EuroPolitics | Monday 14 December 2009
EU and Port-au-Prince sign economic partnership agreement
By signing, on 11 December, an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the EU, Haiti has jointed the fourteen other member states of Cariforum, the organisation of Caribbean countries , that signed the EPA in October 2008. The objective of the EPA is to facilitate the trade of goods and services and attract greater investment between the two regions.
The Cariforum-EU EPA is a new generation North-South trade and development agreement. It aims to promote sustainable development, boost trade, investment and innovation, help build a regional market among Caribbean countries and tackle poverty in the region, recalls the European Commission (see separate article on the EPA with Fiji).
The only least developed country (LDC) in the Western hemisphere, Haiti has recently been grappling with a range of climatic, political, economic and social problems. These include hurricane damage, security issues and a food crisis. So it did not sign the EPA last year, explains the Commission. Haiti proposed adjusting some of its commitments on tariffs and the EU accepted such a request, in the light of its specific needs as LDC.
The EPA is a legally binding international agreement that fully complies with World Trade Organisation rules. It includes the following chapters : trade in goods and in services ; investment ; competition ; innovation and intellectual property ; public procurement ; and development cooperation.
 Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago