Regional leaders will meet today at the Hilton Trinidad for the first of a two-day Special Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) on the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).
This 18th Special Meeting was agreed to at their July meeting at Montego Bay, Jamaica, last July, when the Caricom heads recognised the need to keep the focus on the CSME.
At that time, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley urged that this today’s meeting should be held here.
Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, who is Lead Head of Government with responsibility for the CSME in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet will make a special presentation at the meeting urging her colleague leaders to step up efforts to return the CSME to CARICOM’s “active agenda”.
The leaders who are scheduled to attend include the current Caricom chairman, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Haiti President Jovenel Molse and Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosvelt Skerrit.
Guyana President David Granger, who recently returned from Cuba following medical treatment, will be represented by Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge, the St Vincent and the Grenadines delegation will be headed by Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves, while Belize will be represented by Foreign Minister Wilfred Erlington.
Overnight, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley met with business leaders to review the challenges of making the CSME work for business establishment and movement of skilled nationals.
At a lead-up meeting last July in Barbados, Mottley chaired a preparatory meeting where officials reviewed the status of implementation of the provisions of the CSME. 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 the Caricom Member States.