The role and importance of CSME
The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) can be listed with several other regional organizations worldwide that have been established to promote regional cooperation on political, economic and social issues.
The CSME is designed to represent a single economic space within which people, goods, services and capital can move freely, and as such it will require the harmonisation and coordination of social, economic, and trade policies among the participating member states.
The CARICOM single market and economy (CSME) is the platform from which the Anglophone Caribbean and associated states plan to face the onslaught of globalization. It creates a framework for increased competitiveness of the region’s goods and services and it is expected to offer a bulwark for protection against the full force of the winds of the global market. The extent to which this protection will apply differentially to women and men must be taken into consideration.
Opportunities of the CSME
The CSME offers a host of opportunities for men and women of the Caribbean as the agreement is not restricted to goods and financial capital, but also includes human capital - persons who are qualified to offer services in various fields.
In the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which provides the legal basis for the operation of the CSME, there are several provisions dealing with persons. None, however, is more critical in a genuine single market and economy than the provisions relating to the free movement of persons. Article 45 of the revised Treaty declares that member states commit themselves to the goal of free movement of their nationals within the community.
Free Movement of Skills and Labour
The policy of free movement of skills and labour basically defines the right of a CARICOM national to seek work or engage in gainful employment in the Caribbean in any CARICOM member state, whether as a wage earner or a non-wage earner, without the need to obtain a work permit in the member state in which he/she desires to work.
A CARICOM national is, according to Article 32.5: (a) of the revised treaty, a person who is regarded as a national of a member state. This is the case if such a person:
- Is a citizen of that state;
- Has a connection with that state of a kind that entitles him/her to be
regarded as belonging to or, if it be so expressed, as being a native or resident of the state for the purpose of the laws thereof relating to immigration
Persons who are eligible for the free movement of skills/labour must be engaged in some kind of legitimate economic activity in the CARICOM single market and economy. There are currently no rights regarding free movement solely for purposes of residency or permanent naturalisation or citizenship. If a person just wishes to migrate from one CARICOM state to live in another, he/she must still apply for residency or citizenship, in accordance with the laws of that country.
As a first step towards achieving full free movement of skills/ labour, and the development of human resources in the Caribbean, the following categories of wage earners are entitled to move and work freely in the community:
CARICOM nationals who are:
1. Graduates from all recognised universities in the world
5. Media workers
9. Holders of an Associate Degree or comparable qualification
10. Managers, technical and supervisory staff attached to a company, or self-employed persons.
Source: UWI-Caricom Project Excerpts from the Research Paper Titled: SOME IMPLICATIONS OF THE CARIBBEAN SINGLE MARKET AND ECONOMY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO EDUCATION AND GENDER BY ELSA LEO-RHYNIE (Nov 2006)