The Government of Dominica and the opposition have pledged their support to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Economic Union at a consultation held on Wednesday morning at the Fort Young Hotel.
Opposition Leader Hector John, urged members of the private sector to adapt to the regulations and take full advantage of the wide range of opportunities offered by the Economic Union.
“The common market gives immediate access to about 600,000 potential customers; it will automatically add value to goods and services within the OECS region and in the process increase financial returns,” he said.
He noted that with the free trade and free market agreements in place, persons and businesses are able to move between the islands to work and set up businesses easily.
“The opportunities from the Economic Union will not be restricted to the OECS because as a trading block, an environment to attract huge foreign investment is being developed,” he said. “Multi-national co-operations will be looking to enter into joint ventures without indigenous businesses.”
Speaking at the consultation, Minister for National Security, Charles Savarin, highlighted the various benefits of the creation of the Economic Union.
“The creation of a single financial economic space will provide the opportunity for labour and capital to move freely, establish enterprises and for the elimination of barriers to trade between the islands,” he said. “The fully functional Economic Union will allow citizens to travel hassle free that is with minimal immigration formalities even without a passport and only with a picture ID.”
Savarin also pointed out that the need for temporary driver permits and work permits will also be eliminated in the union.
Dr. Collin McIntyre Minister of Employment, Trade, Industry and Diaspora Affairs called for greater participation from key partners such as churches, trade unions, and the private sector to determine the best path for the regional integration.
The OECS Economic Union constitutes a single financial and economic space within which all factors of production, goods, services and people will move throughout the islands easily and without hassle.