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Feb 10, 2016

Stakeholders in CSME Free Movement Meet in Belize City

Belize is preparing to host the CARICOM Heads of Government Intercessional next week. At least nine heads have already confirmed their attendance and will look at many issues including the loss of correspondent bank, climate change as well as the ZIKA virus. Today, stakeholders from the Immigration and Labour Departments, the unions, and private and semi-government agencies converged at the Radisson for what is called a sensitization workshop on the free movement of persons with skills within the Caribbean region. The CSME allows persons and services as well as goods to freely enter CARICOM states, but that has not been happening to the level conceived. So stakeholders are learning how they can access benefits under the five regimes of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas as well as to strengthen systems for more efficiency.

 

Olivia Smith

Dr. Olivia Smith, Deputy Program Manager, Free Movement & Labour, CSME

“We are doing a series of sensitization training for employers, laborers and the general private sector on how the Free Movement regime works and how the CARICOM nationals can exercise their rights under the revised treaty with respect to moving, to provide a service, to establish a business as skilled CARICOM nationals seeking to work or to work and of course CARICOM nationals moving on the facilitation of travel where you are entitled to that six months of entry stay into a member state once you are bearing a CARICOM passport. So essentially it is to sensitize the private sector with respect to their use of the rating. I don’t know that it is competitive, but rather complimentary because we are seeking to ensure that across the border that the skills can seek to help the economies and the societies and therefore creating sustainable development that is needed very much so in the region. So I don’t view it very much so as competition but as a complimentary process to deepening integration and to our survival as a Caribbean people given what is happening in the global arena.”

 

Tricia Gideon

Tricia Gideon, CSME Focal Point, Belize

“We have goods, we have services, we have skilled nationals, we have setting up of business and we have temporary service providers such as consultants so if you want to go start a business there is a procedure that you must go through which we have at our ministry if you would like to have more information about that at the Ministry of Investment, trade and Commerce. If you want to go and live and work in one of these member states, immigration is responsible in doing skill certificates, you can go there. If you want to be a consultant in the region, we have the Belize Coalition of Service Providers who is the authority responsible for issuing those certificates. And if you want to export to these regions we have our customs and BAHA department that ensures us that these goods are ready to enter these markets.”

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