Caribbean Free Trade Zone was migrated from CARIFTA – Caribbean Free Trade Association。The Caribbean Free Trade Association was created to improve relations between the various Caribbean islands. One of the reasons of the formation of the CARIFTA was to increase the quota and variety of goods able to be sold. Specifically, CARIFTA was intended to encourage balanced development of the Region by the following:
- increasing trade – buying and selling more goods among the Member States
- diversifying trade – expanding the variety of goods and services available for trade
- liberalizing 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In 1973, CARIFTA became superseded by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
In 2014, Caribbean Free Trade Zone was proposed to establish various kinds of free trade parks in the member countries of CARICOM. As a result Caribbean Free Trade Zone Investment Inc. was founded by several institutional investors, and based on PPP mode Caribbean Free Trade Zone (Antigua) Development Inc. was founded to develop Caribbean Free Trade Zone Antigua Park which was granted free trade zones status by Antigua and Barbuda Government Cabinet, The Antigua and Barbuda Free Trade and Processing Zone Commission and Citizenship By Investment Unit of Antigua and Barbuda.
Caribbean Free Trade Zone plan to establish 15 free trade parks in 15 member countries of CARICOM, total investment amount of which may reach 15 billion US Dollars.
The CFTZ members include: free trade parks in Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, BVI, Cayman, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago.
To support the Caribbean region to become a global leading destination for free trade, free investment, offshore finance and blockchain industry.
To act as a main body to ensure coordination of Caribbean countries’ free trade activities, to review and propose free trade legislation and policies and present the free trade zones in the regional, international, and UN organizations.
Proposing a comprehensive strategy for the free trade zones while taking into consideration the objectives and specifics of each area. This includes putting forward perceptions and recommendations to allow necessary improvements that support the development of free trade zones.
- Proposing policies and rules for registration, licensing and monitoring activities within free trade zones.
- Proposing necessary rules for promoting the investment opportunities within the free trade zones.
- Reviewing and proposing laws & legislations, and orders & policies that govern and affect the operation of free trade zones; as well as proposing the necessary recommendations.
- Overcoming common obstacles faced by the free trade zones by proposing and developing appropriate solutions; enhancing coordination and cooperation between free trade zones to achieve goals to overcome these obstacles.
- Representing the free trade zones among local, international and UN organizations, as well as serving as representative body of the free trade zones in local, international and UN conferences and exhibitions in cooperation with the relevant authorities.
- Liaising between the free trade zones and the member countries government; conducting studies required for topics related to the work of the free trade zones, commissioned by the member countries government.
- Facilitating exchange of ideas and benefiting from the experiences and best practices of all free trade zones for the purpose of enhancing performance and achieving mutual goals.
- Providing advice, consultation, necessary proposals, and recommendations on local and international laws referred by relevant authorities in relation to free trade zones or investment.
- Providing studies and proposals that help the government in the formulation of economic and investment strategies when necessary.
- Organizing conferences, seminars and panel discussions on topics related to free trade zones or investment.
- Enhancing the cooperation and supporting the coordination, integration and interdependence between free trade zones.
- Conducting research studies and publishing reports and statistics to help develop the work of the free trade zones.
- Devising agreements and systems that help resolve gaps and issues between free trade zones for the benefit of all stakeholders and the interest of the Caribbean region.