REMOVING BORDERS: CSME AND THE EPA

WHAT IS THE EPA?

The Economic Partnership Agreement, commonly referred to as the EPA, is a partnership between the European Union and the CARIFORUM side of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) grouping. The purpose of the agreement is to create an open market for inter-regional and intra-regional trade in goods and services, and to also allow commercial access for businesses.

WHAT COUNTRIES ARE SIGNATORY TO THE PARTNERSHIP?

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Guyana
  • Bahamas
  • Haiti
  • Barbados
  • Jamaica
  • Belize
  • St. Lucia
  • Dominica
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Dominican Republic
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Grenada
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago

WHAT AREAS DO THE EPA ENCOMPASS?

The EPA operates on a number of pillars:

  • The first focus speaks to Development Cooperation and seeks to promote increased and sustained economic growth.
  • The second Trade Dimension seeks to improve trade between countries, public-private partnerships and encourage overall reduced prices to improve competitiveness.
  • The third area encompasses the Political aspects, which aims to increase dialogue through civil society, state, and non-state actors.
  • The fourth aspect looks at the promotion of Sustainable Development, and
  • The fifth aspect promotes Regional Integration.

WHO DOES IT INTEND TO BENEFIT?

The main beneficiaries to the EPA are listed below:

  • Caribbean Businesses
  • Caribbean Governments
  • Public Sector
  • Private Sector
  • Civil Society
  • Importers
  • Exporters