Caribbean Community
Overview
 
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members (Caricom Single Market); and handling regional trade disputes.
Encyclopedia
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organisation of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. CARICOM's main purposes are to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy. Its major activities involve coordinating economic policies and development planning; devising and instituting special projects for the less-developed countries within its jurisdiction; operating as a regional single market for many of its members (Caricom Single Market); and handling regional trade disputes. The secretariat headquarters is based in Georgetown, Guyana
Georgetown, Guyana
Georgetown, estimated population 239,227 , is the capital and largest city of Guyana, located in the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.' Georgetown is located at . The city serves...

.

Since the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by the mainly English- (and English Creole-) speaking parts of the Caribbean region CARICOM has become multilingual in practice with the addition of Dutch speaking
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

-Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

 on 4 July 1995 and Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, where French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Haitian Creole are spoken on 2 July 2002, and in 2003 the Caribbean Community agreed to make Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 their second official language.

In 2001, the heads of government signed a Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas thus clearing the way for the transformation of the idea for a Common Market aspect of CARICOM into instead a Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy
CARICOM Single Market and Economy
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy, also known as the Caribbean Single Market and Economy , is an integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community which took place in July 1989 in Grand Anse, Grenada...

. Part of the revised treaty among member states includes the establishment and implementation of the Caribbean Court of Justice
Caribbean Court of Justice
The Caribbean Court of Justice is the judicial institution of the Caribbean Community . Established in 2001, it is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago....

.

History

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), originally the Caribbean Community and Common Market, was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas
Treaty of Chaguaramas
The Treaty of Chaguaramas established the Caribbean Community and Common Market, later known as CARICOM. It was signed on July 4, 1973 in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. It was signed by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on 4 July 1973, in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. It came...

 which came into effect on 1 August 1973. The first four signatories were Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 and Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

.

CARICOM superseded the 1965–1972 Caribbean Free Trade Association
Caribbean Free Trade Association
The Caribbean Free Trade Association was organised to provide a continued economic linkage between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean following the dissolution of the West Indies Federation which lasted from January 3, 1958 to May 31, 1962.The Caribbean Free Trade Association was...

 (CARIFTA), which had been organised to provide a continued economic linkage between the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean following the dissolution of the West Indies Federation
West Indies Federation
The West Indies Federation, also known as the Federation of the West Indies, was a short-lived Caribbean federation that existed from January 3, 1958, to May 31, 1962. It consisted of several Caribbean colonies of the United Kingdom...

 which lasted from 3 January 1958 to 31 May 1962.

A Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the Caribbean Community including the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) was signed by the CARICOM Heads of Government
CARICOM Heads of Government
The CARICOM heads of government serve as the most important body leading key policy direction for the Caribbean Community organisation and for the implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.-Current leaders:...

 of the Caribbean Community on 5 July 2001 at their Twenty-Second Meeting of the Conference in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Membership

Currently CARICOM has 15 full members, 5 associate members and 7 observers. All of the associate members are British overseas territories
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

, and it is currently not established what the role of the associate members will be. The observers are states which engage in at least one of CARICOM's technical committees.
CARICOM Members
Status Name Join date Notes
Full member  Antigua and Barbuda 4 July 1974
 The Bahamas 4 July 1983 Not part of customs union
 Barbados 1 August 1973
 Belize 1 May 1974
 Dominica 1 May 1974
 Grenada 1 May 1974
 Guyana 1 August 1973
 Haiti 2 July 2002 Provisional membership on 4 July 1998
 Jamaica 1 August 1973
 Montserrat 1 May 1974 British overseas territory
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 26 July 1974 Joined as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was historically an overseas territory of the United Kingdom located in the Caribbean Sea. This entity later became a province to the short lived West Indies Federation in 1958...

 Saint Lucia 1 May 1974
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1 May 1974
 Suriname 4 July 1995
 Trinidad and Tobago 1 August 1973
Associate  Anguilla July 1999 British overseas territory
 Bermuda 2 July 2003 British overseas territory
 British Virgin Islands July 1991 British overseas territory
 Cayman Islands 16 May 2002 British overseas territory
 Turks and Caicos Islands July 1991 British overseas territory
Observer  Aruba Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with territory in Western Europe and in the Caribbean. The four parts of the Kingdom—Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten—are referred to as "countries", and participate on a basis of equality...

