The Prime Minister is to lead a CARICOM task force of fellow leaders on changing the regime for seamless investment across the Caribbean Community.
Leaders at the July CARICOM Summit held in Montego Bay had set February next year as the deadline for a number of investment initiatives to be completed, Barbados’ CARICOM Ambassador-designate David Comissiong told a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade this morning.
Prime Minister Mottley who as the Barbadian leader has lead responsibility for the Caricom Single Market (CSME) in the community’s quasi-cabinet is set to chair the meeting on September 5.
Barbados’s incoming diplomatic representative to the 45-year-old regional integration body has indicated his intention to change the way the business of Caricom is publicised, by introducing regular “public’ news conferences.
“We are going to be looking at such things as the CARICOM Investment Policy, the CARICOM Investment Code, the CARICOM Financial Services Agreement [and] a standard CARICOM regime of incentives to foreign investors,” Comissiong said, adding that these standards are needed to ensure investment happens in a seamless way across the region.
The laundry list of items for improvement should be seen as preliminary agenda that will be put in place to facilitate how the region implements projects based on production and new business activity, Comissiong said.
“A number of these it was determined that some timeframes should be set for them.
The CARICOM leaders have said that there should be a completion of the CARICOM Investment Policy, the CARICOM Investment Code; also the CARICOM Financial Services Agreement in time for the mid-term summit in February, known at the Intersessional meeting.
Comissiong told reporters that an agreement would create a framework for companies in the financial services to operate smoothly region-wide.
“In other words, you are creating an enabling environment for economic projects and economic activity. That is to become. Suffice to say, you can rest assured that my intention as Ambassador is to keep you the media and by extension the Barbadian and Caribbean public fully informed,” the diplomat promised, adding that he hopes to invite members of the public to his next press conference.
“This is in keeping with Ms Mottley’s mantra, because Ms Mottley has already said to the Heads of Government…in Jamaica, that she would wish that by the next CARICOM Heads of Government Summit that all of the open sessions are live-streamed to the people of the region while they are happening…that we see no reason why the Caribbean people should not hear their leaders speak…should not see the decisions that are made; we see no reason all of that should not be made available to the Caribbean people through live streaming,” he noted.
Comissiong reminded though that the only thing which the Barbados Prime Minister suggested should not be made public was when the Heads go into private caucus “very” sensitive matters.
“Likewise I will be consulting with the Minister about the possibility, when the Ambassador has a press conference, that we can open the press conference to members of the Barbadian public,” he declared.