Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Irwin LaRocque, is expressing a desire for Haiti to increase its participation in the regional Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labor and services across most of the 15-member regional integration grouping.
A CARICOM Secretariat statement said LaRocque made the call as he accredited Haiti’s new Ambassador to CARICOM, Beausoleil Sam, in an online ceremony, earlier this week.
Sam presented his credentials witnessed by members of CARICOM’s Committee of Ambassadors, government Officials in Haiti and representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat.
“I’m sure you would agree the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, CSME, is a key element in strengthening our integration process,” LaRocque told the new Haitian diplomat, adding “it also has the potential to provide opportunities for Haiti with your comparative advantage in the cultural industries, as an example.”
The region’s top public servant said while significant efforts have been made towards the full integration of Haiti into the CSME the task is not yet completed.
“I recall Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, leading heads of government with responsibility for the CSME and I visited Haiti and had fruitful discussions with his Excellency President (Jovenel) Moise on advancing Haiti’s compliance with the measures under the CSME.
“An implementation plan, in that regard, was agreed upon and approved by the Heads of Government as a special session in Port of Spain in December 2018. It is my hope that during your tenure we can work together to advance the plan,” LaRocque added.
Sam in his remarks reaffirmed Haiti’s strong commitment to the regional integration process. “Mr. Secretary-General, despite COVID-19 I believe we can continue furthering the work geared at achieving the objectives set out in the Community Strategic plan.
“I know my job as Ambassador also entails serving as a link through which national stakeholders would engage in regional processes and vice-versa and I intend to deliver in that regard. With your help I think I’ll be able to success despite challenges of all sorts,” the Haitian diplomat said.
During the virtual ceremony, LaRocque expressed condolences to Haiti and particularly the relatives of those who lost their lives during the recent passage of Tropical Storm Laura. At least nine deaths were reported during Laura’s passage in late August.