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Posted in: Press Releases by admin | 15 October 1999 | Release Ref #: 101/1999 | 3770

    The Region-wide series of public education workshops which touches on a wide range of issues relating to the implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) will continue in Guyana during this month.

    The exercises which started in May, 1999, have already been held in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, St.Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia. It involved interaction between officials from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat's Programme on the Single Market, the Technical Action Services Unit (TASU), the Communications Unit and public and private sector officials in those CARICOM Member States.

    The Guyana leg which is a joint effort by the CARICOM Secretariat and the local Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be launched with a media discussion on Tuesday 19 October, 1999.

    The media are seen as major stakeholders in the single market process, and the opportunity will be taken to update media professionals on the progress of the CSME, and additionally, to garner ideas for taking it briskly forward. It is also expected that communication professionals from government agencies and ministries will also be in attendance.

    The CARICOM Secretariat, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue the exercise over about three weeks with leading national business, social, and other non-governmental umbrella organisations throughout the country. While the workshops are joint initiatives, the effort is being spearheaded by TASU, a unit within the CARICOM Secretariat specifically established to assist Member States with the implementation of critical regional decisions.

    During the weeks ahead, attention will be focused on issues addressed in Protocols II to IX.

    The Treaty of Chaguaramas, the Treaty which established CARICOM is being amended by way of Protocols for the creation of the Single Market and Economy. There are nine Protocols which address the restructuring of the Organs and Institutions of the Community (Protocols I); Movement of Goods, Services and Capital (Protocol II); Industrial Policy (Protocol III) Regional Trade Policy (Protocol IV); Agricultural Policy (Protocol V); Regional Transportation Policy (Protocol VI), Disadvantaged Countries, Regions and Sectors (Protocol VII), Dispute Settlement (Protocol VIII); and Competition Policy (Protocol IX).

    The decision of CARICOM Heads of Government to move towards a Single Market and Economy was made in 1989 in Grenada. Since then the Heads of Government have accorded the highest priority to the achievement of the CSME, recognising its critical role in facilitating regional competitiveness and enabling the survival of the Region within the complexities of a dynamic global arena.

    These public education workshops come out of the realisation that an understanding of the key policy issues that inform decision-making and the implications of the decisions, demand a constant and continuous process of national and regional consultations that foster consensus-building, and can positively impact on the implementation of decisions particularly with respect to those related to the CSME.

    CSME stands for CARICOM Single MARKET & Economy.

    The CSME Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat is the implementation office which assists the Member States in fulfilling the requirements of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.

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