The challenge comes as the world looks on in the aftermath of the UK’s exit from the European Union on June 23rd.
At a recently held symposium at the UWI headquarters in Jamaica, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding recommended that CARICOM set up a Regional Research and Development Fund in order to facilitate the innovation within the private sector required to strengthen entrepreneurship. Commenting entrepreneurship. Commenting on the failure to take advantage of the opportunities of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreements, he noted that the regional economy is at a stage where it can only compete at the level of innovation, and it is failing to do so because of inadequate research and development within production.
Speaking at the symposium UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles called for CARICOM to move as a matter of urgency to reinvent the scenario post emancipation, which saw Caribbean indigenous people networking freely across the region. He urged the organisation to avoid a ‘wait and see’ approach, and instead, partner with The UWI to establish a task force to research, monitor and report on the developments that will take place over the next two years.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Mr Golding admitted that Caribbean trading with Europe has been “at best anaemic” in the recent past, and even then, he said there has typically been more activity with countries other than Britain. Mr. Golding said in the event, most of the agreements signed by CARICOM are with the EU and not Britain and as such these should not be adversely affected. He noted that new agreements may have to be negotiated with Britain in due course.