CARICOM Grants Antigua & Barbuda CSME Deferral


Monday 4th March, 2019-CARICOM has granted Antigua and Barbuda a five year deferral on the freedom of movement of Caribbean nationals under the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME).

The CSME allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services with member countries.

At a meeting in Port-of -Spain in December, 2018, Beauticians, Barbers, Security Officers and Agricultural Workers were added to the current list of skilled nationals.

Once implemented, those categories of workers will be able to move within the Caribbean Community space and seek employment, without having to apply for a work permit.

But Antigua and Barbuda’s position is that it has always had an open door policy as it relates to the free movement of people. Taking into consideration the large number of CARICOM nationals residing here, government said it is not opened to decision and through Foreign Affairs Minister E. P Chet Greene asked for a derogation of the agreement reached in Port-of-Spain.

The matter was tabled at last week’s Inter-Sessional Meeting of CARICOM heads in Basseterre, where Antigua and Barbuda asked to be excluded from the decision taken in Trinidad.

According to reports, the concern is the balance of the population within the borders.

Once the issue was discussed at length last week, it was decided that Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis will be granted the five-year deferral.

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