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Dominican negotiators head for talks on free trade with Europe

Dominican Today, Dominican Republic

Dominican negotiators head for talks on free trade with Europe

9 April 2007

SANTO DOMINGO.- The Coordinating Office for Trade Negotiations is in charge of taking the country into a free trade deal with the European Union before the end of the year.

Its members are slated to meet in Jamaica starting on Thursday with the representatives of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), to discuss the guidelines on the region’s positions in the next round of talks that begins in this capital on April 17.

In the gathering the Caribbean nations should reach an agreement to comply with the European Union’s demands of a “free circulation of good” in the framework of the Agreement of Economic Association (AAE), to begin on January 1, 2008. Also to be discussed are the protocols on milk and sugar, two key products for the country.

The free circulation of goods means that items from the European Union will in the first country of entry and free of duties afterwards, as they pass from one nation to another.

But the Dominican Republic has the best ports in the region, meaning that most of the merchandise would leave the European Union toward this country, making it necessary to establish quotas to guarantee revenues for the other countries in the bloc.