Prime Minister stresses need for integration

GIS:-Through Their Collective Efforts, Member States can Create an Environment Where Innovation can Flourish.

Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet, Chairman of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), has encouraged member states to continue striving toward the development of a single economic space.

The prime minister spoke on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the OECS, observed on June 18.

“We have, in recent times, made significant strides in securing freedom of movement for our citizens, and work continues on the elaboration of the other aspects of the economic union regimes, as well as the pursuit of functional cooperation arrangements and membership expansion under the Revised Treaty,” he said. “Through our joint efforts, we can consolidate our economic union achievements, and elaborate the legal and institutional architecture necessary for people and businesses to move freely.”

He cautioned, however, against complacency, especially in the age of globalization.

“The OECS celebrates its 36th anniversary at a time when the world is in a particularly heightened state of flux, and unpredictability is the order of the day. Our member states rank among the smallest countries in the world and we are no strangers to vulnerability and external shocks. One of the consequences of globalization is that today, we are much less insulated from the impact of world events.”

He stressed that through their collective efforts, member states can create an environment where innovation can flourish. He added that the time is opportune for focused attention on integration in order to combat the challenges of debt, unemployment, food security, and the adverse conditions of international trade.

The Treaty of Basterre establishing the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) was signed by seven member states in 1981: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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