Jan 22, 2019 Last Updated 3:27 PM, Dec 12, 2018

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WE, the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), meeting at Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago 3-4 December, 2018 on the occasion of the 18th Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM;

Recalling the 1989 Declaration of Grand Anse which initiated the process towards the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the signing of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in 2001, which established the CSME and the launch of the CSME in 2006;

Convinced that the CSME continues to be the most viable platform for supporting growth and development in the Member States of CARICOM; 

Recognising the need to make it more closely attuned to the needs and priorities of Member States and contributing more visibly to growth and development and to the welfare of the people of the Community;

Having reviewed its progress and acknowledged that it should have been further advanced;

Having considered the “Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks”;

Having also considered the perspectives of the Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS);

Underscoring the critical role of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) in supporting the CSME;

Having exchanged views with the representatives of the private sector and labour and encouraged by their commitment to the regional integration project and their recommendations for the enhancement of the CSME;

Recognising that the goal of our regional integration process is to enhance the well-being of all of the citizens of our Community;


We are committed to take action at the national level to advance the regional integration agenda;

We are determined to ensure the equitable distribution among the peoples of the Community of the gains realised through the regional integration process;

We have agreed on a formalised, structured mechanism to facilitate dialogue between the Councils of the Community and the private sector and labour;

We have also agreed to amend the Treaty to include as Associate Institutions representative bodies of Private Sector and Labour;

We have agreed that in accordance with Article 50 of the Revised Treaty which deals with the principle of accelerated implementation, that the principle will be applied to any initiative which is consistent with the Revised Treaty;

We agreed that that those Member States so willing would move towards full free movement within the next three (3) years;

We have mandated that steps be taken to deepen cooperation and collaboration between the Secretariats of CARICOM and the OECS to avoid duplication and maximise the utility of scarce resources;

We will reinforce the operation of our security mechanisms to ensure the integrity of the regime allowing the free movement of CARICOM nationals;

We will examine the re-introduction of the single domestic space for passengers in the Region;

We have agreed to work towards having a single security check for direct transit passengers on multi-stop intra-Community flights;

We will conduct a special session on Air and Maritime Transportation at the Intersessional meeting of the Conference in February 2019 to focus on this critical aspect of integration as a whole and the CSME in particular;

We will include Agricultural Workers, Beauty Service Practitioners, Barbers and Security Guards to the agreed categories of skilled nationals who are entitled to move freely and seek employment within the Community;

We reiterate that that a skills certificate issued by one Member State would be recognised by all Member States;

We will complete legislative and other arrangements in all Member States for all categories of Free Movement of Skilled Persons;

We will finalise the regime that permits citizens and companies of the Community to participate in the Public Procurement processes in Member States by the year 2019;

We will take all necessary steps to allow for mutual recognition of companies incorporated in a CARICOM Member State;

We have mandated the Community Council to develop appropriate recommendations on the proposal for the introduction of a regime of sanctions for the consideration of the Conference;

We welcome Haiti’s commitment to full integration into the CSME by 2020;

We have appointed Professor Avinash Persaud to lead a restructured Commission on the Economy to advise Member States on a Growth Agenda for the Community


Other Members of the Commission on the Economy (CCE) –

  • Chester Humphrey
  • Damien King
  • Mr Georgy McGuire
  • Mr Roger McLean
  • Wendell Samuel
  • P. B. Scott
  • Therese Turner-Jones
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
  • Pascal Lamy

CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica has urged the  ‘head on’  tackling of complex issues during the Special CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting on the CSME, taking place in Trinidad and Tobago.

The two-day meeting, which wraps up on Tuesday, is addressing the rate of implementation of the CSME and making sure its benefits are available for Community nationals.

“The issues slated for discussion at this Special Meeting of the Conference are of varying complexity,” Prime Minister Holness noted.

“Some will no doubt evoke different, even conflicting views but we must confront them. We must also tackle ‘head on’ the imperatives if we are to make this important regional integration process deliver on its promise,” he urged.




