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CARIFORUM: Completion of Implementation Plans for EPA

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

CARIFORUM: Completion of Implementation Plans for EPA

All the National Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Plans for the CARIFORUM States bound to sign the comprehensive EPAs with the EU are to be successfully validated. Saint Lucia is the latest of the eight CARIFORUM State to mount a Validation Meeting, on the date of July 5th. After the Implementation Plan will be approved by Government, it will be given effect.
At the end of Saint Lucia’s Validation Meeting, which took place on July 5, in Castries (Saint Lucia), the out-going Director-General of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) Directorate in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Ivan Ogando Lora has lauded the “spirit of cooperation” underpinning their development.

The intention of the Validation Meetings was to provide the representatives of Government and national non-governmental organizations with the opportunity to be briefed on the draft National EPA Implementation Plan, while allowing for them to provide further input.
The Plan is expected to position the countries in a position to a allow them to better coordinate its approach to implementing the provisions of the EPA, in terms of obligations and benefits.
Before Saint Lucia, the consultancy was rolled out in Antigua and Barbuda, followed by Belize, St Kitts and Nevis, The Bahamas, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The development of the Implementation Plans is expected to bode well for regional states preparing to access the recently launched EPA Standby Facility for Capacity Building, a €3.5m fund administered by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with support from National Authoring Officers in respective states. The Standby Facility is to be in place for three years, and is intended to assist CARIFORUM States by underpinning national institutional capacities.  
The EPA is a comprehensive trade and development accord between the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM), and the European Union (EU) and its Member States. A first interim agreement was signed between the two parts in 2008.