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EDITO
Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Jamaica and the European Union have committed to strengthen the collaboration on building a more effective partnership for growth and development. According to a joint release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union delegation, the committment was made during the third 'Jamaica/EU Political Dialogue' held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Thursday. In her opening remarks at the dialogue, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade said the partnership between EU and Jamaica remains strong and that the EU has made a significant contribution to Jamaica’s development and the wider Caribbean region.

The EU fisheries agreement with the Cook Islands and its implementation protocol, signed in October 2016, allow EU vessels to fish in this country’s waters for the first time. Parliament’s consent, requested for their conclusion, will be subject to a plenary vote planned for the February II session. Background To date, the EU has concluded tuna fisheries agreements with three countries in the western-central Pacific: Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Micronesia (see map). However, none of these agreements currently have a protocol in force, and thus the EU fishing fleet cannot operate in these countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ; for an overview of EU fishing activities in the western-central Pacific, see July 2016 EPRS briefing 'Expanding the network of EU tuna agreements').

As Caricom countries struggle to move away from their traditional reliance on a single industry or major crop in the face of growing economic uncertainty worldwide, they are finding it increasingly difficult to enter markets in the EU and North America with new types of food products. But tariffs are no longer the main barriers to accessing important markets, according to a document produced by the ACP-EU Overcoming Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) programme.The ACP-EU is of the view that “Non-tariffs barriers will become the main challenge of the future multilateral trade system.” Specifically, technical barriers related to compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) in export markets and other standards including those relating to labelling and packaging.

On Monday 27th February 2017, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission is holding a stakeholder meeting in the context of the Commission’s ongoing Impact Assessment on options for a multilateral reform of investment dispute resolution. The purpose of this meeting is to exchange views with stakeholders on the EU’s policy development in this area including on the possible establishment of a multilateral investment court as part of the options for multilateral reform.

Efforts are underway in Fiji to revive the country's cocoa industry, one year on from Tropical Cyclone Winston.A European Union-funded project, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, has set up three new cocoa processing units, each of which includes a fermenter and cocoa dryer. The co-founder of a Fiji-based chocolate company, Tomohito Zukoshi, built the units and says they will provide a consistent A-grade quality cocoa for export. Mr Zukoshi said Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji's cocoa sector and it is still recovering. "We had invested so much of our manpower to do the pruning, and clearing, before the cyclone and then the cyclone hit and it just became worse - we lost the entire 2016's crops."