The provision of an efficient regional transportation system is a matter of urgency for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The disclosure came from CARICOM Secretary-General Dr. Carla Barnett while highlighting the Region’s achievements over the past fifty years.
“A lot of it is taken for granted today,” Barnett told a symposium to mark the 50th anniversary of the Caribbean Community.
“We need to remind ourselves from time to time that, as a Region, we were successful in the establishment of the Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, the Caribbean Examination Council, the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS, and the Caribbean Public Health Agency, among others,” she noted.
However, the CARICOM official indicated that the Region could have achieved more.
In this regard, she noted that the lag in implementing an efficient transportation system had adversely affected intra-regional trade and the ease of travel for people throughout the Community.
“We are seeking to address, as a matter of priority, the provision of reliable transportation,” Barnett told the virtual symposium.
“This is the piece of the integration puzzle that has eluded us for many years, but without which the 25 by 2025 ideal becomes extremely difficult to achieve,” the senior CARICOM official declared.
“It has been long understood that one of the fundamental drivers of integration is efficient low-cost transportation of both people and goods,” Barnett stated.
And she explained that it would require substantial investment.
“Our Community has been working on several fronts to achieve that goal, whether through public-private partnerships or international cooperation mechanisms,” the CARICOM Secretary-General said.