January 6, 2006

SVG ready to sign on to CSME

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is fully committed to the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) and is now ready to sign on to it. This assurance came from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves as he spoke at a press conference at Cabinet Room on Tuesday.

The CSME officially commenced on Sunday January 1 with six nations, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, Suriname, Belize and Jamaica, starting immediately while the other six interested countries, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines will follow in the first quarter of this year.{{more}}

Dr. Gonsalves said that St. Vincent and the Grenadines had not signed the amendment to the Treaty of Chaguaramas because “he wanted certain assurances on certain matters, which affect St. Vincent and the Grenadines.” He has since received those assurances, and would sign the amendment as soon as he receives the documents.

Only 12 of the 14 Caricom member states will sign on to the CSME, as the Bahamas have indicated that they are not interested, while Montserrat, as a colony of Britain, has yet to receive permission from London.

Those countries that have signed on now have the free movement of persons, goods, services, capital and the right of establishment. The classes of individuals that will be allowed to move and work throughout the countries are university graduates, artists, musicians, media persons and sports persons and under the right of establishment managerial, technical and supervisory personnel.