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Jan 30, 2006

CARICOM: C.S.M.E. launch crucial to integration

Story PictureCaribbean leaders converged in Jamaica today to participate in the official inauguration ceremony to launch the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. Representatives included heads of governments from across the Caribbean, the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the University of the West Indies. Standing in for Belize’s Prime Minister Said Musa was Minister of Works, Transport, and Communications, Jose Coye.

As part today’s activities, delegates of Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago officially signed onto the C.S.M.E. declaration.

In his welcome address to the gathering, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, Edwin Carrington, maintained that January thirtieth will go down in history as a new dawn in the epic struggle that is regional integration.

Edwin Carrington, Secretary General, CARICOM
?This bold and visionary step into a deeper integration process, one which so far only the European Union has trodden, has certainly fired the imagination and raised the expectations of the people of our community. Since the coming into being of the Single Market on first January, people from numerous walks of life have been seeking information about how they can take advantage of the process. By the middle of last week for example, according to a report from one member state, more than two thousand applications had been received for the CARICOM skill certificate, an important instrument for the process of the free movement for skilled workers; and the single market is only thirty days old. In this situation, the onus is on our political, our business, and our administrative leadership to ensure that the great expectations unleashed are met. This is no way more evident than among our young citizens, mainly for whom and through whom this venture must be successfully realised. We all need to be critically aware of what the late Michael Manley called ?the nature of the historic locomotive that rushes upon us.? We must be fully prepared for it.?

Six other countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines also participated in a signing ceremony, declaring their intent to implement the C.S.M.E. into their respective legislation.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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