GCCI, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce express disappointment in Caricom
…over having to pursue regional partnerships independently
The Caribbean Community (Caricom) Secretariat is not doing enough for its member states in relation to promoting and providing the avenue for trade agreements between countries and their business communities.
This is according to Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Senior Vice President Timothy Tucker, who on Monday during a discussion with representatives of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), pointed out that upcoming investments between the two countries could have been executed earlier if Caricom had been playing an active role.
“I believe that not enough is being done regionally. It is a feeling that maybe Caricom is asleep. Somebody at the top there is sleeping somewhere and not doing enough for regional integration,” Tucker said on Monday.
He expressed dissatisfaction over the situation, stating that Guyana’s Private Sector, like its many counterparts in the Region, was being pushed to establish ties and agreements that would benefit their countries.
This, he said, falls within the mandate of Caricom.
“The purpose of Caricom over the years is to bring the Region together. And bringing the Region together not just as a people or at Carnival, but for economic activities, the transfer of skill and labour around the Region and not just in one department…the Chamber has asked the question: is Caricom relevant? We have to reach out to each other to have events and activities…when it should have been fostered with an open relationship with Caricom.”
Additionally, he noted that the non-tariff barriers, which some Caribbean States have implemented, continue to hamper the Guyanese market. He urged that measures be put in place to have such barriers removed since they affect not only one country but the Region as a whole.
“Too many times, there are non-tariff barriers placed by Member States. Even some Member States have a way of, for the want of a better word, economical colonialism is being done by some States. I encourage the rest of them to take example of Guyana and Jamaica’s relationship,” Tucker declared.
Meanwhile, JCC President Lloyd Distant Jr briefly echoed similar sentiments about the need for more regional collaboration and investments in Caricom countries.
“There is much more that we can do together as Caribbean nations to increase trade in this Region.”