A potential trade pact between the European Union and Guyana must contain land rights protections for local residents in order to avert the possible displacement of indigenous people.
“I think it is time that we evaluate whether any Caribbean country has actually benefitted in a tangible way from the implementation of the EPA, and if not, why,” Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar told European Union officials.
Guyana’s Foreign Affairs minister Caroly Rodriques-Birkette stressed that the first review of the EPA is set for next year and the ratification will allow for the assessment of cost impact.
Guyana has taken the lead in the Caribbean in implementing aspects of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Two years after 14 Caribbean countries signed a wide-ranging and controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe, Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo still maintains that his country was right in holding out until the last minute to get a "better deal" for the Caribbean.
It is a ‘striking’ coincidence that most of the difficulties encountered in the implementation of European Union budget support came shortly after Guyana adopted a position that was critical of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), according to the government
The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis has received approval from CARICOM to enter into trade negotiations with Brazil
President Bharrat Jagdeo has taken another jab at the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). This time he is adamant that it cannot speak for Guyana at upcoming trade talks with Canada.
Guyana on Monday signed off on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe, choosing to do so in Brussels at the headquarters of the European Union Council, five days after its Caricom partners had inked the agreement.
Guyana’s President, Bharrat Jagdeo, said he was switching his position after two additional clauses were added to the original deal. The additions include stipulating that Europe would review the agreement every five years to analyze the economic impact the deal had on the Caribbean Community and the Dominican Republic and would make changes should the impact be adverse.
After opting out of Wednesday’s signing, Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo now says the country is ready to take forward the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe.
The signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the CARIFORUM Group - Caribbean Community states and the Dominican Republic - went ahead as planned. However, Guyana and Haiti, which had both expressed reservations about sections of the agreement, did not attend the signing ceremony in Barbados.
The European Union is preparing to impose swingeing taxes on goods imported from Guyana as punishment for the Caribbean island’s refusal to accept a free trade accord. Patrick Gomes, Guyana’s ambassador to Brussels, said that the EU’s move could lead to his country losing €70m (US$94m) each year.
Refusing to give up on convincing the European Union to take another look at its Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Caribbean, Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo has taken his case to the United Nations.
Senior representatives of the government, the opposition political parties, the trade union movement, the private sector, religious bodies and other non-governmental organizations unanimously called on regional leaders not to sign it in its present form.
Weeks ago President of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo, announced his scepticism on signing the Economic Partnership Agreement trade deal with the European Community. Now it has been revealed that the Guyanese government will be hosting public consultations on the proposed arrangement come the beginning of September.
The Caribbean could suffer economically if a proposed free trade agreement between several regional countries and the European Union is signed because of damaging flaws in the deal, according to Bharrat Jagdeo, Guyana’s president. “Europe negotiated in bad faith. We were bullied into this.”
The Guyana government wants more time to consider "troubling" aspects of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU. "No Government can be deaf to the outcry of important groups in its society," Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues, said. "We are democracies, not command economies. If our populations do not believe the agreement is in their interest, if they believe it has been imposed upon them, it will not work."
Guyana will not sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) until it has completed a full national consultation or alternatively "pragmatically earlier if the EC [European Commission] continues with its bully-boy tactics of seeking to impose tariffs on our exports," President Bharrat Jagdeo said.
Central to many of the contentious planks that remain (especially 4-9) is the observation of Timothy Kondo (Alternatives to Neo-liberalism in Southern Africa) that the draft EPA, which formed the basis of negotiations for his region was prepared by the EU, (Third World Economics, October 1-15, 2007). This observation was reiterated more generally by Marc Maes: "The texts that the Commission has tabled have reflected the Commission’s approach to global trade. They do not reflect the interests and needs of ACP countries." (ibid, p12)