Caribbean Community and Common Market – Definition

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Caribbean Community and Common Market – CARICOM Definition

Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is an organization formed by twenty countries in the Caribbean region for promoting economic integration and mutual cooperation among its member countries.

A Little More on What is the Caribbean Community and Common Market

The CARICOM was formed in 1973 for developing a coordinated economic policy for its member nations and implementing development planning and special projects for supporting the less developed nations within its jurisdiction. It is also operated as a regional single market (CARICOM single market) for many of its members and intervene in the trade disputes. The community was formed by the developing countries to devise a development planning that helps in promoting the economy and ensures an equitable sharing of the benefits of economic integration.

Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is constituted with fifteen member states and five associate members. These states are home for approximately sixteen million people and 60% among them are under the age of 30 years. They are mainly from various indigenous ethnic groups, Africans, Indians, Europeans, Chinese, Portuguese and Javanese.

It was set up with the Treaty of Chaguaramas on July 4, 1973, in Georgetown, Guyana. The organization is currently based in the same city. The community was emerged in 1958, after a 15-year long effort towards promoting regional integration and cooperation. It was established with three main objectives:

(i)                 Encouraging mutual cooperation among its member states.

(ii)              Narrowing the political and economic relations among themselves.

(iii)            Promoting cultural, educational and industrial cooperation.

The major language of CARICOM is English, and it is complemented French and Dutch and their variations, as well as African and Asian expressions. The community comprises developing countries stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America. All its member states are island states except for Belize in Central America and Guyana and Suriname in South America. The full members of CARICOM are:

(i)                 Antigua and Barbuda

(ii)              Bahamas

(iii)            Barbados

(iv)             Belize

(v)               Dominica

(vi)             Grenada

(vii)          Guyana

(viii)        Haiti

(ix)             Jamaica

(x)               Montserrat

(xi)             Saint Kitts and Nevis

(xii)          Saint Lucia

(xiii)        Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

(xiv)         Suriname

(xv)           Trinidad and Tobago

The associate member states are:

(xvi)         Anguilla

(xvii)      Bermuda

(xviii)     British Virgin Islands

(xix)         Cayman Islands

(xx)           Turks and Caicos Islands

The countries participating as observers are:

(i)                 Aruba

(ii)              Colombia

(iii)            Curaçao

(iv)             Dominican Republic

(v)               Mexico

(vi)             Puerto Rico

(vii)          Sint Maarten

(viii)        Venezuela

CARICOM is headed by the Chairman and the post is held by the Heads of States (for the republics) and Heads of the Government (for the realms) of its 15 member states on a rotational basis.

The governance of CARICOM was defined in the Treaty of Chaguaramas and later it was revised in 2002 in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The structure is organized into Organs, Bodies, and Institution.

The Supreme Organ of the Caribbean community is the Conference of Heads of Government. It consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States and is responsible for its policy direction. They are the final decision maker about the Treaties between the Community and International organizations and States. Typically, the Conference takes its decision unanimously. Taking care of the financial operations of the community is also a responsibility of the Conference but this function has been delegated to the Community Council.

Incoming, Incumbent and Outgoing Chairpersons of the Conference form a Sub-Committee of the Conference and that is known as the Bureau. It was set up by the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The Secretary-General assists the Bureau.

The second highest organ of the Community is the Community Council formed with the Ministers of the member States. These ministers are responsible for CARICOM affairs. The primary responsibilities of the Community Council include developing a strategic plan for the Community, coordinating economic integration, functional cooperation (human and social development) and external developing external relations.

The other organs of the Community are:

  •         Council for Economic and Commercial Development (COTED)
  •         Council for External Relations and the Community (COFCOR)
  •         Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD)
  •         Council for Financial Planning (COFAP)

Apart from these organs the Community also has various institutions. Those include:

  •         Agency for Cooperation in Disasters and Emergencies (CDRA)
  •         Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI)
  •         Caribbean Meteorological Organization (CMO)
  •         Caribbean Corporation for Food (CFC)
  •         Caribbean Institute for the Protection of the Environment (CEHI)
  •         Institute for Research and Development of Caribbean Agriculture (CARDI)
  •         Caribbean Institute for Education in the Protection of Wildlife and Veterinary Assistance (REPAHA)
  •         Association of Parliaments of the Caribbean Community (ACCP)
  •         Center for the Administrative Development of the Caribbean (CARICAD)
  •         Caribbean Institute for Food and Nutrition (CFNI).

