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Prime Minister to sign new EPA next month

Published:Wednesday | March 26, 2008 | 3:13 PM

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding said the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARIFORUM countries and the European Union, which concluded last year will take place in April.



Mr. Golding said the Attorney General’s Department has completed the legal review of the document, and the agreement must be signed off within the next 3 months.



The Prime Minister said the changeover of governments in Belize and Barbados was one of the factors that contributed to several delays in the review process.



The EPA will replace a special export regime for several goods from the African Caribbean and Pacific countries.



That regime called the Cottonou Agreement has been in place since the mid-1970s. The EPA replaces only a part of the Cottonou agreement.



Under the new agreement, the Caribbean will have to open nearly 90 percent of its market to duty-free imports from the European Union on a phased basis over the next 25 years.