CARIFORUM and EU officials meet to discuss EPA progress

CARIFORUM and EU officials just held their second EPA Trade and Development Committee in Trinidad and Tobago to discuss progress in the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

“This meeting provided both sides with the opportunity to take stock of developments, review progress in the implementation of EPA commitments and prepare the second meeting of the EPA’s prime institution, the CARIFORUM-EU EPA Joint Council“, said Peter Thompson, Director at the European Commission’s DG Trade. The Joint Council is set to meet on 26 October in Brussels and brings together CARIFORUM Trade Ministers, and their EU counterparts.

During this meeting, both sides exchanged on EPA implementation in the main areas covered by the agreement, such as trade in goods, trade in services, trade-related rules, agriculture and development co-operation. In addition, they reviewed progress towards the setting up of the other institutions under the agreement – the EPA Joint Parliamentary Committee and the Consultative Committee – as well as to the setting up of a monitoring system.

The EPA is a pioneer trade and development partnership agreement signed between the 15 CARIFORUM countries and the EU in 2008. The EPA opens up trade between the parties, supports Caribbean regional integration, enhances the regional business environment and catalyses development aid. The EPA will foster economic exchanges and investment in order to contribute to growth, employment and development in the Caribbean region.

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