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OECS Will Not Clash With Aims Of CARICOM, Assures St Kitts PM

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

12 July 2006


Dr Denzil douglas, the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, has assured CARICOM that the intention of the member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to form their own economic union will not clash with the aims of bringing about a pan-Caribbean single market.

Addressing the 27th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr Douglas stated that the nations of the sub-regional integration movement are already reaping the benefits of closer integration in relation to judicial matters, central banking and financial sector supervision, pharmaceutical procurement, civil aviation, foreign representation, and telecommunications regulation.

“As we increase our participation in the CSME and take up the challenge of globalisation, the inefficiencies in our relatively small and disparate administrative structures will become even more glaring, and more and more areas for cooperation and centralisation will be identified in the countries of the OECS,” he observed.

Dr Douglas went on to explain that the OECS members would continue along the path of closer harmony in these areas, but he stressed that this should not run counter to the aims of CARICOM.

it is our aim that the OECS Union would be seamlessly integrated into the Caribbean Single Market and Economy. In other words, it is our intention that the OECS Economic Union Treaty would give due recognition to the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, and that in creating the Economic Union we would be able to build on the legal framework already established in respect of the Single Market and Economy,” he stated.

Last month, Heads of Government of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) signed a Declaration of Intent signaling their desire to form an Economic Union.

The Signing Ceremony took place during the official opening of the 43rd Meeting of the Authority in St. Kitts and Nevis, during which the New Draft Treaty of the OECS was unveiled.

The new Treaty will guide the thrust by the OECS region to create an Economic Union among Member States, and replaces the Treaty of Basseterre which established the OECS on June 18th 1981.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Chairman of the OECS, Baldwin Spencer, Economic Union said the declaration would "add value" to the wider CARICOM initiative and the OECS participation in the Single Market Economy (CSME).


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