Economic Institutions and Systems

Caribbean Community Common Market (CARICOM)

A common market is an association of countries that have joined together to bring about the harmonious development, continuous economic expansion and increased stability of the countries involved. CARICOM was formed in July 1973 when Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Guyana signed the treaty of Chaguaramas.  Since then the following Caribbean countries have joined: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Barbados, Suriname, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Bahamas and Haiti.

Associate members of CARICOM are Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Island and Turk and Caicos.

Objectives of CARICOM

-Improved standard of living.

-Expansion of trade.

-Joint negotiations internationally.

-Co-ordination on foreign and economic policies.

-Full employment of labour and other factors of production.

-Economic integration.

Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME)

The CSME was established in 2006. It seeks to transform the common market into a single market and economy. It was established to deepen the integration among Caribbean states and to respond effectively to the challenges and opportunities globally.

Objectives of CSME:

-Deepening economic integration.

-Free trade of services.

-Free movement of capital, labour and the freedom to establish business enterprises anywhere within CARICOM states.

-Widening of membership.

-A common currency/single currency.

Caribbean Development Bank

The CDB is a regional financial institution. It finances regional projects that contribute to the economic growth and development of the region. Sectors financed by the CDB includes: infrastructure, tourism, mining and refining, agriculture, agriculture, manufacturing, heath and education.

The objectives of the Caribbean Development Bank are:

-Supporting regional and local financial institutions

-Assisting borrowing member countries to optimize the use of their resources

-To mobilize financial resources regionally and internationally

-To support capital markets

-Stimulating growth

-Supporting business activities

The World Bank

The aim of the World Bank is to reduce poverty worldwide.  It therefore assists developing countries by providing loans for projects such as housing, infrastructure and industry. The World Bank provides long term loans for developmental purposes. It is used interchangeably with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).  However, the IBRD is only one of the five agencies of the World Bank.

The five agencies of the World Bank are:

-International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

-International Development Association (IDA)

-International Finance Corporation

-Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

-International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

The IADB was established in 1959 for the purpose of assisting Latin American and Caribbean countries. It offers loans, lines of credit and technical assistance to member governments for social and economic development. Areas of assistance include:  agriculture, industry, mining health, tourism and infrastructure.

The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

OECS was formed in 1981 for the purpose of promoting cooperation among member states.  These countries include Montserrat, Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are associate members.

Eastern Caribbean Common Market (ECCM)

The objectives: Creating a single financial and economic space

Organization of American States (OAS)

The OAS was established for the main purpose of increasing interdependence and solidarity, and promoting regional co-operation and the peaceful settlement of disputes among the member countries.  These countries include: North and South America, Canada and the Caribbean.

Economic Commission for Latin American Countries (ECLAC)

The ELAC was established in 1948 for the main purpose of integrating Latin American countries for their development.  Caribbean countries were later included in the ELAC. Their objectives include:

-Guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities

-Economic integration of Latin American and Caribbean countries.

-Reinforcing economic ties among countries of Latin America and other nations of the world

-Economic development of Latin America

Association of Caribbean States (ACS)

The ACS was established in 1994 to promote cooperation among Caribbean countries. Its objectives include:

-The strengthening of regional cooperation and integration

-Preserving the environmental integrity of the Caribbean Sea

-Promoting the sustainable development of the Caribbean

The European Union (EU)

The European Union is an economic and political partnership between its 27 member countries. It is a single market economy with the euro as its common currency.

These countries include: Spain, Luxemburg, Britain, France Portugal, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Their objectives include:

-Free movement of people services and capital

-Removal of customs duties and quotas among members

-Establishment of common policies for agriculture and transport

-Establishment of a common tariff and common policies towards other countries

-Economic cooperation

-Promoting equal rights

-Fighting climate change

World Trade Organization (WTO)

The WTO is an international organization that monitors and regulates trade among the nations of the world based on trade agreements by member states. The WTO replaces the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

Their main aim is to encourage the free flow of trade among nations.

Their objectives include:

-discouraging unfair trading practices e.g. export subsidies and selling products below cost to gain market share

-settling disputes among members

-environmental protection

-monitoring and reviewing the trade policies

-reducing trade

Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI)

CBI allows certain Caribbean and Central American products duty free entry into the United States. Products exported include chemicals, manufactured goods, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Oil Producing Exporting Countries   (OPEC)

OPEC is an organization of 12 oil –exporting countries. This organization was established in 1960 for the purpose of unifying the petroleum policies of member countries.

Objectives include:

-Regular supply of petroleum products on the world market

-A steady income for producers

In 1976 OPEC established a special fund to provide financial assistance to developing countries.

OPEC countries: Kuwait, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Ecuador, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, United Arab Emirates


The agreement allows preferential duty free access to the Canadian market for almost all imports from Commonwealth Caribbean Countries.

Its main objectives are:

-to enhance the Commonwealth Caribbean’s existing trade

-improve economic development prospects of the region

-promote new investment opportunities

-encourage economic integration and cooperation within the region

-to encourage long term investments through development projects.

North American Free Trade Agreements NAFTA
This agreement allows duty free entry of goods among Canada, United States and Mexico.

Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)

The FTAA is an expansion of NAFTA.  It is an organization of 34 countries of the Americas including North and South America, Canada and the Caribbean except for Cuba.  It s objectives include economic prosperity, free market of goods and services and democracy.

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