General / Weekend News

CARICOM moving towards regional integration with 5 year plan

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is moving forward with its efforts to unite its member countries, guided by its Strategic Plan 2015-2019.

The plan, geared at regional integration, was formed with specific outcomes including: economic development and poverty reduction, improved quality of life for citizens in member states, and the reduction of environmental vulnerability.

Desiree Field-Ridley, officer-in-charge of trade & economic integration, explained that the plan would help the community to achieve “a Caribbean Community that is integrated, inclusive and resilient, driven by knowledge, excellence, innovation and productivity.”

Ridley added that the four main pillars of the community are: economic integration, foreign policy coordination, functional cooperation and security.

CARICOM has launched numerous projects within member states to sensitize their populations on the integration. In Belize the general secretariat concluded a two-day workshop on Friday, geared towards training high school teachers on how to present information on the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) to students in an interesting and engaging way.

Salas Hamilton, Communications Specialist for CARICOM, explained that education exchange is an ongoing program of which Belize is an active participant.

“We recently hosted some 30 Belizean students in Guyana, to give them a real world perspective on living within CARICOM,” Hamilton said.

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