The Process of Caribbean Integration
The proposals adopted by the 1967 conference reflect the “phased freeing of trade” approach. Central was a resolution to eliminate all import duties and quantitative restrictions of products traded among Commonwealth Caribbean countries The move to establish a common external tariff within Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) became the most contentious issue of the Caribbean integration movement. The Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce report contained several recommendations, the last of which provided the basis for the ultimate compromise on the creation of Caribbean Community and Common Market. The Caribbean Development Bank had been the principal distributive element in the CARIFTA negotiations. In 1981, a report was completed on the state of Caribbean integration by a group of eminent persons known as the "wise men." The gaining of political independence by nearly all the Eastern Caribbean territories and Belize in the early 1980s and the unsettled political climate surrounding the events have undermined the basis for regional cooperation.