 Colombia
 Curaçao Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with territory in Western Europe and in the Caribbean. The four parts of the Kingdom—Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten—are referred to as "countries", and participate on a basis of equality...


status unknown after dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles
 Dominican Republic
 Mexico
 Puerto Rico Commonwealth of the USA
 Sint Maarten Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a sovereign state and constitutional monarchy with territory in Western Europe and in the Caribbean. The four parts of the Kingdom—Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands, and Sint Maarten—are referred to as "countries", and participate on a basis of equality...


status unknown after dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles
 Venezuela

Anguilla

In July 1999, Anguilla once again became involved with CARICOM when it gained associate membership. Before this, Anguilla had briefly been a part of CARICOM (1974–1980) as a constituent of the full member state of Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was historically an overseas territory of the United Kingdom located in the Caribbean Sea. This entity later became a province to the short lived West Indies Federation in 1958...

.

Dominican Republic

In 2005 the Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic proposed for the second time that the government of the Dominican Republic wished to obtain full membership status in CARICOM. However, due to the sheer size of the Dominican Republic's economy and population size in comparison with the current CARICOM states and coupled with the Dominican Republic's checkered history of foreign policy solidarity with the CARICOM states it is unclear whether the CARICOM states will unanimously vote to admit the Dominican Republic as a full member into the organisation. CARICOM has been working at great pains in trying to integrate with Haiti. It has been proposed that CARICOM may deepen ties with the Dominican Republic through the auspice of the Association of Caribbean States
Association of Caribbean States
The Association of Caribbean States was formed with the aim of promoting consultation, cooperation, and concerted action among all the countries of the Caribbean. It comprises twenty-five member states and four associate members...

 (ACS) instead, which is an organisation that stops just short of the Single market and economy which underpins CARICOM.
Currently, the Dominican Republic has an unratified free trade agreement (from 2001) with CARICOM. It cooperates with CARICOM (since 1992) under an umbrella organisation, CARIFORUM
CARIFORUM
The Caribbean Forum is a subgroup of ACP States and serves as a base for economic dialogue with the European Union. It was established in 1992. Its membership comprises the 15 Caribbean Community states, along with the Dominican Republic...

, an economic pact between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic with the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. The Dominican Republic originally became an Observer of CARICOM in 1982 and in 1991 it had presented CARICOM with a request for full membership.

French Caribbean Territories

France administers several territories
Overseas departments and territories of France
The French Overseas Departments and Territories consist broadly of French-administered territories outside of the European continent. These territories have varying legal status and different levels of autonomy, although all have representation in the Parliament of France , and consequently the...

 in the Caribbean that are not associated with CARICOM: Saint-Martin, Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy
Saint Barthélemy , officially the Territorial collectivity of Saint Barthélemy , is an overseas collectivity of France. Often abbreviated to Saint-Barth in French, or St. Barts in English, the indigenous people called the island Ouanalao...

, Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is an archipelago located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres and a population of 400,000. It is the first overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. As with the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe...

, Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

, and French Guiana
French Guiana
French Guiana is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west...

.

Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands

Both Aruba and the former Netherlands Antilles
Netherlands Antilles
The Netherlands Antilles , also referred to informally as the Dutch Antilles, was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of two groups of islands in the Lesser Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao , in Leeward Antilles just off the Venezuelan coast; and Sint...

 have been observer members of CARICOM, but no official report has been published on the eligibility for observer membership of the Caribbean countries Curaçao
Curaçao
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao , which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao , is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 and Sint Maarten and the 3 special municipalities of the Netherlands which formed after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.

In 2005, the Netherlands Antilles
Netherlands Antilles
The Netherlands Antilles , also referred to informally as the Dutch Antilles, was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of two groups of islands in the Lesser Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao , in Leeward Antilles just off the Venezuelan coast; and Sint...

 made an official request for the status of associate membership. It's unsure how the dissolution will affect requested associate membership status for both islands. Curaçao
Curaçao
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao , which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao , is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 has announced that it wants to continue deepening ties with the CARICOM bloc.

