The earliest precursor to CARICOM was the Federation of the West Indies which was established in 1958. This Federation lasted for 4yrs and failed miserably(because of the Secular thinking of the Member States). In 1965 the Countries tried another attempt at Regional Integration and this became a reality in 1968 with the formation of CARIFTA. However, CARIFTA outgrew itself and in 1973 it became the Caribbean Community and Common Market-CARICOM. This was a giant step for the Caribbean Countries as it not only consolidated the Market for Goods produced in the Region, but it began defining our trade relations with the rest of the world. CARICOM introduced a Foreign Policy Component and opened the way for the provision of Common services and cooperation in social Sector Development.
However the 1973 Treaty was amended incrementally over a period of years by 9 Protocols (each of which addressed specific areas of concern namely: decision making, institutional & Administrative Structures, Free Movement of Goods, Free Movement of Services; Free Movement of Capital; Rights of Establishment; Supporting and Facilitating Measures and Policies; Private Sector Participation; and External Interface. ) After the West India Commission process and In July 1989, five years prior to the establishment of the WTO , our Heads of Government decided to advance beyond the Common Market towards more comprehensive economic integration, recognizing that while they had achieved significant liberalization of the market for goods, the further development of the Regional economy required measures to encourage the movement of ,an access, to, the factors of production, the delivery of services and the establishment of business. Hence the concept of the CSME was advanced and Heads committed to its establishment in 1989.