What is Caricom
The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was the result of a 15-year effort to fulfill the hope of regional integration which was born with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation in 1958 then ended in 1962. With the end of the Federation, political leaders in the Caribbean made more serious efforts to strengthen the ties between the islands and mainland by providing for the continuance and strengthening of the areas of cooperation that existed during the Federation. Further, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago both attained independence in August that year and with it the power to control their own domestic and external affairs. To discuss this concept, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago convened the first Heads of Government Conference in July 1963, and attended by the leaders of Barbados, British Guiana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. At this Conference, the participating leaders of the four(4) Caribbean Countries all spoke clearly of the need for close cooperation with Europe, Africa and Latin America. The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which was signed by Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago and came into effect on August 1, 1973. Presently they are fifteen member states within the organization which are Antigua and Barbuda ,The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada ,Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
What Is Regional Integration
An arrangement for enhancing cooperation through regional rules and institutions entered into by states of the same region. Regional integration could have as its objective political or economic goals or in some cases, a business initiative aimed at broader security and commercial purposes. Regional integration could have an intergovernmental or supranational organization.
Trade And Investment With The World
The Caribbean economies, were poorly positioned to make the leap to global competition. As trade preferences eroded, the Caribbean’s high production costs and tariff rates exposed its lack of competitiveness. The encroaching global economy, however, began to force change on CARICOM’s trade and investment relationships, irrespective of the region’s capacity or willingness to adapt. The most significant adjustment to the trade regime has been the declining importance of trade preferences with the EU and the United States. Unilateral preferences with the EU are being replaced by a reciprocal Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), while the relative benefit of unilateral trade preferences with the United States continues to erode as multilateral liberalization and U.S. reciprocal trade agreements, beginning with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994, expand. At the same time, intraregional CARICOM trade shows little promise for growth and Latin America and Asia are emerging as increasingly important trade partners in the future.
The implications of these trends for CARICOM are still unfolding, but at the least suggest that for many countries, particularly the smaller ones, manufacturing and agricultural exports may continue to decline relative to services trade (tourism, financial, education). These alternatives to traditional production and trade patterns, however, are not developing fast enough to mitigate fully income, employment, and outward migration problems. Economic transition will be the greatest challenge for the CSME, and perhaps defines its reason for being. Thus, changing economic relations with CARICOM’s major partners are explored after a short review of its current trade and investment profile
United States ranks first and growth of CARICOM exports has exceeded those of the EU. Latin America is also growing as a major trade partner. Two smaller partners, Canada and Asia, have opposite trends, with...
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