United States Virgin Islands

In 2007, the U.S. Virgin Islands government announced it would begin seeking ties with CARICOM. It is not clear what membership status the USVI would obtain should they join CARICOM. It is possible the USVI would obtain observer status, considering fellow U.S. Caribbean territory Puerto Rico's current observer status.

Relationship to other supranational Caribbean organisations

Haiti invasion

In March 2004, tensions became strained between member-state Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean Community bloc. Democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide
Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian former Catholic priest and politician who served as Haiti's first democratically elected president. A proponent of liberation theology, Aristide was appointed to a parish in Port-au-Prince in 1982 after completing his studies...

 phoned some of the other 14 CARICOM heads of government and stated that he had been kidnapped by France and the United States and taken out of the country. CARICOM announced that no democratically elected government in CARICOM should have its leader deposed. The 14 other heads of government sought to have Aristide visit Jamaica and share his account of events with them. This move to have Jean-Bertrand Aristide flown from Africa to Jamaica infuriated the unelected interim Prime Minister, Gérard Latortue
Gérard Latortue
Gérard Latortue was the Prime Minister of Haïti from March 12, 2004 to June 9, 2006. He was an official in the United Nations for many years, and briefly served as foreign minister of Haïti during the short-lived 1988 administration of Leslie Manigat.In February 2004, the country suffered a coup...

 who then announced he would be taking steps to remove Haiti from CARICOM. The CARICOM heads then announced they would be holding a vote on whether to suspend the recognition of Latortue before he could vote on Haiti leaving CARICOM. This occurred and Haitian officials became suspended partaking in the councils of CARICOM. This did not stop Latortue, who announced that he would continue a part of his plan to suspend Haiti from CARICOM.
Haiti's membership had been effectively suspended from 29 February 2004 through early June 2006. Following the democratic election of Haitian President René Préval
René Préval
René Garcia Préval is a Haitian politician and agronomist who was the President of the Republic of Haiti from 14 May 2006 to 14 May 2011. He previously served as President from February 7, 1996, to February 7, 2001, and as Prime Minister from February 1991 to October 11, 1991.-Early life and...

, he gave the opening address at the organisation's Council of Ministers meeting in July.

Statistics

Population and economic statistics of full members
Member States Land area (km2) Population GDP (PPP
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

) Millions USD
GDP Per Capita USD
 Caribbean Community 432,510 15,961,203 89,797 11,632
442.6 85,632 1,646 18,585
 The Bahamas 10,010 342,000 9,228 27,394
 Barbados 430 279,000 5,244 19,026
 Belize 22,806 333,200 2,525 7,881
 Dominica 751 72,660 0,720 10,045
 Grenada 344 110,000 1,153 10,842
 Guyana 196,849 772,298 3,082 4,035
 Haiti 27,560 9,035,536 11,562 1,318
 Jamaica 10,831 2,825,928 20,958 7,766
 Montserrat 102 4,488 0,029 3,400
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 261 42,696 0,750 14,169
 Saint Lucia 606 160,765 1,839 10,819
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 389 120,000 1,086 10,150
 Suriname 156,000 472,000 4,436 8,323
 Trinidad and Tobago 5,128 1,305,000 27,038 20,723

Population and economic statistics of associate members
Member Land area (km2) Population GDP (PPP
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

) Millions USD
GDP Per Capita USD
 Anguilla 91 13,477 0.108 8,800
 Bermuda 54 67,837 5,085 91,477
 British Virgin Islands 151 24,000 0.840 38,500
 Cayman Islands 264 56,000 1,939 43,800
 Turks and Caicos Islands 948 36,600 0.845 6,400

Population and economic statistics of observers
Member Land area Population GDP (PPP
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

) Millions USD
GDP Per Capita USD
 Aruba 180 106,000 2,400 21,800
 Colombia 1,109,104 44,928,970 396,579 8,400
 Curaçao 444 142,180 2,914 20,567
 Dominican Republic 48,320 9,523,209 76,304 8,570
 Mexico 1,943,945 111,211,789 1,548,007 14,560
 Puerto Rico 8,870 3,994,259 77.400 19,600
 Sint Maarten 34 37,429 0.400 11,400
 Venezuela 882,050 28,199,825 358,623 12,785


Under Article 4 the CARICOM organisation breaks its 15 member states into two groups: Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and More Developed Countries (MDCs).

