St. Maarten is interest in becoming affi-liated with the Caribbean Community ‘Caricom’. Caricom’s Secretary-General Edwin Carring-ton outlined the benefits of Caribbean coun-tries pulling closer together for the building of a strong single market and economy.

Caricom and the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) were on an exploratory mission with the aim of developing possible trade and cooperation with St. Maarten. Carrington expounded on the goal of Caricom to foster better integration by the free movement of Caricom nationals to work and set up businesses in any of the 12 member countries. It is expected that all Caricom nationals will have the possibility to live and work in the 12 member countries by 2009.

This free movement also extends to goods and capital that are necessary for Caricom to reach the pinnacle goal of a Single Market and Economy for the region. He noted that the target was to end unemployment and encourage industry. The framework for the Caribbean Single Economy will be ready by yearend, with a target date for implementation in 2015. This involves a clear-cut monetary policy with a drive for a single currency.

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