Trinidad and Tobago will host a special CARICOM heads of government meeting in November to discuss the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
The meeting was disclosed by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley who said that while the CARICOM market is a major marketplace for Trinidad and Tobago, several CARICOM member states, such as the Bahamas, have questioned the relevance of the CSME.
He said the Bahamas has come out in front and said, “We want to remain part of CARICOM, we are integrally part of CARICOM, but let me tell you we are not interested in the CSME. The new Jamaica government said we are going to examine the role that CARICOM plays in Jamaica.”
Rowley added that Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, “we are not leaving CARICOM, but the Jamaican people are asking very hard questions of the Jamaican government as to whether CARICOM is to the benefit of the Jamaicans.”
The prime minister said those two developments had prompted Trinidad and Tobago to get an agreement from the last CARICOM meeting in Jamaica to discuss the CSME and whether the region should aspire to having a single market as opposed to a single market and economy.
Rowley said a single item on the CARICOM heads of government meeting would be the single market and economy.
“This is of great interest to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, because we are possibly the major beneficiary of the CARICOM economies, if we are to preserve what we have — we have to ensure that the CARICOM market remains alive and remains our major marketplace,” he said.
The prime minister made the comments during the sod-ceremony for the Nutrimix Group of Companies Next Generation Hatchery in Central Trinidad last week.