The Suspension Mechanism was set in place to administratively handle this procedure and grant suspension to acquire from outside the CSME if the product is not available within the CSME. This procedure has shown to be cumbersome, time consuming and sensitive to time constraints.
The CARICOM Interactive Marketplace and Suspension Procedure creates a managed market place for CARICOM companies to post (not only) their raw materials and packaging, but also their finished products to the CSME purchasers initially, and to the rest of the world within 1 year of launch.
This system does require the discipline of the seller to maintain their “portfolio” online. The seller is responsible for up to date information of their products. A purchaser can be matched immediately with a supplier and in the CSME case, bypassing the suspension procedure. If this match was not made or the product does not meet the ‘technical’ requirements, the suspension procedure will still be put into effect because the system has already created a trail of the transaction, thus making filing another request not necessary. This method should relieve the Secretariat of the time consuming task of matching purchasers and suppliers while keeping an audit trail of the procedure.
The CARREX is a regional warning system which facilitates the rapid exchange of information on dangerous, non-food consumer goods in the market of Member States of the Community that pose a serious health and safety risk to consumers through Alerts and Notifications.
CIPS - CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme
The CARICOM Industrial Programming Scheme (CIPS) was approved by Heads of Government in 1985. The main objectives of the scheme were to allocate and promote the establishment of industries in various members of the Common Market and to encourage the greater use of raw materials produced within the Common Market. It was envisaged that the CIPS would encourage and promote joint production and linkages among Member States. Under the Scheme, industries were to be identified and allocated to various Member States. The industries so allocated were to benefit from a range of incentives including fiscal incentives; access to loans, foreign exchange and permits where required; and protection from competing production from outside the Common Market as well as from producers in countries within the Common Market to which the particular activity was not allocated. Several industries were considered under the Scheme to be established as major regional industries. These included a regional foundry industry (utilising the capacities of the foundries in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago), a regional ceramics industry (with production taking place in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago) and a regional cement industry (with main production centres in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago).
There was also an effort to develop woodworking as a vertically integrated industry (one producing from basic lumber to highly finished furniture). In this case, the bulk of the lumber was to have been supplied by Belize and Guyana with finishing taking place in Jamaica, which had a highly developed furniture sub-sector. In addition to these integrated industries, various countries were allocated specific industrial activities. The Standing Committee of Ministers of Industry was the policy-making body for the Scheme and had the authority to allocate industries to member states as well as to determine which ones qualified to receive benefits. To qualify as a beneficiary under the CIPS, an industry, among other things, had to be owned and controlled by citizens of the Common Market and had to bring together the resources of two or more member states in its production. One of the major difficulties confronting the ministers was the need to ensure that, in the effort to develop industries in the Common Market, a fair share of industrial activity took place in the LDCs. The LDCs were therefore given special concessions in respect of the ownership requirement. For the first three years, they were allowed to have industries that were owned and controlled from outside the Common Market, if the resources to establish these industries could not be raised from within.
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