Caribbean Export Eu Agreement Update
Three and a half years after the signing of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) the regional private sector has been urged to get on board, instead of passively standing on the sidelines.
The admonition has come from Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Valeriano Diaz, who says it is perplexing to hear business persons lamenting that they do not know much about the EPA.
The EU Ambassador who was speaking at a Caribbean Export media launch said entrepreneurs should also know the necessary requirements which will assist them in accessing elements of the EPA, which are beneficial to their enterprise. Ambassador Diaz noted that there is a perception regionally that enough benefits have not accrued from the coming into force of the EPA, but however reminded that ownership of the EPA in the Caribbean belongs with regional governments.
The diplomatic said when he referred to legislative and other frameworks he was speaking of the amendment of legislation to reflect what is in the EPA agreement as pertains to such issues as investment and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, as well as the legal implementation of the relevant harmonized system to facilitate the scheduled tariff reductions.
Ambassador Diaz said that despite regional EPA ownership was the business of Caribbean governments, the EU had not abandoned it them, since is has allocated 165 million euros to CARFORUM for regional integration and EPA implementation.