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Dr. Gonsalves: OECS will sign on to CSM as a group

Dr. Gonsalves: OECS will sign on to CSM as a group

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On Monday, February 6, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves dealt broadly with the question of why the OECS countries have not yet signed on to the Caribbean Single Market (CSM).

Speaking at Cabinet Room, the Prime Minister said there are still issues to be sorted out before the OECS sign on fully to the CSM, including those relating to flour and the establishment of the development fund under article 158 of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. {{more}}

He explained that while addressing the Inauguration Ceremony of CSME as Chairman of the OECS on Monday, January 30, in Jamaica, he had announced that the OECS was not signing the instruments which will mark the coming into being of the Caribbean Single Market because some of its member states are ready now and others will be by June 30, the latest.

Instead the decision was to sign on to an appropriate “Declaration of Intent” to get aboard “the CSM train” by June 30, 2006,

“On this issue we in the OECS have chosen to move as a group,” Dr.Gonsalves recalled.

The Prime Minister declared that St.Vincent and the Grenadines is CSM ready but has chosen to go with the rest of the OECS.

“OECS has to be careful not to be too fractured…but broadly speaking we have similar interests, that’s why we want to move together,” said Prime Minister Gonsalves.

He used the opportunity to appeal to Vincentians to familiarize themselves with the Treaty of Chaguaramas. He said while CSME is a topic that is “unsexy and boring,” it is important.

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