It also has some associate institutions and those are:

  •         Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
  •         University of Guyana (UG)
  •         University of the East Indies (UWI)
  •         Caribbean Law Institute / Central Caribbean Law Institute (CLI / CLIC)

References for Caribbean Community and Common Market

Academic Research on the Caribbean Community and Common Market

  • Do remittances promote economic growth in the Caribbean Community and Common Market?, Lim, S., & Simmons, W. O. (2015). Journal of Economics and Business, 77, 42-59. Panel cointegration tests are used for examining the economic importance of remittance flows to the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). The results couldn’t find any evidence of a long-time relationship between remittances and real GDP per capita. However, evidence of long-standing relationship between the remittances and consumption were found. Thus, the paper concludes, the remittance inflows are used for consumption and not for improving productivity.
  • CARICOM: Challenges and opportunities for Caribbean economic integration, Hornbeck, J. F. (2008, January). Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. This report discusses the background and development of the CARICOM and its transition to Caribbean Single Market and Economy. It studies the strategy and implementation of CARICOM trade policy and evaluates CARICOM’s development and implications for U.S. foreign economic policy.
  • The rise and fall of Caribbean regionalisation, PAYNE ‘, A. N. T. H. O. N. Y. (1981). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 19(3), 255-280. This paper seeks to explore the reasons for the short span of the success of Third World Integration movements. It investigates the emergence and degradation of CARICOM to find the answer to this question.
  • The Fiscal Effects of Tariff Reduction in the Caribbean Community, Peters, A., Secretariat, C. A. R. I. C. O. M., & Guyana, S. A. (2002). Economic Intelligence and Policy Unit, CARICOM Secretariat. This paper discusses the fiscal effects of tariff reduction in the Caribbean Community. It reaches to a conclusion that the trade liberalization is likely to lead to short-run revenue shortfall for the Caribbean countries. It suggests that shortfall could be as high as 45% decline in customs duties. It recommends the ongoing efforts at fiscal reform must continue to mitigate the effect.     
  • Bilateral trade flows and economic integration in Latin America and the Caribbean, Thoumi, F. E. (1989). World Development, 17(3), 421-429. This paper analyzes intra-Latin American and Caribbean trade by using a gravity equation. The result shows the countries with richer economy import more natural resource-based products than the poorer manufacturing countries. That means, especially in manufacturing the richer countries enjoy huge trade surpluses. The impact of the integration system differs from one region to another. The contribution of the Central American Common Market and CARICOM is significant in manufacturing trade. The result of LAFTA is moderate while the Andean Group has a low contribution.
  • Adolescent health in the Caribbean: a regional portrait, Halcón, L., Blum, R. W., Beuhring, T., Pate, E., Campbell-Forrester, S., & Venema, A. (2003). American Journal of Public Health, 93(11), 1851-1857. The study evaluates the health condition of the youths in the Caribbean Community and Common Market countries and discusses the prevalence of the issues related to health. An extensive questionnaire that includes the questions of general health, nutrition. Health care, sexual history, mental health, violence, drug use, family characteristics and relationships with other was used for conducting the study. The study concludes that most of the young people possess good health. However, the recommends regular monitoring of the trend and designing effective youth health programs based on the issues found in the study.
  • CUSTA and NAFTA: Can WHFTA be far behind?, Whalley, J. (1992). JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 30(2), 125-142. The article discusses the 1988 Canada-US Trade Agreement (CUSTA), the US-Mexico-Canada-North American free trade (NAFTA) negotiations, Latin American regional trade arrangements and developments in Central America. The article seeks to find, whether all these negotiations signify a major move towards not only North American integration but also Latin American and even Western Hemisphere Economic integration which may lead to Western Hemisphere Free Trade Area.
  • e-Government in the Caribbean nations, Joseph, R. C., & Jeffers, P. I. (2009). Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 12(1), 52-70. The paper analyses web site content using a theoretical framework based on the Siau and Long (2005) e-government stages model to investigate the state of the e-governance in the Caribbean. It specifically focusses on the member states of the CARICOM and finds that e-government is established in these countries and poised for continued growth.
  • Is There a Caribbean Consciousness?, Pons, F. M. (1979). Americas, 31(8), 33. The paper attempts to analyze the socio-political scenario of the Caribbean region. It argues that the Caribbean region is not a single entity rather the political and economic tendencies of the region are largely affected by the divergencies of the area. It says the Caribbean as a leaving community with common interest and aspiration does not exist.

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