(CMC) — Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley Wednesday urged greater cooperation among Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries in ensuring the success of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the 15-member regional integration grouping.
“We have since Montego Bay been able to reignite in our people a confidence that can make this Caribbean project worth our while and that we can allow it to make a definable difference in their lives,” Mottley said as she addressed the opening of the ninth meeting of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on the CSME.
Mottley said the signing of the protocol on Contingent Rights was the first initiative in that regard, saying “no one in the Caribbean will move easily without understanding what will be the implications for their spouses, their dependent parents or their children”.
She said that it is in this “real way we have made a definable difference to our people.
“Similarly those amongst us in our region who are committed towards expanding their enterprises now have the opportunity to see that they can bid for government contracts over a certain threshold with respect to the protocol on Government procurement that we are hoping to put in place by the next heads of government meeting for signature”.
Mottley said that the fact that the Council of Ministers of Finance and Planning (COFAP) has met twice in the last four months, having not met for the last five years “is also a signal of our intention to be serious about the region’s business”.
At least six Caricom prime ministers are attending the one-day prime ministerial meeting here and the Caricom Secretariat said that it will focus on stakeholders perspectives and recommendations for an effective CSME, including objectives and priorities; free movement of people; the role of the private sector and labour as well as public awareness/ education programme.