PM Browne calls on CARICOM to address the “disproportionate movement of people”

Prime Minister Gaston Browne (File photo)

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to address the unbalanced movement of people that is borne by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

The Prime Minister made the comments Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 39th CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The Prime Minister said that OECS countries have borne the brunt of the implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

“It will have to recognise that, over the last three decades, smaller members of CARICOM have borne a disproportionate burden in the movement of goods, services and people in the region,” Browne said, referencing Jamaica, Guyana and the Dominican Republic as countries whose nationals are “absorbed” by the OECS.

“Eastern Caribbean countries – the members of the [OECS] – have absorbed a large number of unskilled labour from Jamaica and Guyana particularly over the last three decades.”

Browne said that every country in CARICOM must commit to CSME.

“The CSME calls for us to move beyond functional cooperation. Each of our countries has to commit to, and implement, free movement of goods, services, capital and technology. It is the only way in which our region will overcome the low level of both intra-industry and intra regional trade.” he said.

(More in today’s Daily Observer)