Define the Economic Partnership Agreement and Discuss the Ways in Which Businesses in the Caribbean Should Organize to Take Advantage of This Development.

1778 Words Oct 13th, 2008 8 Pages
It is important that we examine precisely the provisions that will be available to the Caribbean Countries, as this will strengthen our discussions on ways in which businesses in the Caribbean should organize themselves to take advantage of the Economic Partnership Agreement.

Norman Girvan’s article “Implications of the CARIFORUM-EC EPA, examined the provisions, state that the EPA was a trade agreement with development components designed to open-up and develop trade between Europe and CARIFORUM, removing the barriers to trade between them and by means of improving CARIFORUM’s capacity to trade competitively.

Listed below is a summary of the actual agreement and intended objectives in which Caribbean countries could take advantage
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In order to be able to achieve a competitive and comparative advantage with the European countries, Caribbean businesses have to change their mindsets, and be willing to collaborate and or merge with entities across the region that are producing similar products. This would enable them to increase efficiency and their ability to be competitive in the global market place in which we are operating today.

There exist different opinions concerning the benefits of the EPA as seen in Balford Henry Article in the August 27, 2008 Jamaica Observer. His perspective looked at the view of the Trade Unions –“that the EPA signing should be delayed”. The Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) is seeking a delay in the signing of the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Cariforum and European Union, for the review and possible renegotiation of the agreement. Some of their concerns presented were:
• The lack of review provision in the agreement – as there are no provision in the agreement for us to get back to the bargaining table in 6, 12 or 18 months to review the performance.
• As it now stands with the EPA, if signed, and does not perform in the best interest of the Caribbean, we have no recourse.

Girvan’s articles spoke to the principles of transparency and democratic governance to which both CARICOM and European Government are committed. He argues that the final stages of the EPA were rushed to conclusion, with little opportunity for
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