CARICOM “Assured” of Jamaican Support for Caribbean Integration

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Above: CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque and Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (Photo: CARICOM)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque said he has been “assured” of Jamaica’s support for the Caribbean integration movement by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

The assurance came during a three-day official visit by LaRocque to Jamaica, during which he met with Simpson Miller, Holness, Industry Minister Anthony Hylton and Foreign Minister AJ Nicholson.

According to LaRocque, Simpson Miller said her administration was committed to strengthening and deepening the integration movement.

Holness said more information was needed to combat the lack of knowledge o CARICOM, and that CARICOM should not be a political issue. He also expressed his concern on the trade imbalance and the issue of free movement.

LaRcoque addressed the concerns on trade in a speech in Kingston Friday, arguing that the trade imbalance Jamaica is currently experiencing “reflects trade in respect of goods only.”

“That is only part of the picture,” he said. “To consider the true picture of the balance of trade, you must take into account trade in services, in which it has been suggested that Jamaica has a comparative advantage, such as cultural industries and professional services.”

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