Arising from a need to maintain links after the British West Indian Federation fell apart, the Caribbean Free Trade Association was formed. Following this, on July 4,1973 the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was set up by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago under the Treaty of Chaguaramos.
NOTE: The Treaty of Chaguaramas established the Caribbean Community and Common Market, later known as CARICOM. It was signed on July 4, 1973 in Chaguaramas, Saint George County, Trinidad and Tobago.It was signed by Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. It came into effect on 1 August 1973. The treaty also established the Caribbean Community including the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, replacing the Caribbean Free Trade Association which ceased to exist on 1 May 1974.
(Check with your local or school library for more information on the Federation.)
Today, many more countries form part of this community. Here are the names of some of the other countries or territories.
Antigua & Barbuda
St.Vincent & The Grenadines
Turks and Caicos Islands
Some members of CARICOM are called associate members.
This means that they are not full members and therefore do not share the full benefits that full members have. The British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands became associate members in 1991. Twelve other territories from Latin America and the Caribbean enjoy Observer Status in various Institutions of the Community and CARICOM bodies. CARICOM Observers are: Anguilla, The Cayman Islands, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Bermuda, The Dominican Republic and the Netherlands Antilles.
Some of the main aims of CARICOM include better standards of living, work for people in the Caribbean and jobs for the majority of its people. One major function of CARICOM is to establish a completely free area for trade among the member states by removing obstacles such as quotas, licences and duties.
The CARICOM head office or Secretariat is located in Georgetown, Guyana. William Demas was its first Secretary General. Some organizations which have come about because of agreements made by the CARICOM countries are:
- Caribbean Meteorological Institute
- University of the West Indies (UWI)
- Caribbean Development Bank
- Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency
- Caribbean Policy Development Centre
- Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI)
- Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)