Caribbean outlines concerns over EPA
By Nicole Best LONDON, Aug 8, CMC – The second Caribbean Forum-European Union (CARIFORUM–EU) Business Forum began here on Wednesday amid concerns over the slow implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that Europe signed with regional countries in 2008.
Jamaica’s Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, told trade and investment officials from the Caribbean, Europe and Africa that the implementation of the EPA was also being hindered by visa restrictions placed on a number of Caribbean countries wanting to enter Europe.
“It was aptly stated that the United Kingdom is the crossroads for trade with Europe and yet the United Kingdom has imposed even transit visas so that you can’t even transit the UK into the rest of Europe,” Hylton later told a news conference.
“I think that’s really a constraint and I think that if Europe is serious it would have to deal with it,” he said, noting that other concerns include so-called technical barriers to trade and the shifting phytosanitary regulations imposed on the Caribbean by most European countries.
(Details in Business section)