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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05GEORGETOWN1317
2005-12-16 18:14:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Georgetown
Cable title:  

CARICOM SECGEN SPEAKS ON EVE OF SINGLE MARKET

Tags:   PREL  ECON  ETRD  BEXP  CARICOM  GY  XL 
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VZCZCXRO8365
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHGE #1317 3501814
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161814Z DEC 05
FM AMEMBASSY GEORGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2892
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO 1009
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0168
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0078
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0011
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
						UNCLAS GEORGETOWN 001317 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ECON ETRD BEXP CARICOM GY XL
SUBJECT: CARICOM SECGEN SPEAKS ON EVE OF SINGLE MARKET
ECONOMY

REF: A. NASSAU 02107



1. SUMMARY: A rare, frank press conference by CARICOM
Secretary General Edwin Carrington outlined some of the

SIPDIS
challenges that face the imminent CARICOM Single Market
Economy (CSME). Information dissemination, funding for a
regional development fund, reconciliation of laws, and
memory of past failures at regional integration have emerged
as obstacles to be surmounted. END SUMMARY.



2. In an informal question and answer session for media and
diplomats, Carrington stated that the success of the CSME
would require a sense of "ownership across the region".
Noting that the European integration took thirty-five years
to become reality, Carrington described the January 1, 2006
birth of the CSME as a "big psychological step" toward
regional integration in the thirty-two years since the
original Treaty of Chaguaramas (the Treaty). The CSME will
initially include 9 CARICOM member states, with a
declaration to be signed January 23 in Jamaica. Three other
states--Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St.
Kitts, will evaluate their readiness for the CSME by the end
of March.



3. Carrington spoke of a number of issues that had been of
concern to various members in the run-up to CSME
implementation. Most notable is the financing of a regional
development fund, the operation of which was discussed at a
conference in Jamaica Monday, December 11. Carrington stated
that Trinidad and Tobago's US$10 million contribution to the
fund should be viewed as a deposit to be augmented by
multilateral development institutions, the donor community,
and the private sector, as various consultants have
estimated the fund would require anywhere from US$120
million to US$250 million. Referring to Guyana's concern
whether it would be eligible to benefit from the fund
despite its not being identified as a Less Developed County
(LDC) in the Treaty, Carrington pointed to Article 156,
which allows Heavily Indebted Poor Countries to receive LDC
provisions. When asked about the future of a single
Caribbean currency, Carrington stressed that for now, fixed
convertibility among regional currencies is essential.



4. CARICOM General Counsel Winston Anderson also spoke of
some issues of legal harmonization that have been of concern
to some members in the advent of the CSME. In particular,
some members have expressed concern that the non-
discrimination provision in Article 7 of the Treaty would
override restrictions on foreign landholding and foreign
fishing vessels. The movement of CARICOM nationals is also a
sensitive issue, as the Treaty calls for the free movement
of skilled workers in Article 46. The proposed rotation of
the Caribbean Court of Justice's proceedings through the
member states is also to be determined.



5. Carrington noted that the "ghost of the federation"--a
reference to the ill-fated attempt to create political union
among 10 member territories as the West Indies Federation
from 1958 to 1962--conditions some member states' reluctance
to plunge into further regional integration. The Secretary
General specifically lamented CARICOM member states' failure
to take a more coordinated approach to accepting the terms
of Venezuela's PetroCaribe oil-financing scheme.

BULLEN