January 5, 2007
Gonsalves new Caricom chairman

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has become Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) from January 1 for the next six months.

St Vincent and the Grenadines will be hosting the intercessional Heads of Government/Heads of State meeting February 11-13 as well as the CARICOM Summit in July.{{more}}

Topping the agenda are matters of regional governance and “production integration” as distinct from trading.

“I think it is important that the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the region realise that with the deepening of the integration mechanisms particularly with the single market and as we move to the single economy we need to have a governance structure which reflects the deepening of the integration in economic terms and functional terms,” he said.

The prime minister said the region cannot experience the deepening of the integration processes while having “a relatively ramshackle administrative mechanism”.

He praised the CARICOM Secretariat for doing excellent work.

In related matters, Dr Gonsalves disclosed that on January 11-12 a number of weighty matters, which would affect the lives of people, would be up for discussions at the OECS Heads of Government meeting in Antigua.

He said this include the bringing up-to-date the OECS Economic Treaty.