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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

EU-Central America deal puts Caribbean exports into jeopardy

Sometime early next year the association agreement reached in May between Central America and Europe will come into force. It will open quickly the EU market to agricultural products and manufactured items from Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In many cases access will be for products for which the Caribbean has had long term preferential access. […] What is apparent, talking to Central American Government and private sector interests, is that they are preparing to rapidly take the maximum advantage of the opportunity that the new arrangement will offer for trade, investment and development and there are many in Europe who will be excited to help interests that are responsive. […]

This contrasts markedly with the slow pace of implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that Cariforum states agreed with Europe in 2007, the apparent disinterest in some parts of the region in what is a legally binding agreement, and the virtual invisibility of much of the region in continental Europe in making known what the Caribbean has to offer.

Source: Dominican Today (Opinion)