CARICOM’s LaRocque: Caribbean Integration a “Work in Progress”

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - March 1, 2012

Above: CARICOM Secretary Genreal Irwin LaRocque (UN Photo/JC McIlwaine)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Emphasizing the Caribbean Single Market and Economy is “relevant” but still a “work in progress,” according to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin Larocque.

But the private sector must play a crucial role if CARICOM is going to meet its priorities on that front, he said.

“I am convinced that in order to achieve results from the priorities laid out by the Heads of Government, the private sector must play a crucial role,” he said. “Perhaps, thus far, we have been taking too much of a theoretical and dogmatic approach rather than a strategic and pragmatic approach in the creation of the CSME.”

LaRoqcue said the CSME still represented tremendous potential to achieve the goals of growth and employment, and to provide business opportunities.

The Secretary General was speaking at a business luncheon hosted by the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association in Georgetown.

“[The CSME] is a vehicle through which businesses utilizing the enlarged single economic space, now with a market of some 6 million, could begin to expand their horizons to enhance their competitiveness.”

LaRocque said trade facilitation and transportation were two of the key areas that, once addressed, could potentially double intraregional trade from its current rate of 16 percent of total trade.

He pointed to a number of products in which the region had become globally competitive of late, including El Dorado Rum and Guyanese-made furniture.

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