See the Chairman’s full Statement:

I bring greetings on behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica and I welcome this opportunity to say thank you to my colleague, Prime Minister Keith Rowley for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements that have been put in place for this Special Meeting.

You would all know of course that our colleague, President Granger will not be joining us this morning.  I know it is the wish of all Heads of State and Government and of this entire gathering that our best wishes be conveyed to him, his family and the people of Guyana, for the strength to hasten his recovery and return to full service of the country he loves so well.

Having just come from the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, where I represented our countries  in the capacity of Chairman-in-Office of CARICOM, I am pleased to report that it was a  fruitful process of engagement.  I had the opportunity to speak in the Plenary to two topics that  are of critical importance to our Community – those being, the issue of the vulnerability of the small developing states of the Caribbean, especially the island states to the effects of  Climate Change and the need for transition to clean and sustainable sources of energy, particularly renewables, mindful among other things of the correlation between extreme climate phenomena and emissions from  the predominant use of fossil fuels.

With specific reference to Climate Change, I was able to have my first meeting with President Macron of France, where we were joined by UN Secretary General Guterres, to discuss the modalities for leading our joint mandate to galvanize the US$100 billion committed almost 10 years ago by developed countries to deal with the issues of adaptation. In our case a parallel urgent need will be the building or resilience.  As we are all painfully aware, the need for developed countries to meet this commitment is of paramount interest to our region and, in fact, to all vulnerable small island developing states.  I will therefore keep you briefed as the process develops.

Let me now turn to  the business that  has brought us here to Port of Spain. The issues slated for discussion at this Special Meeting of the Conference are of varying complexity.  Some will no doubt evoke different, even conflicting views but we must confront them. We must also tackle ‘head on’ what the imperatives if we are to make this important regional integration process deliver on its promise.

I am, however, encouraged by the fact  that our Community has a long  tradition of dialogue and compromise. For this reason, I remain convinced that our deliberations over these two days will culminate in  unity of purpose and consensus on a strategy to not only expedite the CSME implementation process across Member States but to also to make the CSME more effective.

I will soon conclude my Chairmanship of this Conference of Heads of our 45 year-old Community. I approach the end of my tenure with mixed feelings.  I feel a sense of pride in the renewed energy placed behind efforts to make good on our commitments to our estimated sixteen million citizens.  In some respects, we have sought to simply get things done by following through and implementing some critical decisions with a view to making the mechanisms within CARICOM rational and functional.  However, it cannot have escaped your notice that even with this renewed  energy and additional meetings, that implementation of our decisions remains uneven and less than optimal.

We took the momentum generated at the 39th Regular Session held in Montego Bay to activate work that had lain dormant since 2013.  We also took an important step to respond to the concerns of our Community Nationals that they want and indeed deserve to be treated better and with respect and dignity, when they are denied entry into a Member State.  We adopted the Procedures on the Refusal of Entry, which provide the much needed guarantee that the rights of Community Nationals will be safeguarded when Member States assess that they are undesirable and will be a charge on the public purse. I trust we have all taken the necessary steps to implement the Procedures at our respective ports of entry.

Some of us also demonstrated our firm commitment to ensure that the CSME Regimes not only work for the principal beneficiaries but also their families, through the signature of the Protocol on Contingent Rights.

During the course of this special meeting, we will be expected to push the boundaries even further by addressing other important areas that need our full attention. We will be called upon to examine in more detail lessons that can be gleaned from  the Report of the Commission to Review Jamaica’s Relations within the CARICOM and CARIFORUM Frameworks – a Report, commissioned by me with the ultimate goal of not only determining which aspects of our regional engagements have not met their intended objectives to advance the regional integration process, in line with the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, but what changes we should make / what recommitments could ensure that the goals of the CSME be successfully achieved  in the interest of all our peoples.

I am gratified that the Conference, not only welcomed the Report as being an important analytical piece of work, in relation to  the objectives of the CSME but we also agreed that the findings and recommendations in that Report ought to be examined in detail to determine what could be of most benefit to achieving the objectives of Member States and the Community.

