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CARICOM Heads to consider free movement expansion

ST. LUCIA – A case for the inclusion of artisans, nurses, domestics and teachers to move freely as skilled nationals under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy will be presented to Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community when the 27th Regular Meeting of the Conference convenes in St. Kitts and Nevis early next month.

In reporting on the progress made in the region since the establishment of the CARICOM Single Market on January 1st, last year, CARICOM’s Assistant Secretary General for Regional Trade and Economic Integration, Mr. Irwin La Rocque said on Tuesday June 20th that 3,500 free movement certificates have already been issued by Member states. These were some of the issues raised as the CARICOM Secretariat engaged the regional media in a briefing, conducted via video conferencing.

He noted that as part of the exercise to expand the categories of skilled persons eligible for free movement under the Treaty, several member states have conducted national research and will present their findings to the Conference for consideration.

On the operation of the Caribbean Court of Justice and the Caribbean Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality CROSQ as two critical pillars of the CSME, Mr. La Rocque stressed the importance of CROSQ in ensuring that the highest standards and quality are maintained. This is especially important in the context of the goods and services produced intra-regionally as the region seeks to become a competitive trading bloc in the global sphere.

CARICOM Secretary General Mr. Edwin Carrington expressed optimism that the remaining member states will sign onto the Single Market by the 30th of June deadline before the upcoming Meeting of the Conference.

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