Bahamas wants no part of CSME

Bahamas’s Prime Minister Hubert Minnis gives a speech during Americas Economics Summit in Lima, Peru, Friday, April 13, 2018.
Associated Press / Martin Mejia, File

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said that The Bahamas will not be part of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).

He made his country’s position clear when he spoke to journalist after his arrival from the recent CARICOM Heads of Government 39th Annual Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Bahamas, the only full member of CARICOM, was not among the six countries that adopted the Protocol on Contingent Rights- which provides a frame work for the free movement of skilled laborers and their families between member states.

Dr. Minnis said the Bahamas is not and will not be a part of the CSME, adding that his country will not allow free movement of people within the island’s boundaries.

He said that Caribbean nationals would be allowed into The Bahamas quite readily as long as they abide by the rules and the laws of the country.

Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, St. Lucia and Grenada signed the Protocol on Contingent Rights which relates to spouses and dependents of CARICOM nationals who relocate to other member states being entitled to access benefits, such as healthcare and education, services which were not previously afforded to them.

The protocol applies to individuals and their families, who move across the region to work, provide services and establish companies within the framework of the free movement under the CSME.

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