In this connection, we will, at this meeting, also be called upon to consider Some Salient Issues for Resolution in CARICOM – a Paper written by our colleague Ralph. As the longest serving Head of Government in our region and as the only Head of Government to have publicly commented on the contents of the CCRC Report shortly after its release, we are appreciative of the insightful  comments of Prime Minister Gonsalves.  We regret that he is not with us for this meeting, but we are sure that his Minister will represent him well presenting additional perspectives on how we can collectively and practically serve the interests of our countries and peoples.

Within the context of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME we have, with the determination and ingenuity of Prime Minister Mia Mottley, devised methods to improve stakeholder engagement and help create enabling support measures for a competitive Single Market. We have also begun a process of making radical adjustments to ensure the implementation of our collective trade and economic policies and to secure the consolidation of our single economic space.

But in all of this, we have uneven implementation and a fundamental question of commitment.  I could not close without recognizing the disappointing number of Heads of Government present today given the decision taken in Montego Bay and the expressed decision taken for us to have focused and pivotal discussions at this meeting.  I know that Ministers are undoubtedly empowered to represent their governments, and I welcome you all, but the signal of commitment, is again, less than optimal.

I anticipate that there will be frank and even spirited discussions on all agenda items,  but  emanating hopefully in  constructive action,   given what is at stake –  a strong and prosperous CARICOM or a body lessening in credibility among the people who we serve. As we all focus on the attainment of the sustainable development goals at the regional level, we must act in concert to ensure that all the people of CARICOM can reap the benefits of regional integration process.

Let our deliberations begin.

By Elizabeth Morgan

THROUGH complacency, poor management and lack of vision the West Indies cricket team is now the sick man of cricket, struggling for a place at the bottom. It is said that the state of cricket in the Caribbean reflects the political, social and economic state of the region.

Since the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas was signed in 2002, complacency, insularity, lack of commitment, and poor management have led to stagnation and discontent in the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Consequently, CARICOM has had many missed opportunities to realise its potential.

CARICOM heads of government will be attending a special meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad, over two days beginning today, December 3. The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica as the current chair of CARICOM . The priority item on the agenda will be the implementation of the CSME. The decision to convene this meeting was taken at the Caricom Heads of Government Conference held in Montego Bay in July. This conference considered the report of the Bruce Golding Commission on CARICOM and CARIFORUM which was a call for action.

Barbados has lead responsibility for the CSME in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet. New Prime Minister Mia Mottley, in her maiden address, stated her commitment to moving the CSME forward. She demonstrated that commitment by convening a meeting of the Prime Ministerial Subcommittee on the CSME in Barbados in September. She has made her position clear – the countries of CARICOM need to stand together and the time for implementation is now.

It was while attending the CSME meeting in Barbados that the President of Guyana David Granger reiterated his country’s commitment to the regional project and invited member states to join with Guyana as the country embarked on its journey as an oil producer. Granger wants Guyana’s oil to benefit the entire region.

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque told the 47th Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), on November 16, that budding trade wars, Brexit, and threats to the rules-based multilateral trading system all had implications for Caricom. He stated that agreement on and implementation of regional trade and economic policies assumed greater importance if CARICOM was to safeguard its interest in the global arena and improve the lives of the people of the region. The most important immediate task for the region, as the secretary general saw it, was to advance the implementation of the CSME.

With the background of an uncertain global environment, CARICOM heads will be examining how the CSME can contribute to trade and development. Indeed, with recent developments abroad and in the region it should be clear to all that CARICOM has to stand together. Recall that CARICOM needs to focus more on trade as a means of implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

I have often wondered whether CARICOM ministers actually understand the importance of the CSME to the region. The focus tends more often than not to be on intra-regional goods trade, and on Trinidad and Tobago’s share of that trade. Trinidad and Tobago was primarily selling petroleum products within the region. The T&T State-owned oil refinery, PetroTrin, closed on November 30. That closure is likely to lead to a reduction of trade within the region from that source.

CARICOM member states are not each other’s principal trading partners. The principal trade partner of CARICOM countries is the United States. The CSME was intended not only to promote trade within CARICOM , but to place CARICOM in a position to increase its external trade as a region by creating the policy framework and infrastructure required. The failure to implement the CSME, to the full extent possible, has meant a failure to establish the policy framework and infrastructure for international trade.