The countries of CARICOM which are designated as Less Developed Countries (LDCs) are:
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Belize
  • Commonwealth of Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Republic of Haiti
  • Montserrat
  • Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines


The countries of CARICOM which are designated as More Developed Countries (MDCs) are:
  • Commonwealth of the Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Co-operative Republic of Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • Republic of Suriname
  • Republic of Trinidad & Tobago

Organisational structure

Structures comprised by the overall Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Secretariat

  • Secretariat of the Caribbean Community
    Secretariat of the Caribbean Community
    The Secretariat of the Caribbean Community is the principal administrative organ for the Caribbean Community and is headed by the Secretary General who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community....

    , The term of office of the Secretary-General is 5 years, which may be renewed. (Chief Administrative Organ)
  • Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community
    Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community
    The Secretary General of the Caribbean Community is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community and the head of its principal administrative organ, the CARICOM Secretariat....

    , the CARICOM Secretary General (Chief Executive) handles Foreign and Community Relations.
  • Deputy Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, handles Human and Social Development.
  • General Counsel of the Caribbean Community, handles Trade and Economic Integration.


The goal statement of the CARICOM Secretariat is:

Chairmanship

The post of Chairman (Head of CARICOM) is held in rotation by the regional Heads of State (for the republics) and Heads of Government (for the realms) of CARICOM's 15 member states.

CARICOM Heads of Government

CARICOM contains a quasi-Cabinet of the individual Heads of Government. These heads are given specific specialised portfolios of responsibility for overall regional development and integration.

Caribbean Community organs and bodies

Principal organs
Organ Description
CARICOM Heads of Government Consisting of the various heads of Government from each member state
Standing Committee of Ministers Ministerial responsibilities for specific areas, for example the Standing Committee of Ministers responsible for Health will consist of Ministers of Health from each member state

Community Council

The Council consists of Ministers responsible for Community Affairs and any other Minister designated by the Member States in their absolute discretion. It is one of the principal organs (the other being the Conference of the Heads of Government) and is supported by four other organs and three bodies.
Secondary organs
Secondary organ Abbreviation
Council for Finance and Planning COFAP
Council for Foreign and Community Relations COFCOR
Council for Human and Social Development COHSOD
Council for Trade and Economic Development COTED

Bodies
Body Description
Legal Affairs Committee provides legal advice to the organs and bodies of the Community
Budget Committee examines the draft budget and work programme of the Secretariat and submits recommendations to the Community Council.
Committee of the Central Bank Governors provides recommendations to the COFAP on monetary and financial matters.

Caribbean Community institutions

The twenty designated institutions of CARICOM are as follows:
Institutions
Institution Abbreviation
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency CDERA
Caribbean Meteorological Institute
Caribbean Meteorological Institute
The Caribbean Meteorological Institute was established in 1967 by the member states of the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation . It was amalgamated with the Caribbean Operational Hydrological Institute in the mid-1980s to form the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology , but the name...

CMI
Caribbean Meteorological Organisation
Caribbean Meteorological Organisation
In 1951 the British Caribbean Meteorological Service was established to promote and co-ordinate regional activities in the fields of meteorology and allied sciences, to provide support and advice to governments in dealing with issues of an international nature affecting weather and climate and to...

CMO
Caribbean Food Corporation CFC
Caribbean Environment Health Institute CEHI
Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute CARDI
Caribbean Regional Centre for the Education and training of Animal Health and Veterinary Public Health Assistants REPAHA
Assembly of Caribbean Community Parliamentarians ACCP
Caribbean Centre for Development Administration CARICAD
Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute CFNI
Caribbean Examinations Council
Caribbean Examinations Council
The Caribbean Examinations Council or CXC was established in 1972 under Agreement by the Participating Governments in the Area to conduct such examinations as it may think appropriate and award certificates and diplomas on the results of any such examinations so conducted...

CXC
CARICOM Single Market and Economy CSME
Caribbean Court of Justice
Caribbean Court of Justice
The Caribbean Court of Justice is the judicial institution of the Caribbean Community . Established in 2001, it is based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago....

