Impact of Globalization on the Caribbean—Regional Integration
One significant result of globalization on the Caribbean is the deepening of regional integration. With the many threats that the Caribbean market was facing due to strong extraregional competition, there existed recognition of the need for Caribbean countries to band together to protect their markets. While free trade agreements were made with countries such as Venezuela, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, the most lasting were done with other Caribbean countries. In 1989, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was created to deepen integration and enhance the bargaining position of these small countries in the international arena. It included many new policies and programs, including a Common External Tariff (CET) which helped break down trade barriers between member states.
In the interest of protecting all the countries from the difficult situation presented by the globalization process, differences between the Less Developed and More Developed Countries were taken into account in the agreements set forth in CSME. Largely, though, this integration has not been successful, with only 10% of the total trade being within the region. This underscores the fact that Caribbean countries do not have much variety in the types of products being outputted, so we still depend very largely on extraregional trade. What is more, intraregional trade is also very skewed, as Trinidad and Tobago account for more than half of all intraregional imports. So, then, this response to globalization can use much improvement, as inherent historical as well as economic differences hinder development greatly.
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