CARICOM has not strengthened its sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) regime, its intellectual property rights regime, and its trade in services regime. There is little uniformity in policies and regulations within CARICOM . If the CSME is to contribute to the region’s trade and development, then heads must be paying attention to the following:


Trade is not just about goods; it is about the export and import of goods and services. Trade in services is particularly important for the region and is contributing a greater share to gross domestic product (GDP). Services include tourism, financial and accounting services (banking, insurance, money transfer); consultancy; business processing; education; transportation; postal and courier; distribution; creative and cultural industries; among others. It also includes movement of people.

Currently, services data is only collected for balance of payments purposes and this data is not disaggregated. Thus CARICOM actually does not know the value and volume of services trade which is conducted within the region or between the region and third countries. Trade in services data is not properly collected in CARICOM as a region or in individual member states.

A reason given in Jamaica for the inability to strengthen services data collection is that the private sector is reluctant to complete the required surveys. This lack of data affects planning and trade negotiations. Therefore, the implementation of the CARICOM services regime needs to be accelerated.

Antigua and Barbuda is the lead responsible for the services regime in the quasi cabinet.


Trade, as we know, makes an important contribution to growth and development. If Caricom’s principal trading partners are outside of the region, then consideration of external trade issues and developing a regional trade agenda/strategy should be important. As the secretary general pointed out, the rules-based multilateral trade system is under threat. Reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is being proposed. The Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) with the USA is up for renewal in 2019. Brexit requires an examination of trade with the UK, the Commonwealth, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, and the EU27.

CARICOM needs to re-examine trade with Latin America and the Caribbean and its neighbours. CARICOM ‘s trade agenda/strategy has not been reviewed since the suspension of the trade negotiations with Canada in 2015. Much has happened in global trade since then. The lead prime minister responsible for external trade negotiations in the quasi cabinet is Jamaica. A CARICOM trade agenda and strategy need to be formulated at the earliest opportunity.

There should be a mandate coming out of this special heads meeting to address these issues as a priority. The members of the quasi cabinet all need to play their part in driving the CSME implementation. Besides Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Jamaica, others needing to give support, including Grenada, responsible for science and technology as well as information and communications; Dominica responsible for labour, including intra-CARICOM movement of skills; Guyana, responsible for agriculture; St Vincent and the Grenadines responsible for transportation; and Trinidad and Tobago, responsible for Energy and Security.

As demonstrated in cricket, it takes a good, committed, well-managed team to achieve consistent positive results.


Elizabeth Morgan is a specialist in international trade and politics.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government were challenged to move the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) forward by Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley.

Speaking this morning at the start of their 18th Special Meeting which is focused on the CSME at the Hilton Hotel in Port of Spain, the host Prime Minster posed the question, “if not now, when; if not us, who?”

The two-day meeting is looking at increasing the rate of implementation of the CSME and making sure the benefits are available for Community nationals. The meeting is being chaired by the current chairman of CARICOM, the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness.

 The first item on today’s agenda was an engagement between the CARICOM Heads of Government and representatives from the regional Private and Labour sectors. This encounter was the brainchild of the lead Head of Government for the CSME in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet, the Hon Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has taken steps to accelerate the use of the measures under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The Conference of Heads of Government in July 2017, approved the Implementation Plan for the CSME 2017-2019 which coincides with the CARICOM Strategic Plan (2015-2019).

The Plan is a comprehensive document which details the level of implementation of measures called for by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas or decisions taken by Community Organs.

The timeframes in the agreed Implementation Plan are in line with the time-frame envisioned for the Acceleration of the Implementation and Use of the CSME in the Community Strategic Plan 2015–2019, as follows –

(i) Immediate to Short-term (up to six months);

(ii) Medium-term (up to 1½ years); and

(iii) Long-term (up to 2½ years).