CCJ
CARICOM Competition Commission CCC
Caribbean Regional Information and Translation Institute CRITI


The Caribbean Court of Justice will act in its "original jurisdiction", as settlement unit for disputes on the functioning of the Caribbean (CARICOM) Single Market and Economy (CSME). Additionally the states of CARICOM voted to supplement original jurisdiction with "appellate jurisdiction" under this the former colonies of the United Kingdom will have effectively replaced the Privy Council
Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is one of the highest courts in the United Kingdom. Established by the Judicial Committee Act 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King in Council The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is one of the highest courts in the United...

 in London, United Kingdom with the CCJ.

The CCJ is based in Port of Spain
Port of Spain
Port of Spain, also written as Port-of-Spain, is the capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's third-largest municipality, after San Fernando and Chaguanas. The city has a municipal population of 49,031 , a metropolitan population of 128,026 and a transient daily population...

, Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

. The majority of member states however, continue to utilize the Privy Council as their final appellate court and three member states do not use the CCJ for either its original jurisdiction or its appellate jurisdiction because they have either not signed the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (the Bahamas and Haiti) or are a current British colony (Montserrat).

Associate institutions

The five designated associate institutions of CARICOM are as follows:
Associate institutions
Associate institution Abbreviation
Caribbean Development Bank
Caribbean Development Bank
The Caribbean Development Bank is a financial institution which assists Caribbean nations in financing social and economic programs in its member countries...

CDB
University of Guyana
University of Guyana
The University of Guyana, in Georgetown, Guyana is a public university established in 1963 by the Guyanese government.-History:Cheddi Jagan, then Premier of British Guiana considered that the University of the West Indies, to which his government had contributed since 1948, was not meeting the...

UG
University of the West Indies
University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies , is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica,...

UWI
Caribbean Law Institute / Caribbean Law Institute Centre CLI / CLIC
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States , created in 1981, is an inter-governmental organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance between countries and dependencies in the Eastern Caribbean...

OECS

Single market and economy

Three countries—Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago—had originally set 5 January 2005 as the date of signing the agreement relating to the (CSME). The ceremony had then been rescheduled to coincide with the 19 February 2005 inauguration of the new CARICOM-headquarters building in Georgetown, Guyana
Georgetown, Guyana
Georgetown, estimated population 239,227 , is the capital and largest city of Guyana, located in the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.' Georgetown is located at . The city serves...

, but this was later postponed after a ruling by the London Privy council caused alarm to several Caribbean countries.

The prospect was that ten of the remaining twelve CARICOM countries would join the CSME by the end of 2005. The Bahamas and Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 were not expected to be a part of the new economic arrangement at that time. The CARICOM Secretariat maintains frequent contact with another organisation named the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which represents seven Full members and two Associate members of CARICOM in the Eastern Caribbean. Many of the OECS countries are seeking to maintain themselves as a micro-economic grouping within CARICOM.

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy
CARICOM Single Market and Economy
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy, also known as the Caribbean Single Market and Economy , is an integrated development strategy envisioned at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community which took place in July 1989 in Grand Anse, Grenada...

 treaty finally went into effect on 1 January 2006, with Barbados
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

, Belize
Belize
Belize is a constitutional monarchy and the northernmost country in Central America. Belize has a diverse society, comprising many cultures and languages. Even though Kriol and Spanish are spoken among the population, Belize is the only country in Central America where English is the official...

, Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

, Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

 and Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

 as the first full members. On 3 July 2006, the total membership was brought up to twelve when Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands...

, Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

, Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines became full members. The British overseas territory of Montserrat
Montserrat
Montserrat is a British overseas territory located in the Leeward Islands, part of the chain of islands called the Lesser Antilles in the West Indies. This island measures approximately long and wide, giving of coastline...

 is seeking permission from the United Kingdom to become a part of the single market
Single market
A single market is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with common policies on product regulation, and freedom of movement of the factors of production and of enterprise and services. The goal is that the movement of capital, labour, goods, and services between the members...

; Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 will not join the market initially because of its difficult internal political situation; and the Bahamas will not join because of local opposition to a provision that allows skilled workers to move more easily among nations.

Common passport

As of early 2009 twelve Member States have introduced CARICOM passports. These states are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. CARICOM members yet to issue the common passports are Bahamas, Montserrat and Haiti. Citizens of Montserrat are citizens of the United Kingdom, so it is unlikely that the common passport will be introduced there.

