Six nations - Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago - became the first full members of the Caribbean Single Market Economy as the treaty went into effect on 1 January.
William Jefferson Clinton once said that “the opposition to globalisation in the world is rooted in people who feel left out, left behind and stepped on in other countries.” Apparently, having accepted our status as doormats, the developing world has once again sent our highest authorities to the other end of the world to continue to hammer out a trade deal that maintains our city-mouse/country-mouse dynamic.
The Heads of State and/or Government of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), during the Panama Summit held in July of this year, recognised in its Declaration, “the importance of having a Framework Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments among ACS members, an instrument that will help to promote, protect and confer legal certainty on investments ...”
Farmers from across the Caribbean took to the streets of the St Lucian capital, Castries on Friday to picket top European Union negotiators, who were meeting on the island.
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is in St Lucia today to launch the third phase of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations between the European Union and the Caribbean region.
A mass demonstration — “Operation Get Up, Stand Up”, in support of the region’s vital banana industry — has been planned for St Lucia to coincide with an important meeting of top European Union negotiators.
Recent developments in international trade highlight the difficulties facing the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) as it prepares for a key World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting in Hong Kong this December.
As 2005 proceeds, some Caribbean nations may find themselves faced with an unusually specific strategic choice: Europe may suggest the need to consider the relative weight they intend to give to the development of sectors such as tourism in preference to the role presently afforded to traditional agriculture.
As the outlook for the Free Trade Area of the Americas continues to be shrouded in uncertainty, CARICOM is looking to bilateral Free Trade Agreements as a means of improving market access for countries in the region.