The Plan is under constant review by the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and Member States are required to submit regular updates on progress made as well as challenges faced in implementing their obligations under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

Please see CSME Implementation Plan 16 Oct 2018

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is reviewing CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) administrative procedures to recommend ways of making them more simple and harmonized where possible. A consultation is planned for 26 September 2018 in Barbados and key stakeholders will assess the procedures as recommended in the CSME Review presented last year to CARICOM Heads of Government.

The CARICOM Heads had agreed the principles of non-discrimination among others should govern the further harmonization and simplification of the administrative procedures for the core CSME regimes. The CARICOM leaders have also mandated that the CSME administrative actions should not unnecessarily prolong the period for finalizing acceptance of the Skilled Community national.

Participants at the one-day workshop will compare their own experiences in moving within the region to the present procedures as implemented by CARICOM Member States and make recommendations where possible. The report from the consultation will be tabled at a meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) scheduled for November 2018.

The Consultation is being facilitated by the CARICOM Secretariat with assistance from CARIFORUM and the10th European Development Fund (EDF).

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Aug 30, CMC – A number of issues will be on the agenda next week when CARICOM heads meet in Barbados for the Ninth Meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CARICOM Single Market and the Economy (CSME).

These were discussed during a national preparatory meeting with high level Government officials chaired by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC) on Monday.

Issues relating to the contingent rights of citizens, such as health care, education, the single registration of international businesses, and the approval of automatic six-month stays to CARICOM nationals, were among the areas discussed.

The Prime Minister indicated that there were some issues that required follow-up action which could not be treated in a vacuum.

“The global market has to be our market,” she stressed.

She called on those present to identify policy issues within their areas and come up with suggestions for how they could be addressed.

“I need for each of you to tell me what it will take to transform each Ministry you have so that we can turn things around,” Mottley said.

A day before the September 5 CSME meeting, Prime Minister Mottley will join Ministers of Finance from around the region for the Sixth Special Meeting of the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP). The COFAP is responsible for economic policy coordination, financial and monetary integration of Member States. That meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne.

23 July,2018 (Barbados Government Information Service Press Release) Barbados has started its mobilisation campaign to implement decisions related to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), for which it has lead responsibility, as mandated by Heads of Government at the recently concluded 39th Regular Meeting in Jamaica.

An important phase of this process got under way (on Monday), when Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley met with key stakeholders at Government Headquarters to review CSME-related decisions that were taken at the conference.

These included the Protocol on Contingent Rights, Simplified Administrative Procedures for Movement of Persons under the CSME, the Police Certificate of Character, Procedures on the Refusal of Entry of CARICOM Nationals, Security, Government Procurement, and the Entitlement of Haitian Nationals to an Automatic Stay of Six Months upon arrival in CARICOM Member States.

Prime Minister Mottley and officials also examined the Ensuing Work Programme for Barbados, and upcoming regional meetings on CSME-related matters, including the Prime Ministerial Sub-committee on the CSME, and the Meeting of the Council for Finance and Planning, which takes place in Barbados in September 2018.

The meeting was also attended by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott; Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic; Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Sandra Husbands; Minister of Home Affairs, Edmund Hinkson; Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Santia Bradshaw; Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, and senior officials from those ministries.

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In a major step that would encourage greater free movement of skills across the Caribbean Community, CARICOM Heads of Government adopted the ‘Protocol of Contingent Rights’ at their just ended Summit in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and several Heads of Government immediately signed on to the agreement.

Contingent Rights are those rights granted to a CARICOM national and his or her spouse and immediate dependent family members if he or she moves to another country under the free movement of skills regime. These include access to social services.

In welcoming the decision, CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica said:

“We promised that we will ensure family unification through the granting of important rights to spouses and dependents of citizens who move across the Region to work, provide their services and establish companies. We have guaranteed these rights through the Protocol on Contingent Rights.

“This is a matter that has been long outstanding and is a major step that will encourage greater use of the free movement regime as it ensures greater levels of comfort and peace of mind for the families. This is a crucial step to making CARICOM more functional and relevant to the people of the Region.

