General / Weekend News

CARICOM moves to establish single business jurisdiction

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) this week launched a series of consultations in member states to begin establishing the framework for a single business jurisdiction among members.

The consultations began in St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago, and will begin in other member states in August.

The single jurisdiction will entail harmonizing legislation of all CARICOM countries, so that businesses can move or expand operations effortlessly to other member states. The single jurisdiction will present more opportunities for citizens in member states to work and progress themselves economically.

The draft policy was developed by the firm, BKP Development Research and Consulting, under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) CSME and Economic Integration Programme. It addresses incorporation of companies, securities, bankruptcy and other law-related areas.

Having a single jurisdiction is a part of the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) integration efforts.

In Belize, public and private sector personnel have already begun training on the electronic application process being developed by CARICOM for members to apply for skills certificates to be able to move throughout the community.

In January, 30 persons from the departments of labour, immigration, education and trade as well as representatives from the Belize coalition of service providers (BCSP), attended a two-day workshop on using the CSME Application Processing System (CAPS).

 A-Z consultants from St. Lucia, hired by the CARICOM Secretariat, conducted the two-day sessions.  The sessions were on how to upload information and issue skills and services certificates.

According to the Ministry of Trade, follow up sessions are scheduled for later this month.

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