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Friday, 14 May 2010

Change likely in Caribbean-EU ties

The relationship between the Caribbean and the European Community could be in for another overhaul. This time it will be widened beyond economic cooperation to include matters of political security.Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Valeriano Diaz, said that trade relations between the regions did not operate in a vacuum nor were the European ties with the region just about money. "Updating our trade relationship was one chapter in our longstanding relationship. We are now seeking to further enhance the political co-operation, through the development of an enhanced Caribbean-EU partnership," he said. "This move has been considered a necessity in light of new developments, including economic and financial crises, challenges related to climate change, crime and security and new geo-political interest and alignments," he added. Two meetings have already been held in furthering this process: one in Jamaica and the other in Barbados. The ambassador, speaking at a EU-sponsored consultation on the EPA one-year anniversary at the Sir Shridath Ramphal Centre of the University of the West Indies last weekend, said the partnership fundamentally changed the trade relationship between Cariforum and the EU, from one that simply offered tariff preferences - an eroding lifeline - to one that should build lasting regional and international markets for the Caribbean.

Source: Nationnews

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