Caricom negotiations with Canada on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) have been proceeding since 2007. At their summit in Belize on March 12-13, Caricom Heads approved a ‘Negotiating Brief’ with the proviso that it may need to be re-examined in the context of the global economic situation. It sounds like they wish to keep their options open.
Sir Shridath Ramphal has warned against the danger of "devaluing the goals" of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) and is urging the region’s decision makers to avoid a course that could only be "to our peril" at a time of enormous economic challenges.
The country has no faith in CARICOM’s ability to either address pending agreements or to be the implementing authority for the CARIFORUM/EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
Canadian High Commissioner, Charles Court, has said that the Canada-CARICOM Foreign Trade Agreement (FTA) process has been sideswiped by the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
There are growing concerns, regionwide, that the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME) project may be in serious danger of not being realised as planned for 2015. It is currently on a slow march.
Coinciding with the signing in Barbados on October 15 of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the CARIFORUM countries (Caricom plus the Dominican Republic) was a Joint Declaration that resulted from an initiative by Guyana as a compromise for its decision to also be a signatory to the accord. Professor Norman Girvan examines "the significance" of this mandatory review as provided for in the Joint Declaration.
Finally, the on-and-off official signing ceremony for a full Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Caribbean and the European Union (EU) is over.
To the man in the street, it seems that the EPA, and the debate on it, have split Caricom governments, and that the prospects for their arriving at some harmonious agreement at this week’s Caricom meeting are not good.
Today’s signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARICOM countries and Europe is officially off.
This paper critically assesses the compatibility of the CARIFORUM-EC EPA with the
proposed CARICOM Single Market and Economy—CSME. The main conclusion is that the CSME, a project for the creation/strengthening of the regional economy for engagement with globalisation,
will be superseded by the EPA, which involves a high degree of bilateral integration of
individual Cariforum countries with Europe in trade, investment and regulatory
Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson has called for an urgent meeting of the CARICOM heads of government ahead of the scheduled September 2 signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement.
Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries will sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe on September 2 as planned, but they are still hoping to renegotiate the deal afterwards, Caricom Chairman Baldwin Spencer has said.
They failed us! That’s what governments, intellectuals and trade unions in CARIFORUM (CARICOM and the Dominican Republic) who negotiated the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union did to this region, says James Paul, of the Barbados Agricultural Society.
Negotiations for a new trade agreement between the Caribbean and Canada should start in October.
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer indicated that there are still lingering questions over whether Caricom countries will all sign on to the European Union-Cariforum Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) next month, though he has maintained his personal support for the idea of moving forward with the agreement.
A former chief negotiator for the region said it is not too late for Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries to pull out of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe.
The growth of relations between several Caricom states and the Venezuelan-promoted
ALBA and Petrocaribe initiatives is one of the most significant recent developments in
regional affairs. An immediate issue that has arisen is whether membership of ALBA
might conflict with the obligations of membership of Caricom itself. There are also larger
issues of a strategic nature for Caricom.
While the majority of Caricom governments have signalled readiness to sign the EPA, reservations remain strong enough. Meanwhile, conflicting signals keep coming out of Brussels.
The question must now be asked, just how effective is Caricom, and does it serve any useful purpose? This has proven to be a watershed year for the regional body coming less than two years after the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), prevailing rampant food price, high energy cost and uncontrollable crime, all afflicting the region. Has Caricom address these issues effectively?
Caricom countries remain divided on the issue of the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).