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Members of the Prime Ministerial sub-committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) in discussions during its eighth meeting, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Trade, in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, on Sunday, March 9. The meeting was held prior to the official opening of the Twenty Fifth Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, on Monday, March 10. Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

By Alecia Smith-Edwards

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (JIS) — A recommendation has been put forward for the private sector to be incorporated within the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), as implementation of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market proceeds.

This comes following deliberations of the Prime Ministerial sub-committee on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), during its eighth meeting held in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, on Sunday.

It was suggested that a specific area be carved out within COTED, which is responsible for the promotion of trade and economic development of the Community, where the private sector can be accommodated.

The sub-committee members are of the view that the private sector has to be re-engaged in the implementation process, as they can be the driving force of the Single Market.

The meeting, which was the first of three days of deliberations, was chaired by prime minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart.

The CSME sub-committee, which comprises representatives from Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago, also discussed the progress of member states in the implementation process for the Single Market. Currently, between 65 and 90 percent of the implementation exercises have been completed among the member states.

The group also considered the next steps to be taken in terms of how the CARICOM Secretariat, along with the member states will proceed, in implementing what has not yet been put in place.

Representatives looked at the ongoing reform process within the CARICOM Secretariat, and how this can be moved forward, focusing specifically on how the organs and institutions of the Community can be improved, as well as how the integrity of the Secretariat can be advanced.

The reform process seeks to bring about change within the Community by facilitating the structured, effective implementation of the transformation of CARICOM and its Secretariat, in alignment with an agreed Community strategic thrust for the benefit of citizens.

The CSME, which is being implemented in several phases, is an integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, which took place in July 1989, in Grand Anse, Grenada.

The sub-committee meeting was held prior to the official opening of the 25th inter-sessional meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, on Monday in St Vincent.

For the remaining two days, discussions will focus on information and communications technology (ICT), human resource development and sustainable development of the region’s economies.

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