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Essay on CARICOM Essay Sample

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Essay on CARICOM Essay Sample

The founding of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was the result of a 15-year effort to achieve the hope of regional integration which had begun with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation in 1958. It was a Federal Government drawn from 10 member islands which were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, the then St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago. The Federal Capital of the federation was located in Trinidad and Tobago Economically the Region remained as it had been for centuries and during this period of time not even free trade was introduced between the Member Countries during this period. The Federation however faced several problems. Some were the control and executive structures enforced by the British; disagreements among the territories over some policies, mostly with respect to taxation and central planning.

The conclusive development, which led to the end of the Federation was the withdrawal of Jamaica who were the largest member of the Federation, they departed from the federation in 1961. This also led to the now famous statement of Dr Eric Williams, the then Premier of Trinidad and Tobago that, one from ten leaves nought, referring to the departure of Jamaica which justified his decision to withdraw Trinidad and Tobago from the Federal arrangement a short while later. The West Indies Federation collapsed in January of 1962 but its end, in some ways is regarded as the real beginning of what is now the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The demise of the Federation meant the dawn of a more serious effort on the part of the Political leaders of the Caribbean to strengthen the bonds between the islands by providing for the maintenance and reinforcement of the areas of cooperation that existed during the time of the Federation. After announcing the end of the Federation the government of Trinidad and Tobago suggested the creation of a Caribbean Community, consisting of all the islands of the Caribbean Sea both independent and non-independent not only of the 10 members the Federation had. Some of the main objectives of CARICOM were to improve the economic development of member states through the introduction of free trade this was described as economic cooperation, where barriers to trade customs duties, quotas and licensing obligations were removed.

Another objective were functional cooperation in the areas of air transportation, shipping, health, provincial technical assistance, education and training, culture and broadcasting. Also common policies in dealing with non-member states of CARICOM and multinational corporations was another objective. Some of these policies were common external bills, common policy when countries imported goods and services from outside of the region, a common policy on tourism.

Member states of CARICOM were heavily dependent on foreign investments for the purposes of job creation, exhausting the possibilities of physical resources of the country and taxation. The common policy for attracting foreign investment was therefore necessary to prevent one country from offering better incentives to transnational corporations than another country. Achievements of CARICOM were the establishment of the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM) which is an association formed to discuss trading agreements with foreign countries on the behalf of CARICOM member states. The CRNM’s strength lies in the fact that it signifies the united voice of its members and is therefore able to secure arrangements that are most favorable to those states. Another was when the Heads of Government decided to establish the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) in 1989 when the Treaty of Chaguaramas was revised. CSME’s purpose is to institute a single economy structure among the member states of CARICOM. This would be achieved by merging the region’s financial, human and natural resources to build a financial bulk to respond to globalization.

The Single Market involves free movement of CARICOM nationals to any member state, the free movement of goods produced in any member state can be transported to another member state without customs duties, quotas or license requests and also the free movement of assets of a CARICOM national to any member state. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was another achievement of the establishment of CARICOM. The CCJ which is located in the capital of Trinidad, Port of Spain was initiated on April 16th, 2005. The CCJ was created because of the CSME which allowed the citizens of member states to move without interference to any member state. A Caribbean Court was seen as compulsory to resolve any disagreements that may arise. The CCJ’s function is to address any disagreements arising from the implementation and application of the Treaty, to rule in the defilement of any rights or commitments created by the overview of the CSME. The Caribbean Investment Corporation (C.I.C) was formed to promote the development of poorer member states of CARICOM.

The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) was founded in the 1970’s the main objective for its founding was for the improvement of syllabuses. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) began operating in 1991 with its control center in Barbados. The CDEMA was responsible for coordinating relief in response to any natural disaster in the Caribbean, the provision of information on disasters that are likely to threaten Caribbean states and to provide assistance in the reconstruction after a disaster has occurred. The Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) was formed to enable radio and television broadcasts among its member states. They distribute a variety of news, sports and Caribbean economy. Some of these are even broadcasted internationally.

The Caribbean News Agency (CANA) is a local organization which employs reporters to provide news on regional issues and events. The CANA benefits the Caribbean since it enhances the communication between member states, promotes the local Caribbean culture, and decreases the cost of local news agencies in obtaining foreign news and lastly the Caribbean Agricultural and Research Development Institute (CARDI). CARDI is responsible for developing the systems to improve productivity and the production in the agriculture sector, establishing better farming techniques to meet the requirements of small farmers, lowering the costs of the production in agriculture and undertaking research to find solutions for plant diseases. CARDI receives its funding from the CARICOM Government and it also receives additional funding if necessary from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and other transnational lending agencies.

There are other plans that can be implemented to achieve further development in CARICOM. Some are CARICOM can recognize the youths of its member states and increase investment to develop their creativity and productive capacities, pass the Single CARICOM Act, which would ensure that verdicts agreed upon locally are automatically imposed nationally. Also if some CARICOM member states agree on the common agenda for collective benefits instead of seeking certain policies that will be beneficial to their country alone.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is celebrating 40 years of integration in 2013. Discuss the achievements of CARICOM in light of the statement and make suggestions for future development.

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