2007 World Cup cricket to test single market - Carrington
Stabroek News
July 19, 2002

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CARICOM Secretary-General, Edwin Carrington, has challenged regional businessmen to get together with other Caribbean partners to provide the facilities, accommodation and other services required to ensure that the 2007 World Cup Cricket is played in the West Indies, as well as take advantage of the business prospects the event would offer.

He reiterated that the days of reliance on preferences as the historical basis to the region's economic structures were over and the search for niche markets "must truly begin now."

The Caribbean hosting the 2007 World Cup Cricket, he said, was a splendid opportunity to test the possibilities for collaboration of the type which the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) would provide.

In his address at the Annual Awards banquet of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jamaica last Saturday, Carrington said that already there was a strong hint from non-traditional cricketing countries in the hemisphere that they were interested "in being involved" in the 2007 World Cup Cricket. And he said the possibility of their involvement existed "although CARICOM countries are the only Test playing nations in this part of the world." He said this was because the World Cup was awarded on a hemispheric basis and games were allocated on the basis of best possible economic returns. The hemisphere includes Canada, the USA and Mexico.

The interest of these countries, he said, lay in the fact that their entrepreneurs have recognised the money spinning potential of the event.

Given today's technology, Carrington said, the matches could be held just about anywhere in the hemisphere and were not limited to the traditional cricket Test playing countries of the West Indies.

He threw out the challenge to businessmen to get together with their Caribbean partners within the new CSME to provide on a regional basis, the services, equipment, facilities, accommodation, transportation and other requirements which the organisers would need if the region were to ensure that World Cup Cricket "truly comes to the West Indies."

Describing the hosting of the 2007 event as one example of the type of prospects CSME would bring, Carrington said it was an instrument for grasping opportunities in the globalised world as well as a platform from which to launch the effective integration of the region's economies into the global economy as efficient and competitive players. For that purpose, too, he said, CSME seeks through its industrial, agricultural and transport policies as set out in the new treaty, to provide the framework to achieve competitiveness in the productive sectors. It does this by setting out the key policies and related measures, which should be introduced in member states and at the regional level.

In spite of all that, Carrington said that little would be achieved if the members of the private sector did not recognise and take steps to ensure that their enterprises became more and more competitive.

CSME, he said, provided the framework and the opportunity for achieving the desired production and competitiveness levels, but the private sector had the responsibility to restructure, modernise, ensure there was strong and efficient management, acquire new skills and pay attention to research and development, with a view to improving productivity and competitiveness.

Through the CSME, he said, more investment capital was likely to be attracted from outside as well as from within. Equally, the institutional arrangements of CSME facilitate the mobility of capital so that it could move to where it was more effective. He said that one such facility was the Caribbean Investment Fund, established under the community, as well as the two billion Euros investment facility under the Cotonou Agreement, won through the external negotiation process with the European Union.

Stating that the process of the establishment of CSME now in train must be accelerated, Carrington said that the programmes for the removal of the remaining restrictions on the right of establishment, the provision of services and the movement of capital which came into effect in March this year require that all member states take national action now. The current restrictions relate mainly to work permits, alien landholding legislation and company registration.