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This chapter, by Trinidadian scholar Anthony Gonzales, examines the challenges that the Caribbean has faced in implementing its economic partnership agreement (EPA)—signed in 2008—with the European Union (EU), and assesses its impact on the region’s trade and development prospects, as well as regional integration schemes. The chapter also identifies lessons for other members of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group who are still negotiating or finalising their EPAs with the EU. Gonzales argues that the Caribbean agreement has had some beneficial impacts, despite the slow pace of implementation and the problems that have arisen in the process. Benefits include expansion of some non-traditional agricultural exports; creation of new contacts in the EU market; and an increase in awareness of the need for policy development in new trade-related areas such as competition. Gonzales further urges the Caribbean ACP countries, among other things, to focus on increasing their competitiveness, developing new export sectors, and implementing regional integration schemes, in order to realise fully the EPA’s potential benefits. For the rest of the ACP, the Caribbean experience shows the importance of timely and adequate mobilisation of resources, and of understanding the close-knit relationship between negotiation and implementation.
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- The Caribbean-EU Economic Partnership Agreement: A Caribbean Perspective
Anthony Peter Gonzales
- Chapter 8
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