Aug 21, 2017 Last Updated 4:31 AM, Aug 1, 2017

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat presses ahead with its public education drive to ensure that vital sectors know about the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and its significant benefits. On Wednesday, November 23, a one-day CSME sensitization workshop will be hosted in San Ignacio, Belize. Approximately 40 participants from private sector entities and rural organizations will convene at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel to share information and experiences regarding the CSME. The workshop is facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Integration Programme (EIP).

Resource persons from the CARICOM Secretariat will present on topics such as the current status of the CSME; the CSME as a platform for private sector growth and development; and facilitating agricultural trade and investment in the CSME. Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade will also deliver a presentation on the CSME at the national level. The presentations will be followed by dialogue sessions in which participants can share their experiences and clarify issues surrounding the CSME. The Secretariat anticipates that at the end of the workshop, participants should have a better understanding of the benefits being a part of the CSME and how their respective sectors can take full advantage of it.

The final workshop in this series takes place in Jamaica on November 30th in the rural parish of Manchester. Previously, the Secretariat has hosted similar private sector and rural communities CSME workshops in Barbados, Guyana, St. Vincent and Grenadines and Suriname. This series is part of a wider public education programme aimed at explaining the CSME and its advantages to CARICOM nationals. 

Statisticians from across the region will soon be better equipped to measure and monitor effectively the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This is due to a training exercise to be hosted in Barbados by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat.

The two-day CSME Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Framework Training Workshop starts on Monday, November 7th at the Accra Beach Hotel. This initiative is being facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund CSME and Economic Integration Programme.

Participants will be representatives from national and regional statistics offices who would be required to compile data on compliance with and implementation of the CSME regimes. The aim of the training is to create a self-sustaining mechanism by improving the capacity of these statisticians to use a standardized monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) framework.

Some of the topics that will be covered include MER systems and official statistics; MER framework and its structure; compliance indicators of the MER and the use of information and dissemination. Coming out of this training, it is anticipated that CSME-participating member states will have a strengthened capacity to assess and monitor the level of CSME implementation nationally. This should assist the proper functioning of the single market and economy since gaps can then be identified more quickly and appropriate steps taken to address these.

This workshop is being carried out as part of the capacity-building deliverable of the Consultancy for the Development of a Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Framework of the CSME.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat continues its drive to ensure that key stakeholders are knowledgeable about the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and its significant benefits.

On Wednesday, November 2, a one-day CSME sensitization workshop is being convened in Guyana. Approximately 30 participants from private sector entities and rural organizations will assemble at the Guyana Marriott Hotel for information sharing and dialogue regarding the CSME.

The activity is facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Integration Programme (EIP). The opening ceremony will be addressed by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Neville Totaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Trade and Economic Integration- CARICOM Secretariat, Mr Joseph Cox and representative of the Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, Agriculture Programme Manager, Mr. Albert Losseau.

Presentations will be delivered by resource persons from the CARICOM Secretariat and will include topics such as the current status of the CSME; the CSME as a platform for private sector growth and development; and facilitating agricultural trade and investment in the CSME. The presentations will be followed by dialogue sessions in which participants can share their experiences and clarify issues surrounding the CSME. At the end of the workshop, participants should have a better appreciation of the benefits of the CSME for their respective sectors and how to take full advantage of them. Then, on Thursday, November 3, a public sensitization session on facilitation of travel will be held in Le Resouvenir. Participants will be informed about their rights and responsibilities as CARICOM nationals travelling within the CSME for work, leisure or business.

Another private sector and rural communities CSME workshop will also be hosted in Suriname on Friday, November 4 for approximately 40 participants. Similar workshops have already been held in Barbados, Jamaica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines with a final one scheduled for Belize later this month.

 

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Employers and workers organizations as well as other labour-related entities across the region are to become more aware of the free movement provisions of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This is due to a series of free movement sensitization sessions by the CARICOM Secretariat which began earlier this year. The latest activity is set for Dominica and will take place from Monday October 24 to Tuesday, October 25 at the Fort Young Hotel. This initiative is being facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund CSME and Economic Integration Programme. Approximately 40 representatives from local organizations in both the public and private sectors are expected to attend the two-day activity. 

Resource persons from the Secretariat will conduct the sensitization exercise which will cover the following areas: the facilitation of hassle-free travel, movement of skilled CARICOM nationals, the right of establishment and the provision of services. Participants will also be apprised of the CARICOM Complaints Procedure which nationals can use if they feel that they have been denied access to any of the regimes as they travel to other member states. Additionally, they will be informed of their responsibilities as citizens who seek to move under any of the free movement regimes of the CSME. The session also provides an opportunity for labour stakeholders to have any issues clarified regarding free movement or to make recommendations.

Another such session will be convened in Antigua and Barbuda on Friday, October 28 with similar stakeholders. There are plans to have these free movement sensitization exercises in other CSME-participating member states in the coming months and in early 2017. This initiative forms part of the CARICOM Secretariat’s effort to ensure that all stakeholders are informed of the CSME provisions thereby securing buy-in and active participation in the Single Market and Economy.  

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat continues its series of labour market information system (LMIS) training in Member States. The latest exercise takes place in Guyana from Wednesday, October 19 to Friday, October 21 at the Ministry of Social Protection. The establishment of the LMIS is an important part of the proper functioning of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The aim of the training is to teach stakeholders how to use LMIS in the development of policy and planning. This initiative is being facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Economic Integration Programme.

Approximately 30 representatives from Departments of Statistics, Finance, Planning, Health, Education, Social Security as well as trade unions and employer organisations are expected to participate. They will be trained in areas such as how to identify sources of labour market information, classification of labour statistics, labour market modelling, survey analysis and policy implications. At the end of the exercise, participants are expected to understand how to use labour market information in policy-making and its importance in the process. This training should also strengthen the management capability of these stakeholders who play an integral role in the free movement of skills and labour regime of the CSME.

The LMIS training exercise has already been carried out in Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname. It will be conducted in all Member States, except The Bahamas, in the coming months. There is another phase of this LMIS training initiative that involves system and data administrators who will be carrying out the day-to-day operation of the system. They will be given the requisite knowledge and skills to do this and their training will also be conducted over the following months.

 

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A major national consultation on public procurement gets underway in Barbados today. The one-day consultation is to examine the Draft CARICOM Model Bill to facilitate the national implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Public Procurement Regime. The proposed regime aims to establish an integrated and single public procurement space for Member States. Representatives of public and private sector organizations as well as procuring entities are attending the consultation at the Blue Horizon Hotel. This activity is part of a project that is facilitated under the 10th European Development Fund CSME Economic Integration Programme. 

Participants will look at and discuss the Draft CARICOM Model Bill which sets out the implementation for the provisions of the protocol. It is anticipated that coming out of this national consultation, recommendations will be made on national legislation to implement the regime. Resource persons from the CARICOM Secretariat’s CSME Unit are conducting the activity. Apart from this Model Bill, the CSME Public Procurement Regime includes: the Framework Regional Integration Policy (FRIP) on Public Procurement; the Draft CSME Policy on Public Procurement; Procurement Standard Operating Procedures (PSOPs); Standard Bidding Documents (SBDs); and the Community Public Procurement Notice Board (CPPNB) which is in its early stages.

This national consultation in Barbados is the first in a series of such an exercise that will be conducted in other Member States over the coming months. It is hoped that all Member States will have completed their respective consultations by December 2016.

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