- Language: English
- 16 Pages
- Published: March 2012
- Region: Great Britain, United Kingdom, Virgin Islands
Country Report Guyana
- Published: September 2014
- Region: Guyana
- 28 Pages
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
As a mix of small- and micro-island states speaking three languages, using 12 currencies and possessing disparate cultures, income levels and legal traditions, the Caribbean Community (Caricom) has long struggled to fulfill its goal of creating a true common market. Nonetheless, aided by EU-funded consultants hired in August, the group is redoubling efforts to create standard rules on competition, consumer protection and bankruptcy to put the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) into practice.
Caricom's 15 members, plus five associate members, include an estimated 17.2m people. But despite ambitions of emulating the EU's success, a lack of co-operation limits Caricom's usefulness. Much-publicised declarations of collaboration in principle have rarely been followed by actual implementation. This has had negative ramifications for the business climate. No Caribbean nation features in the top-50 places in the World Bank's annual Ease of Doing Business report. St Lucia is ranked 64th and Haiti, which comprises more than half of Caricom's population, is listed 177th out of 189 countries.
Achieving the region's full economic potential is hampered by a difficult geography, high electricity costs and inadequate air and sea links. The CSME, which was agreed to 16 years after Caricom's founding in 1989, hoped to overcome that, but has mostly failed to live up to its ambitions. The group hopes eventually to adopt a common currency and achieve free intra-Caricom movement of goods, services, labour and capital as well as the right for the group's nationals to set up businesses in any member-state country. As many of the island-nations' economies are services-based, there is some potential to spur growth by cutting tariffs, but this is limited. Some progress on the CSME goals has occurred. Regional schemes for accrediting educational and professional qualifications have been established and are taking hold. Some skilled workers, artists, managers, journalists and athletes can apply for skills certificates that allow them to settle anywhere in Caricom's full-member countries without work permits. All but three members-Haiti, Bahamas and Montserrat-now issue a common Caricom passport. SHOW LESS READ MORE >
Country Report Guyana
Caricom harmonising business rules
Obstacles to integration abound