Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2016 (SKNIS): The Honourable Vance Amory, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Labour, is of the view that there is further need for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis to be educated on the benefits of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of The Free Movement Regimes of the Caribbean Community Workshop on Thursday morning (March 10) at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI), Premier Amory said that although there has been much education in the past, the people of the Federation still have not completely accepted the concept of the CSME and as such “there has been some lagging in the implementation as well as the utilisation of the CSME framework that has been formulated.”
According to the Labour Minister, the CSME had its genesis in 1989. He said that CARICOM Heads of Government while in Grenada had recognised the need to work together in an effort to “deepen the integration process and strengthen the Caribbean Community in all of its dimensions” thus formulating the Grand Anse Declaration, “the basis on which the CSME exists.” He explained that this was the region’s response to challenges that were being faced at that time as a result of changes in the global economy, noting that these challenges still exist today, 25 years later.
The premier said that fear may be one reason that has delayed the implementation thus far. He called on all stakeholders to increase communication to CARICOM nationals with the aim of minimising any negative misconceptions about the CSME. He admitted that the process has not been easy but called on “all involved, every single sector and any single individual involved in policy making, in implementation, to have a common and concurrent approach to this process.” Failure of such, Premier Amory said, “will certainly delay the process of having this free movement of people accepted, understood and operational in its most efficient way within the Caribbean Community.”
According to Premier Amory, human resource is integral to the progress of the CSME. He said that “To facilitate this development it is important that we recognise the importance of labour, the importance of people and place people at the centre of this process.” Indicating that the people of the Federation must become aware of the skills that are required to compete within the region, the premier said the government has taken the necessary steps to shift the focus of the education system with the aim of preparing nationals. Development of the technical, vocational aspect of education was identified as a key step taken by the government.
Premier Amory expressed his government’s continue commitment to facilitate the implementation of the CSME.