Regional Strategies Case Study
engaged in negotiating trading agreements at the multilateral, inter-regional and bilateral levels in order to secure access to international markets. Currently, the region is involved in the Doha Round and the CARIFORUM-EU EPA trade negotiations. It is also pursuing bilateral negotiations with Canada and Central America, with Mercosur on the horizon, having signed previous free trade agreements with the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Costa Rica and partial-scope agreements with Venezuela and Colombia. CARICOM has been arguing vociferously for special and differential treatment in the Doha Round. An ‘aid for trade’ initiative could help to finance the region’s participation in the Doha Round and help countries to implement agreements that will result from this and other trade negotiations. Efforts to boost regional trade are part of a broader initiative aimed at creating a Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). This initiative, which was first announced in 1989, is aimed at creating a single economic space where people, goods, services and capital could move freely and where the rights of establishment of enterprises are assured. The first landmark achievement of the CSME was made through the creation of the Caribbean Single Market (CSM) in July 2006. In addition to the wider regional effort, the eight OECS countries4 are also deepening integration among them and intend to form an OECS Economic Union. Both the CSME and the OECS Economic Union are considered to be important building blocks for the region’s international competitiveness and eventual integration into the world economy. According to the Director-General of the CRNM, however, in order for the very small size firms in the Caribbean to compete internationally, substantial intra-regional investment will be needed as well as government support for SMEs.  SMEs need inter alia access to capital, skills, technology, and marketing systems. In order for ‘aid for trade’ to build trade competitiveness in the Caribbean, the trade-related needs of the Caribbean would have to be targeted at various levels: • • •
national needs, as reflected in national development strategies; sub-regional needs, as appropriate and outlined in the OECS Development Strategy; and regional needs that are currently being fleshed out in a Strategic Development Plan.
The Strategic Development Plan, which is due for completion in June 2008, is based on a Single Development Vision that was recently adopted by Heads of Government. A key objective of the Vision is “self-sustaining economic growth based on strong international competitiveness, innovation, productivity, and flexibility of resource use.” 5 The significance of supporting the regional dimension of ‘aid for trade’ was recently highlighted by the IMF and the World Bank  as well as the WTO Aid for Trade Task Force . The arguments put forward are that regional co-operation in trade-related regulatory policies (e.g. 4
They include six independent states: Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts-Nevis, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada; and two overseas territories Anguilla and Montserrat. The British Virgin Islands is an associate member. 5 Annex 4 summarises aspects of the economic dimension of the Single Development Vision.
Published on Sep 14, 2007
this report was prepared by the integration and trade sector (int) as a contribution to the regional meeting on mobilizing aid for trade: la...