CARICOM Leaders meet on EPA

SFCN / Sept. 07, 2008

GREATER GEORGETOWN, Guyana - Matters related to the signing of the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be the focus of two Heads of Government meetings to be held in Barbados on Wednesday, September 10 at the Sherbourne Conference Centre.

The first of the meetings will be the Fourteenth Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which will take place in the morning while the Third Special Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) will take place in the afternoon. CARIFORUM consists of the 14 independent states of CARICOM, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

The EPA was initialed last December by CARIFORUM and the European Union and provides for a new trading arrangement between the two parties to replace the Cotonou Agreement which governed aid and trade relations between Europe and the ACP Group of countries. The leaders will discuss some issues of continued concern in regard to the EPA as well as procedures for signing the document.

The recent spate of hurricanes which have caused widespread devastation and loss of life in Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and The Bahamas will also have the attention of the Heads of State and Government as they seek to fashion a regional relief response.

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