The unprecedented impact of rising energy prices on the cost of ocean transport means that moving goods from one nation to another has become a bigger barrier to global trade than tariffs.
This paper on government procurement and EPAs written by Stephen Woolcock from LSE recommends that ACP countries first open their procurement markets on a regional basis, before making commitments to the EU.
There are strident calls for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), due to be signed by Cariforum in July, to be amended, varied or simply not signed. Any possible renegotiation of the treaty, it is acknowledged, might come at a potentially intolerable cost.
This paper examines the investment provisions of the CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement and their implications for development. The paper also clarifies the link between investment provisions in an EPA and existing bilateral investment treaties. It concludes with recommendations for both review of the investment provisions in the CARIFORUM EPA, and for other ACP states that decide to embark on negotiations on investment with the EU.
Telecommunications and real estate in The Bahamas are two sectors that are, for now, off limits for negotiations under the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and CARIFORUM, State Minister for Finance Zhivargo Laing reported yesterday.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Commission and the Caribbean states will be signed in July. The decision was made at the 26th Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development which ended in Antigua and Barbuda on Saturday.
For the moment, Caribbean countries should limit signing of the full Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe in the trade of goods section.
Anyone could be forgiven for wanting to fall asleep whenever the new Economic Partnership Agreement between Europe and the Caribbean comes into the conversation. The language is so complex and dry that only professional diplomats can understand it. (And even some of them are pretending). But the Caribbean needs to pay attention, because the economic consequences of this new agreement are heading towards it like an express train with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Professor Girvan warns that the EU-Caribbean EPA could widen inequalities among Caricom states
So concerned is Brazil about the Caribbean EPA that it sent, on February 5, a communication to the World Trade Organisation requesting a debate. Its concern is that the arrangement agreed with the European Commission may cause nations like India, China and others to cease to negotiate with nations like the Caribbean.
Just a few weeks before the signing, some key governments appear uncomfortable with the final agreement
As initialled on 16 Dec 2007 and signed on 15 Oct 2008
The Cariforum-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is more than just a trade agreement: its scope embraces many subjects that have up to now been solely or mainly within national and regional jurisdiction. As a legally binding international instrument it embodies a far higher degree of supranational governance than that of Caricom. It will, inevitably, condition the scope and content of future agreements made between Caricom and other major trading partners and the region’s stance in WTO negotiations.
President Bharat Jagdeo of Guyana confessed that the economic partnership agreement signed by the Caribbean with the EU is a bad deal and the region has little to gain from it.
Being able to see though the fog of war and to think forward to a future beyond, is what sets apart great statesmen and women.
The grey clouds of attrition are gathering over concluding negotiations with the European Union, which has suddenly adopted a determined mercantilist attitude at this late date. The negotiations with Cariforum (CF) are now foundering in a sea of uncertainty, reminiscent of the opening stanza of the famous Trinidadian calypso "Captain, this ship is sinking.".
Leading Caribbean nationals have made a stirring plea to Caribbean Community Heads of Government to speedily move for postponement of the year-end deadline given by the European Union for this region to sign an Economic Partnership Agreement.
As negotiations intensify for an Economic Partnership Agreement between the Caribbean and European Union before year end, there are now growing calls for the "draft" accord to be made public before the region’s governments sign on to such a deal.
A final make or break negotiating session is expected in the Caribbean at the end of November.
Having read the draft EPA, I can now confirm that in much of the document, the development dimension is referenced more in shadow than substance. A huge double standard is at play here and what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander, writes a former Caribbean diplomat.