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CSME Workshop Begins in Belize City

The CARICOM Single Market and Economy also known as CSME is a program that was built with the intention to provide improved standards of living and work and sustained economic development for the CARICOM member states.  It came about on February 4, 2002 under a Protocol on the Provisional Application of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.  To date, however, there are some kinks that are still being worked on as the years progress and today, as part of improving the CSME initiative, a two day workshop began at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City.  The workshop focuses on the Free Movement of Labour and has the participation of twenty Belizeans from the private and public as well as from the unions.  Aside from the free Labour movement, the discussions are also being centered on clarifying the provisions of the revised Treaty and the development of recommendations on how to reach the young populace via technology.  The opening of the workshop saw presentations by four key speakers as the history, the present progress and the benefits of CSME were highlighted.  Chief Executive Officer, Kerry Belisle gave the keynote address and in the process reiterated the commitment of the Labour Department in the facilitation of free movement and to reinvigorate domestic systems that would create greater efficiency and transparency.  Other presenters were Dr. Olivia Smith, Deputy Programme Manager of Free Movement and Labour at the CARICOM Secretariat in the CSME Unit, as well as Legal Research Officer, Deborah Barrow who spoke on legal implications and outcomes of key case studies.  Both the CARICOM Secretariat and the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce have admitted that there is the need for more public awareness to ensure that Belizeans can access more benefits under the CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME).