CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME): Overview
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) is an enlarged market which offers:
- more and better opportunities to produce and sell goods and services and to attract investment;
- greater economies of scale;
- increased competitiveness; full employment and improved standards of living for the people of the Caribbean Community.
The ultimate goal of the CSME is to provide the foundation for growth and development through the creation of a single economic space for the production of competitive goods and services. The CSME is at the heart of CARICOM’s economic integration; and economic integration is one of four pillars on which CARICOM rests in pursuit of its objectives.
Already, the CSME has had an impact on the lives of citizens and business. Several categories of persons seeking employment move freely. This has has been achieved through -
- the abolition of the work-permit system;
- the introduction of the Certificate of CARICOM Skills Qualification;
- definite entry for six months;
- indefinite leave to stay in a Member State; and
- the right to transfer social-security benefits from one CARICOM state to another
- In addition, the creation of the Caribbean Court of Justice to interpret and apply the Treaty that established CARICOM and to settle dispute contributes to harmonization in the countries that have signed on to the CSME.
Like other areas of work in the CARICOM integration process, the implementation and operation of the Single Market and Economy is being undertaken by a number of stakeholders; principal among them are the CARICOM Secretariat, Members States and Community Institutions. At the CARICOM Secretariat, the Development and Operation of the CSME Programme seeks to develop, articulate, implement and harmonise policies and programmes throughout the Community, so that people of the Community could enjoy the stated benefits of the CSME. These include continued work on standardization and harmonization in areas such as -
- anti-dumping measures
- banking and securities;
- competition policy;
- consumer protection;
- intellectual property rights;
- food and drug regulation and labeling;
- standards and technical regulations;
- manufacture and trade in goods regulations;
- regulatory and institutional and administrative procedures in the Member States to enable efficient intra-regional trade in keeping with established regional trading arrangements, for example protocol on free zones and protocol on free circulation; application for Suspensions of the CET and Derogations from the Rules of Origin
Major activities in 2016
In 2016, emphasis will be placed on -
- Development of model laws and regulations to make CSME Member States more compatible with CSM obligations.
- Technical assistance and training to strengthen capacity and improve capabilities of governmental bodies in Member States to operate the CSME; including: consensus building through regional consultations on Procurement Bill, Regulations and Procurement Standard Operating Procedures (PSOP) and Standard Bidding Documents (SBDs).
- Provision of an E-Commerce Framework Policy for the CSME as well as a Draft Policy on Mergers and Acquisitions.
- Model regulations to supprt Competition Bill.
- Continuing work to facilitate effective regulatory and institutional and administrative procedures in the Member States to enable efficient intra-regional trade in keeping with established regional trading arrangements.
- Continuing work to establish an enabling agricultural policy framework to, for example: align agricultural plans to the Community Agricultural Policy, finalizing the Food and Nutrition Policy and Action Plan; finalizing plan for Early Warning System (EWS) for selected Member States to reduce the threats to Food Security; developing the policy framework for Value Chain development of the Cassava, Small Ruminants and the Hot Pepper Industry.
- Ongoing work to support the work of the Commission on the Economy and to assist the Transport desk and the Macro-Economic Policy Unit to implement tourism related decisions of the two Commissions.
- Ongoing work to support the development of the Regional Strategic Plan for Sporting Services.
- Ongoing work to advance the work of the Regional Transportation Commission effective delivery of transportation; (ii) Cost effective and sustainable transportation system; and Facilitation of hassle free travel