The CARICOM passport creates awareness that CARICOM nationals are nationals of the Community, as well as a specific country.

Visa and the Single Domestic Space in 2006

During the July 2006 CARICOM Summit, the various leaders reached an agreement on measures to ensure hassle-free movement for visitors to the 2007 Cricket World Cup
2007 Cricket World Cup
The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was the ninth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament that took place in the West Indies from 13 March to 28 April 2007, using the sport's One Day International format...

, as well intelligence sharing and cooperation for the security of the event. People were originally to be able to travel amongst the nine host countries and Dominica
Dominica
Dominica , officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its size is and the highest point in the country is Morne Diablotins, which has an elevation of . The Commonwealth...

 between 15 January 2007 and 15 May 2007 using a single CARICOM visa. However, during a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago on 29 December 2006, the Heads of Government decided to push back the creation of the Single Domestic Space to 1 February 2007 in response to representation from tourism ministers and others involved in the tourism industry.

Cruise ship passengers not staying more than 24 hours at any of the 10 Caribbean countries were issued with a CARICOM day pass. However, those who were staying on cruise ships, dubbed "floating hotels" for the duration of the games, were required to obtain a visa unless their countries fell within those that are exempted. Visa abolition agreements between some of the ten Caribbean states concerned and countries whose citizens were then required to obtain CARICOM visas during the Cricket World Cup provided for the suspension of the visa-free policy in such cases.

During the three and a half month period from February to May, the ten Caribbean countries became a "single domestic space" in which travellers only had their passport stamped and had to submit completed entry and departure forms at the first port and country of entry. The entry and departure forms were also standardised for all ten countries. When continuing travel throughout the Single Domestic Space, persons (including those using the common visa) were not required to have their documents processed to clear customs and immigration and did not need to have their passports stamped, but still needed to travel with them. Once passengers arrived at the Immigration Department Desk at the first port of entry, they were provided with a blue CARICOM wristband that identified them for hassle free movement through the single domestic space.

When the single domestic space came to an end on 15 May 2007 nearly 45,000 visas had been issued.

In February 2007 the CARICOM Heads of Government agreed to set up a Task Force to recommend a revised CARICOM Special Visa for the future, making any changes necessary from the experiences of the 3 month Single Domestic Space.

Travel card

At the 28th CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in Barbados it was agreed to implement a CARICOM travel card that will be issued to every CARICOM national except those on the Community's watch list. An implementation plan for the document will be put together and submitted to the Heads at the next inter-sessional meeting to be held in September. The card will virtually maintain the ‘single domestic space’ and holders will not need a passport, during inter-community travel. The card will also allow a CARICOM national an automatic six-month stay in any territory within the bloc. It is not expected to affect the security of the member countries, as any holder will be deported if he or she breaks the law. Similar to the "Pass Cards" available in other parts of the world, the new card would be the size of a credit card and will feature facial and fingerprinting biometrics – so upon arrival at an airport, travellers can swipe the card in the machine which will open the barrier allowing them to walk through. In addition to being available to all CARICOM national, the card would be available to expatriates who have legal status in a member country. Their card would be time-bound in a way that is linked exclusively to the time of their legal status. The cost of acquiring the card is to yet be determined, but the country leaders have agreed that the proceeds would go towards offsetting the cost of enhanced security at the ports.

Future proposals

  • Airline amalgamation
  • Civil Society Charter
  • Currency Union
  • Freedom of Movement
  • Political Union(s)
  • Regionalised Stock Exchange

Free trade

From around the year 2000, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states have placed a new focus and emphasis on establishing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with local and international trading partners. In the past this was done in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM), however in 2009 the CARICOM Heads of Government have voted for the CRNM to be moved to the Caribbean Community organisation where it would become renamed the CARICOM Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) similar to the OCTA
Office of the Chief Trade Adviser
The Office of the Chief Trade Adviser is being established to provide the Forum Island Countries with independent advice and support in the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand. The Office of the Chief Trade Adviser is based in Port...

 of the Pacific Islands Forum
Pacific Islands Forum
The Pacific Islands Forum is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum...

