Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest


Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

EPA rethink needed, says Barbados minister
Published on June 27, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Julie Carrington

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) -- Despite numerous seminars on the benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), a government minister is calling for a fresh approach to pursuing business ventures outside of Barbados.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean
Minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Senator Maxine McClean, made this observation on Monday, while responding to a question posed by a participant attending the Cave Hill School of Business’ breakfast roundtable under the theme: Global Competitiveness: Prospects for the Future.

She said despite this there were a number of factors that have led to inaction thus far.

McClean explained that the EPA was forged between the European Union and CARIFORUM (CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) and not with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). As a result, the foreign minister admitted that “we have had difficult times in making that marriage” between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic work.

She also pointed out that the EPA came at the time just prior to the start of the global economic crisis and as a result, the circumstances of the European countries had changed dramatically, and this might have led to a rethinking of the EPA.

McClean added: “…They are saying now that we have to justify to our taxpayers, the availability of resources and that has given rise to some changes. I think that where the resources were made available to governments in the region, part of the challenge we had was the mechanism for access to that was probably made difficult. But, we have been working to utilise those resources.”

However, McClean said, over the years, measures were put in place to make it easier for businesses to access and take advantage of the agreement, and she commended the Caribbean Export Development Agency for its work in assisting companies in benefiting from it.

Meanwhile, guest speaker, Professor Avinash Persaud, said the private sector had failed to take advantage of the opportunities and floated the idea that the region had negotiated too “good a deal”.

“We gave ourselves too much time and as a result, let me be frank; the private sector has failed us. The private sector was given tremendous opportunities on the EPA, but it requires them to invest and for some reason, our private sector is happy to wait to be forced,” he added.

Persaud further stated: “The EPA basically provides us unprecedented access whilst stopping the Europeans having preferred access for a certain length of time. That length of time has almost run out and what have we done with that time? Very little. So, I think we negotiated too good a deal because we somehow need to force the private sector to be internationally competitive and not hoping that they will always find a way of protecting themselves.”
Reads: 6519

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: