Edited by Josef Drexl, Mor Bakhoum, Eleanor M. Fox, Michal S. Gal and David J. Gerber
Chapter 8: Regional Integration in the Caribbean: The Role of Competition Policy
Taimoon Stewart The reality is that an efﬁcient Single Market and Economy is this Community’s best hope in relating to the international community and for its growth and prosperity and for the improvement in the standard of living for its people. (Edwin Carrington, Secretary General of CARICOM)1 1. INTRODUCTION The perception of the Caribbean as a place where people have a relaxed way of life, basking in the sun and enjoying sand and sea is partly true, but there is an underbelly of tensions, poverty and disharmony that is a much more potent reality for the majority of people living in the region. Indeed, it is a very complex area, and one that has been shaped from the sixteenth century by European expansion and imperialism. To focus mechanically on the instruments of regional integration based purely on integration theory, and on the regional competition policy, would leave blind spots in the analysis that would result in a distorted picture and ﬂawed conclusions. This chapter provides an evaluation of the role of competition policy in the integration process, and suggests that there is a very real danger that the objectives of free ﬂow of goods and services in the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) could be compromised by anti-competitive conduct by large ﬁrms in the region. In the process of this evaluation, the paper provides a snapshot of the societies and economies in the CSM, the tensions involved amongst member states in achieving the CSM, the extent of intra-regional trade,...
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