ROSEAU, Dominica, Tuesday February 24, 2015, CMC – Dominica has given its support for closer regional integration saying that it was necessary in a changing global environment.
Trade Minister Ian Douglas, addressing the start of a two-day workshop for media workers on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME), said Dominica is “fully committed to the integration process”.
“There are tremendous benefits to be derived for our citizens from the integration movement. The world is increasingly becoming globalised into trading blocs…and as a result, we as vulnerable economies must remain together so that we can be stronger. We can either swim together or sink one by one,” he told the opening ceremony here on Monday night.
Douglas said that the single economic space within the 15-member CARICOM grouping has created more opportunities for trade.
“Any Dominican product or any Dominican professional can move within and throughout the region free of any impediments as long as you have the CARICOM Skills Certificate. And these opportunities are being created for hassle free travel and for the establishment of local businesses anywhere in the region without impediments,” Douglas said.
The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, services, labour and skills across the region and Douglas said these were among the “tangible benefits that can be had from the integration process.
“And this is why we in Dominica will support any and every effort towards the sensitization of the public on the elements of the Treaty of Chaguaramas and that is why the media personally and the spokesperson are important to the process,” he said.
The two-day workshop here is part of a series of initiatives being undertaken by the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat to sensitize the region to the functions of the CSME.
Deputy Programme Manager at the CSME Unit, Phillip Mc Claren said that the public awareness campaign is also being undertaken in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Jamaica, Belize, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, St. kitts-Nevis and St. Lucia.
“Public education is a critical component that is in our view an absolute necessity to inform CARICOM nationals how they can access these rights and participate in the process of regional integration,” he said.