Dominica as a small island developing state has been told that more could be done to sufficiently benefit from the Economic Partnership Agreement- EPA.
The Economic Partnership Agreement which was signed in October 2008 signalled a new era of trade relations between the European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM).
Head of the EU Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Ambassador Valeriano Diaz says while most Caribbean countries have not realized great benefits from the EPA, Dominica has been able to make some headway by way of duty free concessions on exports to Europe.
Ambassador Diaz said “The good thing about Dominica is that from day one they have been able to continue exporting to Europe duty free and quota free.”
Ambassador Diaz is recommending that Dominica do more to partner with the more developed countries in the area of tourism.
He said” Its more about finding the ways on how the developed countries in Europe can exchange services without any barriers, that they can move around. That people from Dominica can go and be trained in these countries without any difficulties and the Economic Partnership Agreement provides for that.”
Speaking on the wider Caribbean region, Ambassador Diaz noted that progress on the EPA has been slow.
“It has had a slow start because some of the Caribbean countries in my opinion have not had the opportunity to see the benefits because the export of goods has been limited, he lamented.
The Ambassador emphasized however that the potential for Caribbean countries to sufficiently benefit from the EPA is huge.
“Some of the countries in the Caribbean have jumped into the opportunity and already they benefitted enormously from the agreement which by the way does not only cover goods but also investments and services” stressed Ambassador Diaz.
The EPA provides the opportunity for the region to build the framework that will allow it to compete in a liberalized global economy, where a competitive environment is necessary for survival.