Definition of Terms and Concepts

Definition of Terms and Concepts

Below are definitions of terms and concepts associated with this section:

Debt burden– is the amount of money that has to be paid in terms of interest on accumulated debt.

Structural adjustments– are the changes governments must make on receiving developmental aid, to their political and economic practices. For example, the adjustments mandated by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to the Jamaican government on issuing the loan.

Economic integration– is the term used to describe the merging of the economies of two or more countries by reducing barriers to trade, such as tariffs on imports.

Protectionism– is the means by which respective governments seek to protect domestic industries from global competition by implementing tariffs and quotas on imported products and any other regulations.

Laissez-faire– refers to an economy which has little or no government intervention, hence left solely to the workings of the market system.

Common market– is a market which allows free movement of capital and labour, and also duty free trade of goods and services between its member countries, normally within a geographical area.

Economic union– is a group which has the characteristics of a common market, combined with monetary and fiscal policies, controlled by a central authority, selected by member countries.

Customs union– is an association of countries which allows free trade between member countries and has an agreed tariff rate for non-member countries.

Globalization– is the means by which economies, societies and cultures have become interconnected through trade and communication, through the movement of goods, capital, labour and technology.

Trade liberalization– refers to the reduction of government invention in trade through tariffs, quotas and other regulations which hinder the free flow of goods and services between countries.

Bi-lateral agreement– is a binding contract between two countries, through which each country is granted favourable trading terms with the other.

Multi-lateral agreement– is a binding contract between several countries, through which all involved countries outline general trading preferences with each other.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) – is an international organization of 186 countries that has the goal of allowing member countries the means to overcome the macro-economic instabilities of unemployment and low economic growth, to facilitate international trade, to obtain financial stability and to reduce poverty.

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – is an organization comprising of 15 Caribbean countries, which together have formed a common market. The objectives of this organization are; to coordinate economic policies and development plans, and handling regional trade disputes.

African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) – is an organization comprised of 79 countries, and was formed by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. This organization serves to obtain sustainable economic development in all member countries and to coordinate the implementation of partnership agreements among many other duties.

Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) – this is a multilateral agreement established to reduce trade barriers among all countries in the Americas with the exception of Cuba.

Association of Caribbean States (ACS) – is an association of 25 member states with the aim of promoting consultation, cooperation and concerted action among all countries of the Caribbean.

Caribbean, Canada Trade Agreement (CARIBCAN) – this is an agreement between countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean and Canada that allows duty free access of most commodities between Canada and the Caribbean.

Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) – is the name of the common market formed by the CARICOM countries. The key features of this market are; free movement of goods and services, a common external tariff( duty levied on goods coming from countries outside the group), free movement of capital, a common trade policy, free movement of labour and the harmonisation of laws.

World Bank– is one of the United Nations specialized agencies, made up of 184 member countries, that serves to assist developing countries by issuing loans to finance projects on request at very low interest rates, in a bid to help those countries alleviate poverty and attain sustainable economic growth.

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) – comprises of 9 member countries and seeks to promote unity and solidarity (through cooperation of its members) among the member countries and to defend their sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

European Union– is an organization of European countries which have formed an economic and political union. This EU promotes regional integration and the harmonization of economic regulations, currencies and external trade policies among its members.

Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) – this is a set of policies aimed at fostering economic development and export diversification among countries in Central America and the Caribbean.

Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) – is a financial institution that serves to aid its member countries in reducing poverty, through social and economic development by mobilising financial resources from within as well as outside the region and by providing technical assistance to its borrowing members.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) – investment made by country A into country B over a long term period which may include technical and technology assistance, building of infrastructure, management and policy support.


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