Updated: View Site Map Site Map
Lesson
The Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) was the precursor to CARICOM. In this module we provide an overview of the key aspects of CARIFTA.
 IN THIS MODULE
Brief History of CARIFTA
Secretaries General of CARIFTA
Agreement Establishing CARIFTA
Biography Country Browser Reading Room Glossary
Brief History of CARIFTA

At the Fourth Heads of Government Conference held in Bridgetown, Barbados on 23-27 October 1967 it was agreed to establish the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) formally, and to include as many Commonwealth Caribbean countries as possible in the new arrangement of December 1965.  It was also agreed that the Free Trade Association was to be the beginning of what would become the Caribbean Common Market, the establishment of which would be conducted through a number of stages towards the achievement of a viable economic community of Caribbean territories.

CARIFTA was founded by Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, and Trinidad and Tobago on 15 December 1965, with the signing of the Dickenson Bay Agreement (the Agreement establishing the Caribbean Free Trade Association). They were joined on 1 July, 1968 by Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines; and on 1 August, 1968 by Montserrat and Jamaica. In 1971 Belize (then British Honduras) joined the Association.

These Caribbean countries had recently become independent, and CARIFTA was intended to unite their economies and to give them a joint presence on the international scene.

Specifically, CARIFTA was intended to encourage balanced development of the Region by:

  • increasing trade - buying and selling more goods among the Member States
  • diversifying trade - expanding the variety of goods and services available for trade
  • liberalising trade - removing tariffs and quotas on goods produced and traded within the area
  • ensuring fair competition - setting up rules for all members to follow to protect the smaller enterprises

In addition to providing for free trade, the Agreement sought to:

  • ensure that the benefits of free trade were equitably distributed
  • promote industrial development in the LDCs
  • promote the development of the coconut industry (through an Oils and Fats Agreement) which was significant in many of the LDCs
  • rationalise agricultural production but in the interim, facilitate the marketing of selected agricultural products of particular interest to the LDCs (through the Agricultural Marketing Protocol); and
  • provide a longer period to phase out customs duty on certain products which were more important for the revenue of the LDCs

Emerging also from the 1967 Heads of Government Conference was the decision to establish the Commonwealth Caribbean Regional Secretariat on 1 May 1968 in Georgetown, Guyana and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in October 1969 in Bridgetown, Barbados.

It was at the Seventh Heads of Government Conference in November 1972, that the Caribbean leaders decided to transform CARIFTA into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community of which the Common Market would be an integral part.

In 1973, CARIFTA became the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Heads of Government and officials at the signing of the CARIFTA agreement in 1968. (r-l) George Price (Belize, 2nd), Milton Cato (St. Vincent), Eric Williams (Trinidad and Tobago), John Compton (St. Lucia), William Bramble (Monthserrat), Eric Gairy (Grenada), Errol Barrow, Barbados), Paul Outhwell (St. Kitts), Forbes Burnham (Guyana), Hugh Shearer (Jamaica), and V.C. Bird (Antigua)
Secretaries-General CARIFTA
Name Beginning of Term End of Term Country
Frederick L. COZIER 1968 1969 Barbados
William DEMAS 1969 1973 Trinidad and Tobago
Agreement Establishing CARIFTA
Access resource Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Freee Trade Association
Sources
http://www.caricom.org/jsp/community/carifta.jsp?menu=community
http://csmenetwork.com/2/caricom-cd/General%20CARICOM%20Info/history.htm
Fact Check
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn't look right, or if you would like to share additional information on the topic, kindly contact us!
How to Reference Our Site
To reference our site, please use the following as a general guideline.
APA: KnowledgeWalk Institute. (Date Published).Title of Web Page. Retrieved from (URL)
MLA: "Title of Web Page." caribbeanelections.com. KnowledgeWalk Institute, (date published). Web. Date Accessed.
Chicago: "Title of Web Page," KnowledgeWalk Institute, last modified (date), URL.
 SEARCH CARIBBEAN ELECTIONS
 TOPICS
 Democracy and Citizenship
 Democracy
 Citizenship
 Understanding Government
 Heads of Government
 Politics and the Electoral Process
 Democratic Electoral Systems
 Caribbean Electoral Systems
 Politics: The Basics
 Caribbean Political Parties
 Women in Politics
 Independence and Regional Integration
 Understanding Regional Integration
 West Indies Federation
 Independence in the Caribbean
 Caribbean Free Trade Area
 Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
 CARICOM Single Market and Economy
 Caribbean Court of Justice
 Heads of Government Conference
 GENERAL RESOURCES
 Biographies
 Country Browser
 Reading Room
 Glossary of Election Terms
 Glossary of Budget Terms
 GENERAL TOPICS
 Bookshelf
 Caribbean Constitutions
 Caribbean Studies
 Citizenship Education
 Democracy
 Free Trade Agreements
 Green Economy
 Global Election Sites
 Human Development Reports
 Human Rights
 International Development Reports
 International Politics
 Multilateral Agencies
 National Budgets
 National Heroes
 National Strategies & Policies
 Political Party Manifestos
 Regional and International Integration
 Throne Speeches
 Trade and Investment
 FEATURED RESOURCE
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Election Centre 2015
 ABOUT CARIBBEAN ELECTIONS
Caribbean Elections
Caribbean Elections provides comprehensive information on the electoral process, politics, and citizenship in the Caribbean. This portal includes election data and resources for the public, teachers, students, and researchers.
Caribbean Elections Learn more about CE»
Visit KnowledgeWalk Institute © 2008-2016 KnowledgeWalk Institute. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use  | Advertise With Us | About Us | Contact Us