And in commending the move, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, who has Lead Responsibility in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet for the Single Market and Economy told journalists at the Summit’s closing press conference:

“For this Protocol to have been signed today is the most significant event in the history of Caribbean affairs since the Single Market was signed here in Jamaica and came into effect here in Jamaica in 2006.

“This is where it matters. This is where it makes a difference to the lives and decisions of people.”

CARICOM Heads, at their Montego Bay meeting, also adopted the Procedures on the Refusal of Entry of CARICOM Nationals and the harmonised form to be used by Immigration when refusing entry. This should be implemented by 1 August 2018.

In recognition of the need to keep focus on the CSME, a Special Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government will be held in November in Trinidad and Tobago.  The Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME will also meet quarterly to guide and invigorate the implementation process.

(Jamaica Information Service Pres Release) Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) have put measures in place to fast-track the full implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

Among the strategies is a special meeting of CARICOM Heads to focus solely on the CSME. It is to be held in Trinidad and Tobago in November this year.

This was disclosed by Prime Minister and CARICOM Chairman, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a press conference on Friday (July 6).

The Prime Minister was providing details on decisions taken at the just-concluded 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James from July 4 to 6.

“Furthermore, the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME will now have quarterly meetings beginning in September in Barbados, which will be hosted by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, to give urgency to the implementation process,” Mr. Holness informed.

He further noted that Government leaders also put greater focus on advancing those areas that would help to create enabling support measures for a competitive Single Market.

These include an investment policy and investment code, an incentive regime, an integrated capital market and securities legislation.

“As leaders, we expect that these matters will be ready for full adoption at the 40th meeting of Conference in July 2019.These mechanisms will enable strong support measures for a successful CSME,” the Prime Minister said.

In the meantime, Mr. Holness stressed the Heads’ recommitment to making the mechanisms within CARICOM work, by taking decisive action.

“I am resolved as the Chair to ensure that we take action. We must get things done to make a difference. We are resolved to now begin to implement the decisions we take to improve the perceptions, especially amongst our youth,” he said.

The CSME is an integrated development strategy that is intended to benefit the people of the region by providing more and better opportunities to produce and sell goods and services and to attract investments.

It is built on five core regimes – free movement of capital, free movement of goods, free movement of skills, the provision of services, and the right of establishment. In addition, the CSME facilitates hassle-free travel for all CARICOM nationals.

The Conference of Heads of Government, which consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States, is the supreme organ of CARICOM and determines and provides its policy direction.

Please see below CSME excerpt from the Communique issued at the conclusion of the Meeting:


Heads of Government reviewed the operation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and reiterated the need to accelerate its implementation. In that regard they adopted the Protocol on Contingent Rights which will cover the rights of persons moving to another country under the free movement of skills regime as well as their spouses and dependents of those who move to another country.

Heads of Government regarded this as a major historic step that would encourage greater use of the free movement of skills as it ensures levels of comfort for families.

Heads of Government also put greater focus on advancing those areas which would help to create enabling support measures for a competitive Single Market. These include an Investment Policy and Investment Code, an Incentives Regime, an Integrated Capital Market and beginning with model Securities Legislation. They mandated the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) to finalise these instruments over the course of the year and to be completed by July 2019.

Heads of Government adopted the Procedures on the Refusal of Entry of Community Nationals and the harmonised Form to be used by Immigration when refusing entry and urged Member States to implement the Procedures on the Refusal of Entry of Community Nationals by August 1, 2018.

In recognition of the need to keep focus on the CSME they agreed that a Special Meeting of the Conference on this matter would be held in November 2018 in Trinidad and Tobago.

They also agreed that the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME will meet quarterly to guide and invigorate the implementation process.  The first such Meeting would be in September 2018.  Emphasis at this time would be on what is practical and achievable over the next twelve (12) months.

Heads of Government welcomed the outcome of Consultations with Stakeholders including the private sector, labour, non-governmental organisations, youth and the media and agreed that a Stakeholder Consultation, led by the Lead Head of Government with responsibility for the CSME and/or the Secretary-General, be convened on at least an annual basis.  In that regard, they urged Member States to establish consultative mechanisms at the national level.

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