Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) Definition

What Is the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)?

The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is a group of 20 developing countries in the Caribbean that have come together to form an economic and political community that works together to shape policies for the region and encourages economic growth and trade.

Key Takeaways

  • The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) is a regional group of nations that encourage common policy and economic goals.
  • The CARICOM was formed in 1973 and consists of 20 nations, including 15 full-time members and five associate members.
  • The treaty was revised in 2002 to allow for the eventual establishment of a single market and a single economy.
  • The single market and economy is known as the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), which is meant to integrate all of the member states of CARICOM. It is still in development.
  • The benefits of a free-trade region include increased economic growth and innovation and a transfer of technological and intellectual knowledge.

Understanding the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM)

The CARICOM consists of 20 countries. Fifteen of these countries are full-fledged members of the community, while five of them only retain associate member status. The 15 full-time countries are as follows:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Montserrat
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Kits and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago

The associate members are Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos. Associate members retain part-time privileges.

These nations have collectively joined together to expand their trade and economic relations internationally, including further development of activity in international markets.

The CARICOM was formed in 1973 after the founders had enacted the Treaty of Chaguaramas. It was established to replace the Caribbean Free Trade Area, which had failed in its mission to develop policies in the region pertaining to labor and capital.

Benefits of CARICOM

A free trade area is a collection of multiple countries that have established a free trade market between their nations. These markets will have very little, if any, tariffs on imports and exports. There will be no price controls enacted, either.

The benefit of free trade areas is that they allow countries to cease competing with one another for market shares on certain products and instead allow them to focus on the products that they are most qualified to produce or resources that they alone possess. This also presents an advantage to consumers as they receive higher quality products at a lower price.

CARICOM has many institutions that carry out its objectives, including the CARICOM Private Sector Organization (CPSO), Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF).

Free trade areas allow for the economic growth of the countries participating in the agreements. In addition, free trade motivates the industries in the countries to be more competitive, thereby spurring innovation and avoiding stagnation. There is also a significant technological and intellectual knowledge transfer between countries participating in free trade areas.

The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME)

In 2002, steps were taken to eventually allow CARICOM to integrate all of its member-states into a single economic unit. The Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) would result in the elimination of all tariff barriers within the region. The hope was that such an economic unification would resolve a number of issues faced by small developing CARICOM economies that find it difficult to compete with larger international competitors on a global market.

When fully completed, the CSME will allow for free intra-regional movement of capital and labor among member-states. Additionally, member-states will share monetary and fiscal policies, and businesses operating in the economic union will have access to a larger market.

As of 2021, there are still various aspects of CSME that need to be finalized by the different member states. The revision to the original treaty contains nine protocols and other additions that have still not been signed by all members.

There are also other aspects that are still in the research and development phase, such as e-commerce protocols. Progress, however, has been made, particularly in the areas of tax systems, regulatory environments, and governmental policies.

What Is the Largest CARICOM Country?

The largest CARICOM country by population is Haiti, with a 2021 population of 11.5 million people.

Who Is the President of CARICOM?

CARICOM does not have a president but rather has a Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The current Chairman is the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne.

Where Is CARICOM Headquarters?

The headquarters of CARICOM is in Georgetown, Guyana.

What Are the Main Objectives of CARICOM?

The main objectives of CARICOM 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."

Why Has CARICOM Produced Limited Trade Improvements?

There are many challenges that CARICOM still faces, including "regional governance, institutional political representation, and non-automaticity of financing regional institutions." These challenges have limited the extent of trade improvements.

Article Sources
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  1. CARICOM. "Member States and Associate Members." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  2. CARICOM. "CARICOM Single Market and Economy." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  3. CARICOM. "Who We Are." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  4. Bank of Jamaica. "The Caribbean Single Market and Economy," Page 3. Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  5. Foreign Trade Information System, Organization of American States. "Implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  6. SICE. Foreign Trade Information System. "Implementation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME)." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  7. World Population Review. "CARICOM Countries." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  8. CARICOM. "Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Assumes Chairmanship of CARICOM." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  9. Britannica. "Caribbean Community." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

  10. CARICOM. "PM Gonsalves Praises CARICOM Achievements, Says Challenges Must Strengthen Movement." Accessed Dec. 25, 2021.

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