IPS Inter Press Service en Cuba

Viernes, 22 de Noviembre de 2019
CANANEWS
CARIFORUM said that the implementation of the EPA has coincided with the worst global economic and financial crisis in more than 80 years.

BRUSSELS, Dec 10– The Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) say while they are aware of their responsibilities and commitments under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with the European Union in 2008, honouring them have “proven to be more difficult than originally expected”.

In a report to the 98th Session of the Council of Ministers meeting, which began here on Tuesday, the CARIFORUM grouping, comprising the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic, say this situation is due to several factors.

CARIFORUM, which is the only regional grouping within the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group that have concluded a comprehensive EPA with the Europeans, said that the implementation of the EPA has coincided with the worst global economic and financial crisis in more than 80 years.

‘Its effects, which, include negligible to no economic growth, high unemployment and burdensome national debt in most of the major trading partners, as well as, in CARIFORUM states themselves, have also been reflected in the pace of implementation of the agreement and its results.”

The reported noted that another factor is that the cumbersome and time consuming procedures for accessing the European Development Fund (EDF) resources have been “the main reason for the significant gap between the signing of the EPA and the actual disbursement of the regional funds allocated under the EDF to support and facilitate EPA implementation”.

The CARIFORUM countries noted that while the EPA was signed in 2008, implementation of the 10th Regional Private Sector Development Programme only began in mid 2011, and the implementation of the 10th EDF EPA capacity building programme commenced only in the first quarter of 2013.

“The effects of this gap on the pace, especially, of EPA implementation cannot be underestimated,” the CARIFORUM group said. (2013)

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