Basics of the Caribbean Single Market
By The Associated Press
© 2006 The Associated Press
- THE PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES: Antigua and Barbuda,
Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.
Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
THE RULES FOR MOBILE WORKERS: University graduates,
performing artists, business owners and others are free to
move to any participating country without a work permit.
They must receive certification from their home country and
register upon arrival. Officials say the ultimate goal is
the free movement of all labor.
THE LARGER PLAN: The free movement of labor is the main
aspect of the Caribbean Single Market, launched in 2005.
Further integration is planned following the 2008 launch of
the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, including free
movement of capital and goods throughout the 12 countries.
Planners also envision a single currency.
THE PEOPLE: The 12 countries have a total population of
more than 6 million people. Jamaica, with nearly 2,650,000
people, has the largest population and St. Kitts and Nevis,
with 47,900, has the smallest. The primary language in the
region is English. Belize has some Spanish speakers and
Suriname's official language is Dutch.
THE ECONOMY: Tourism is the major moneymaker for the
smaller islands and Jamaica. The South American countries
of Suriname and Guyana have agricultural-based economies,
but both also mine large amounts of bauxite and gold.
Sugarcane farming, historically important in many of the
islands, is being phased out as Europe continues to cut
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