.
Preferential agreements
Negotiating parties Start day Start month Start year
CARICOM 1 January 1993
Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

CARICOM 1995
Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...



Free Trade Agreements
  • CARICOM - Cuba
    Cuba
    The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

     (5 July 2000)
  • CARICOM - Dominican Republic
    Dominican Republic
    The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

     (December 2001)
  • CARICOM - Costa Rica
    Costa Rica
    Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

     (9 March 2004)
  • CARIFORUM
    CARIFORUM
    The Caribbean Forum is a subgroup of ACP States and serves as a base for economic dialogue with the European Union. It was established in 1992. Its membership comprises the 15 Caribbean Community states, along with the Dominican Republic...

     - European Union
    European Union
    The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

     EPA ("Economic Partnership Agreements
    Economic Partnership Agreements
    Economic Partnership Agreements are a scheme to create a free trade area between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States . They are a response to continuing criticism that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by the EU are...

    "): Signed by all member states (less Guyana and Haiti) on 15 October 2008 in Barbados. Guyana later signed on 20 October 2008 in Brussels. (Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory and is thus exempt from needing to conclude this agreement.)


Proposed
  • CARICOM - Canada: To be negotiated, after Canada finishes their CAFTA
    Canada Central American Free Trade Agreement
    The Canada Central American Free Trade Agreement is a proposed free trade agreement between Canada and the Central American states of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, collectively referred to as the CA4. Canada already has a bilateral FTA with Costa Rica.The U.S...

     agreement.
  • CARICOM - Mercosur
    Mercosur
    Mercosur or Mercosul is an economic and political agreement among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Founded in 1991 by the Treaty of Asunción, which was later amended and updated by the 1994 Treaty of Ouro Preto. Its purpose is to promote free trade and the fluid movement of goods, people,...

    : Opened for discussions in May 2005
  • CARICOM - United States: Has been tossed around politically in various degrees including the idea of CARICOM seeking to be an entrant into NAFTA, but has not yet taken a firm position.


Note that the on-going negotiations with the EU over an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) involves all the CARICOM Member States (except Montserrat, which is not independent) plus the Dominican Republic grouped under the Caribbean Forum or CARIFORUM sub-grouping of the ACP countries
ACP countries
The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States is a group of countries , created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The group's main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world's economy...

. At the end of these negotiations (begun in 2002 and due to end in 2007) there will be a new Free Trade Agreement that will replace the Lomé system of preferential access
Lomé Convention
The Lomé Convention is a trade and aid agreement between the European Community and 71 African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries, first signed in February 1975 in Lomé, Togo.- History :...

 to the European market for the ACP from 2008.

Petrocaribe

13 of the 15 CARICOM countries have signed in 2005 the Petrocaribe
Petrocaribe
Petrocaribe S. A. is a Caribbean oil alliance with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched in June 2005. The payment system allows for a few nations to buy oil on market value but only a certain amount is needed up front; the remainder can be paid...

, an oil alliance with Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 which permits them to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

See also

  • CSME
  • Petrocaribe
    Petrocaribe
    Petrocaribe S. A. is a Caribbean oil alliance with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment. The alliance was launched in June 2005. The payment system allows for a few nations to buy oil on market value but only a certain amount is needed up front; the remainder can be paid...

  • North American Free Trade Agreement
    North American Free Trade Agreement
    The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

     (NAFTA)
  • North American Union
    North American Union
    The North American Union is a theoretical economic union, in some instances also a political union, of Canada, Mexico, and the United States...

     (NAU)
  • Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
  • Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
    Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
    thumb|300px|Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.Total population: 591.662 million Total area: 20.438 million sq kmDensity: 28.95/sq km...

  • Caribbean Initiative
    Caribbean Initiative
    The ' is the most recent initiative of the IUCN .The Caribbean Initiative focuses on the Insular Caribbean - an ecologically coherent unit with unique biodiversity where conservation and natural resource management issues are at the heart of the challenge of sustainable development.- How was the...

  • Languages of the Caribbean
    Languages of the Caribbean
    The languages of the Caribbean reflect the region's diverse history and culture. There are four official languages spoken in the Caribbean. However there are also number of creoles and local patois . Dozens of the creole languages of the Caribbean are widely used for inter-ethnic communication...


External links

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