Seeing CSME as response to global crisis

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, November 28, 2008 – The global economic crisis should be seen as an opportunity for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to quicken the pace of establishing the Single Market and Economy (CSME), a top CARICOM official has suggested.

Secretary-General Edwin Carrington says the situation affecting the entire world underscores the need for CARICOM member states to exploit all the benefits available through strengthened and accelerated regional action.

He made the comments yesterday at the 12th Meeting of CARICOM’s Budget Committee where he acknowledged that creating a viable and prosperous Caribbean Community next year presents a unique and daunting challenge, given the stark reality of the global economic and financial crisis.

“Only last Saturday at the 24th Meeting of the Bureau of the Conference of Heads of Government, the Committee of Central Bank Governors presented an enlightening and sobering report on the implications for our region, of that   global crisis. In some of our most significant economic sectors, that reality is already having its effects,” Mr Carrington said.

Against that background, he announced that the CARICOM Secretariat was committed to working within the same budget in 2009 as it did this year.

Earlier in the week, Assistant Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque urged the region to press forward with building the CSME “since a Single Economy, well structured and managed, would be better able to withstand a global recession than twelve individual economies”.