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Thursday, 03 May 2012

EPA concerns over Caribbean region

Reservations over future advantages that EPAs could give to the East African Community have been some of the most commented-on headlines on the web in recent months. Though it seemed that there was a more optimistic outlook in the Caribbean region, one article by  Dominican Today, expresses concerns over the 2008 EU Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe. “Trying to answer questions about the success […]is far from easy”, says the author.
Although  it seems clear “that there are very large sums of money”  being made available by the EU and which are intended  to both  support regional integration and meet EPA requirements, “it is hard to find any evidence that use is being made of the trade aspects of the agreement other than in relation to the improved access it offers in the area of commodity exports”.
On the EU side, concerns have been voiced as Caribbean governments would not be taking as much ownership of the agreements as they should, in terms of legislation that can lead to the private sector reaping benefits, for example.
Among the problems in the Caribbean, including different speeds at which the agreements are being implemented and ratified, concern has been expressed over the lack of awareness of the EPA’s foreign direct investment advantages among the Cariforum private sector and EU investors, as highlighted in a recent Caricom press release.

Source: Dominican today