March 4, 2005
Service sector turns attention to CSME

The strides may be imperceptible and efforts towards regional unity appear to be making no headway, but persons are looking at the unfolding Caricom Single Market and Economy as a positive sign of Caribbean integration. {{more}}

One of those persons is Guyana-born Ivor Carryl, Programme Manager of CSME Unit Barbados. He assisted by Lennox Forde, combined in a presentation dubbed ‘CSME: Its implications and prospects for the Service Sector.’

That presentation formed the highlight of the annual management Seminar put on by the St., Vincent and the Grenadines Cooperative Credit Union.

A number of representatives from financial services turned up for the daylong session at Haddon Hotel in Kingstown last week Wednesday.

Carryl stressed that CSME was nothing new, and he harped on the benefits. For him, “CSME is not an event. It’s a process.”

He outlined that functions like that one staged on Wednesday helped to get the region CSME ready.

Carryl, with experience in international affairs, revealed his depth of knowledge on CSME aspects.

He endorsed Social Development Minister Selmon Walters’ view of competition in the provision of services.

Carryl pointed to the movement of goods, services, money and skills that have been taking place in the region with or without CSME. And there is the endorsement that when everything is complete with establishment of the CSME in June 2008, the region should enjoy its fruits of coming together.

Walters, the South Central Windward representative expressed the view that “we must think and act Caribbean.”

He noted the implications and prospects of CSME, but insisted that Vincentians will have to train harder so as to take that high level paying jobs.

President of the Credit Union League Rueben John considered the topic appropriate and timely. He noted that the region was entering a challenging phase, even though the movements of capital had been ongoing for some time.

John stressed the need for Credit Unions to be more competitive, especially with the provision of mortgages.

Walters echoed John’s remarks in his address. With an emphasis on Credit Unions, Walters maintained his crusade in support of Credit Unions. He however urged the sector to move towards electronic operation so that members can benefit from the service wherever they were.

He looked at the enlarged Caricom Community as a basis for the provision of more loans, services, jobs and cultural interaction.

SVUT’s President Curtis King urged Credit Unions to see themselves as sources of hope for clients.

A number of managers from financial institutions attended the function.