Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 January 2018
At the time of independence, CARICOM states found themselves extremely dependent upon the international economy, in part a legacy from the economic structure developed during their colonial period and in part due to the small size of their economies. Similar to most third world countries at the time, these economies relied heavily on one or two mineral and/or agricultural export commodities for foreign exchange, government revenue and employment. Furthermore, the prices of these commodities were subject to the vagaries of the international market, making the market for their exports unstable to an untenable degree for these vulnerable price-takers. This highly dependent state also exhibited many other well-known characteristics of underdevelopment, such as low levels of human resource development, savings and investment, technological capacity, and foreign exchange earnings.