ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua & Barbuda has been one of the “most co-operative” CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) member states during the four-year struggle to implement the agreement.
This is according to SH Allyson Francis, trade in services & investment specialist for the EPA and facilitator of the Regional Media Workshop for CARIFORUM that ended yesterday in Grenada.
“Antigua & Barbuda has been one of the most co-operative and moving states towards the whole implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement,” the attorney and economist said in an interview with OBSERVER Media.
Francis noted that the nation is “more advanced” in terms of rolling out the protocols of the agreement and in a good position to penetrate the European Union (EU).
This is due, in part, to the country’s unobstructed access to EU members that are closer to home than we might think.
“You have Martinique and Guadeloupe right next to you. So in terms of your treatment there Antigua has been privileged, unlike some of the member states, because of the relationship you have a waiver of the visa. You can utilise that because it is one less hurdle than the other member states,” Francis said.
The Antigua & Barbuda EPA Unit, which is under the Ministry of Finance, is tasked with implementing the agreement on island and was established in 2010.
Antigua & Barbuda has been a signatory since 2008 and joins the 15 CARIFORUM signatory states that are the independent Caricom member states and the Dominican Republic.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)