Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2021. 5:00 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belize participated in the first meeting of the CARIFORUM – United Kingdom Economic Partnership Agreement’s (EPA) Trade and Development Committee which took place via videoconference on 7 October 2021 said a joint communiqué.
The joint statement said the meeting that was chaired by CARIFORUM, was attended by representatives from Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Belize; The Commonwealth of the Bahamas; The Commonwealth of Dominica; The Dominican Republic; Grenada; The Republic of Guyana; Haiti, Jamaica; Saint Christopher and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; The Republic of Suriname; The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago; and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Trade and Development Committee said it was satisfied that the EPA had secured continuity of a trading relationship valued at £2.9 billion in 2020. The two sides said they wanted to continue developing sustainable and inclusive trade, supported by the EPA.
The joint communiqué said the United Kingdom and CARIFORUM States “discussed matters of joint interest under the Agreement including tariff liberalisation, trade in goods and services, and Geographical Indications”.
Development assistance by the United Kingdom under de EPA was also looked at.
The parties updated each other on relevant trade policy developments in the United Kingdom and in the Caribbean region and reiterated their expectation that the EPA would soon be ratified by all parties.
The communiqué said that in preparation for the Joint Council, the Trade and Development Committee reviewed Rules of Procedure for the Trade and Development Committee, the Joint Council, and the Special Committees under the EPA.
CARIFORUM and the United Kingdom “agreed to continue to work towards the effective implementation and operation of the Agreement and agreed to hold further meetings of the Joint Institutions on mutually agreed dates”.
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