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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Caribbean, T&T companies to benefit from EPA

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon said in spite of some challenges, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has the potential to help local and regional companies penetrate European markets. “It (the EPA) has the potential to expand market opportunities for the regional private sector within the European Union (EU) ” she said. Gopee-Scoon spoke yesterday at the Third Meeting of the CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain. She said nine years ago this month, the EPA Agreement between the CARIFORUM states and the EU was signed, ushering a new legal basis for preferential trade between the two regions. The purpose of the agreement is to make it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other and thus to help Caribbean countries grow their economies and create jobs. The Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) is a subgroup of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and serves as a base for economic dialogue with the EU. She called on visiting EU parliamentary members who were at the meeting yesterday to influence the EU Commission in adopting a more flexible approach in the challenges which CARIFORUM countries face. “Especially in this time of difficult economic conditions and our vulnerability to natural disasters.” She called the EPA a “comprehensive trade and development agreement.” “The agreement addresses a number of areas like trade in goods, services and investment, competition policy, innovation and intellectual property, transparency in public procurement, environmental and social aspects and personal data protection. It also pertains an over-arching developmental co-operation chapter.”

Source: guardian.co.tt

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