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Geography Essay

2427 words - 10 pages

Regional integration can be described as the union of a geological area, the main theme running through the efforts is that of cooperation. Hence regional integration is the interaction and cooperation of various countries in a specific region working together in order to foster their own well being, the idea of integration suggests unity and teamwork. On the other hand, regional integration also refers to an outcome, occurring when pre set criteria are met. Regional integration involves some compromise on the part of nation states, but should enhance the general quality of life for the citizens of those states. Regional integration can be described as a dynamic process that entails a ...view middle of the document...

* Common economic, political and social problem - The Caribbean countries encounter similar problems, inclusive of, but not limited to unemployment, difficulty in accessing international markets, lack of adequate capital, poor housing and inadequate health facilities.
* The common challenges of Globalization and Trade Liberalization - Companies all over the world are doing business in many countries, filtrating into the Caribbean region creating unwelcomed competition. The Caribbean government can no longer restrict extra-regional imports to protect regional manufacturers/companies, hence, Caribbean businesses are required to amalgamate or face ruin.
* The increase in the number of trading blocs - Across the world, economic groupings and trading blocs are being established where a large  number of countries are linked by special trading arrangements among them. For example, the European Union (E.U.) The Caribbean is required to do the same to ensure productivity and continuity in its economic growth.

The following factors have hindered the integration process of the Caribbean region:

* Absence of common model or strategy for development - Caricom member states have pursued different strategies for political and economic development.  There are some that depend on agriculture, another on tourism, one on petroleum. The fact that the varying countries are placing different emphasis on different strategies suggests that a common policy will not exist and countries will only be interested in policies that relates to the strategy they are pursuing. Jamaica would be more interested in debating a common policy on tourism or agriculture because they depend on those for economic development, but would generate little or no interest in a policy on petroleum because they do not pursue such for development.
* Differences in stages of growth and development - The fact that the Caribbean countries pursue different strategies for development means that they will all be at different levels of growth and development. The less developed countries are hesitant to trade with the more developed countries because of fear that they might be at a disadvantage. Such fear has led to the delay in the implementation of certain factors that would ensure or facilitate the integration process.
* Competition for location of industries - The government of each Member States wants what is best for their country; such aspiration usually leads to competition between the countries for the location of new industries. The competition often times evolves into envy and jealousy among member states.
* Conflict between territorial and regional demands and loyalties (Insularity) - The Caribbean countries tend to be more interested in satisfying the immediate needs of the residence within their countries than attending to the demands of the region. The member states work hard to attain international attention as an individual country than working together...

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