Trinidad and Tobago hosts the CSME Focal Point attachment programme from 4-8 December, 2023.

The final phase of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) skilled Workers Programme took place in Trinidad and Tobago from 4th to 8th December, 2023. CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Focal Points from Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Monserrat and Suriname participated in the week long programme hosted by the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs, CSME Unit. Trinidad and Tobago was chosen as one of four host countries (Barbados, Belize and Guyana) for the Attachment Programme which was funded by the European Union and Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACP) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) - “Strengthening the Framework of CARICOM Integration and Cooperation Process.”

Senator the Honurable, Dr. Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs welcomed the delegates at the Opening Ceremony which took place at the BRIX Autograph Collection Hotel. Remarks were also made by Mr. Leo Preville, Director CSME, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Dax Driver, CEO of the Energy Chamber and Mr. Sanjin Soldatic, Deputy Head, EU Delegation and by the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Miss Samantha Rampersad. Also in attendance was the Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, Her Excellency Jennifer Marchand, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to CARICOM, the Permanent Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretaries from the Ministry of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs and Mr. Elston Baird, Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Ministry of National Security.

During the week, Focal Points were given the opportunity to observe and learn about the CSME implementation strategies of Trinidad and Tobago. The initiative also provided a platform for a peer review of best practices and for an exchange of views regarding the upcoming implementation of the decision of Heads of Government to initiate full and free movement within the CARICOM region.

Focal Points also benefitted from live demonstrations given by the Cabinet Appointed Free Movement and Right of Establishment Committees. Sessions were also held with the Ministry of Trade and industry, CARICOM IMPACS, CCJ, UWI, Tobago House of Assembly, Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI), Export TT, UNDP, TTMA, Ministry of Labour, and Ministry of Legal Affairs. Tours were also arranged as part of a cultural emersion for visits to the Caroni Bird Sanctuary – Nanan’s Tours, the Houses of Parliament, the House of Angostura, the Magnificent 7, Tobago Heritage sites and Think, Art, Work – Fitzroy Hoyte’s Artist Studio.

At the closing ceremony (attended by His Excellency Peter Cavendish and Mr. Ugo Blanco, Resident Coordinator UNDP and senior Executives at the Ministry), Focal Points gave a report on the week’s activities during which Trinidad and Tobago was commended for the excellent planning and execution of the programme. In his closing remarks Senator the Honouralbe Dr. Amery Browne praised the Focal Points and the CARICOM Secretariat for being the standard bearers for regional integration and for the steps taken towards the implementation of full and free movement throughout the Caribbean.

(Please click on the following link for the media report)