CARICOM Secretariat-led EPA Consultations Make Headway
(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) – A series of national consultations in the Region, launched in July of this year, on implementation issues as relates to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARIFORUM and the European Union (EU) have been progressing steadily, and are due to continue into September.
The EPA Implementation Unit based in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is at the helm of these consultations, which form part of its on-going efforts to provide technical support and guidance to CARIFORUM States on aspects of EPA implementation. The consultations center on trade in goods and trade in services/investment, respectively.
The Head of the Unit, Mr Branford Isaacs, who is also its Trade in Goods Specialist, will lead off on the upcoming cluster of consultations on trade in goods, set first for Antigua and Barbuda, at the end of the week, then the Commonwealth of Dominica (6th to 7th September) and St Vincent & the Grenadines (8th to 10th September). These discussions will principally involve Customs and Trade officials.
In the lead up to this batch of meetings on trade in goods was the most recent leg of services/investment-related national consultations, spearheaded by the Unit’s Services and Investment Specialist, Ms Allyson Francis. These consultations took place in August in St Vincent & the Grenadines (3rd to 5th), Trinidad & Tobago (17th to 19th) and Belize (25th to 27th), and involved representatives of Trade, Immigration, Labour, Tourism, Culture, Education and Health authorities. In some jurisdictions, service sector advocacy organizations participated.
The next cluster of services/investment-related consultations is set to commence in the first half of September in St Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda, and is slated to continue in the latter half of the month in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
The fifteen signatory Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (CARIFORUM) States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States (including Haiti and the Bahamas) and the Dominican Republic.