Regionalism the key to long-term growth

Caribbean outlook: regionalism the key to long-term growth

Thanks to a growing flow of tourists, public and private construction projects and increased global demand for agricultural commodities, the Caribbean is expected to enjoy positive economic growth in 2005. But over the long-term, a more tightly integrated regional approach may be necessary to mitigate natural risks and sustain long-term growth in the global economy, according to Caribbean leaders.

“Strengthening regional and national capacity for sustainable development is priority for the Caribbean Community (Caricom),” said Ambassador Lolita Applewhaite, deputy secretary general, in a March presentation in Georgetown, Guyana. For 2005, the community of 20 member and associate member states is focusing on implementation of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME), strengthening governance within the community, and promoting information and communication technologies for development. To boost opportunities for productive employment, member states of the Caribbean Community will be removing existing restrictions on the right of business establishment, the provision of services, the movement of capital and the movement of selected skills in order to establish the CSME by December 31, 2005.

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