CARICOM: Introduction

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is an organization which consists of 15 Caribbean nations and dependencies. These member states are Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat (a British overseas territory in the Leeward Islands), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. To promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policies are amongst the most important targets of the organization.

In addition to the community’s full members, there are 5 associate members and 7 observers. The 5 associate members are Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos. The role of the associate members, which are all British overseas territories, is not established yet. The observers are states which engage in at least one of CARICOM's technical committees.

Objectives of the Community have been announced as follows:

  • Improved standards of living and work
  • Full employment of labor and other factors of production
  • Accelerated, coordinated, and sustained economic development and convergence
  • Expansion of trade and economic relations with third States
  • Enhanced levels of international competitiveness
  • Organization for increased production and productivity
  • The achievement of a greater measure of economic leverage and effectiveness of Member States in dealing with third States, groups of States, and entities of any description
  • Enhanced co-ordination of Member States' foreign and [foreign] economic policies
  • Enhanced functional co-operation, including:
    • More efficient operation of common services and activities for the benefit of its peoples
    • Accelerated promotion of greater understanding among its peoples and the advancement of their social, cultural, and technological development
    • Intensified activities in areas such as health, education, transportation, and telecommunications

Number of Member Countries: 14
Headquarters: Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Region(s): Caribbean, Central America, South America
Founding Document: The Chaguaramas Treaty
Composition: Plurilateral
Coverage: Goods & Services
Date Signed: July 4, 1973
Entry Into Force: August 1, 1973
Website: CARICOM

Sources

CARICOM Office of Trade Negotiations

Official CARICOM Website

Organization of American States: Foreign Trade Information System

Glossary