works contract for JM$5.7
billion (66.3 million euro) to
finance the rehabilitation of
Segment 3 of the Northern
Coastal Highway was signed
between the Government of Jamaica and
Danish contractor E.PIHL and Son.
Prime Minister PJ Patterson and Head
of Delegation of the European Commission
to Jamaica, Gerd Jarchow, endorsed the
Prime Minister PJ Patterson (left) and Head of Delegation Gerd Jarchow symbolically
contract on October 4 at a ceremony at exchange contracts at the signing ceremony for the third stage of the Northern Coastal
Jamaica House. Highway. Observing the proceedings are Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Omar Davies
The agreement is a part of a 80 million (centre) and a representative from E.PIHL and Son. – (Photo courtesty of JIS)
euro grant by the European Commission for
the rehabilitation of the Northern Coastal
Highway, which will run from Negril to
scheduled to start shortly after at the Wag
Water bridge near Junction and will see two In This Issue
Port Antonio upon completion. teams working from either end of the
roadway. One team will work towards Port Grant funding opportunities
Segment 3 is the final phase of the
Northern Coastal Highway and consists of Antonio while the other will work from the for microfinance institutions
a 100 km stretch between Ocho Rios and Ocho Rios end. – Page 3
Port Antonio. The Ministry of Transport and Works is
Where possible, road width will be the contracting authority for the works Rural Development Project
contract which will be executed by
increased and 12 bridges along the highway
contractor E.PIHL and Son from Denmark
will be reconstructed. The Government of – Pages 6 - 7
Jamaica will finance the reconstruction cost and sub-contractor Lagan International
for three of the bridges. from Northern Ireland.
Work on Segment 3 will also include Work will be supervised by the National Dossier – Reforming the
the construction of a dual lane. Works Agency, which will be assisted by Sugar Industry
The drainage system and main water engineering consultant Nicholas O'Dwyer – Pages 6 - 7
lines adjacent to the road will be also of Ireland.
improved. At the signing, Head of Delegation
Gerd Jarchow noted that the project is a 3.5m euro Caribbean
The construction of the Northern
Coastal Highway will reduce vehicle demonstration of the European disaster preparedness plan
operating costs and travel time and Commission's commitment to Jamaica's – Page 9
decrease incidences of flooding and related infrastructure development.
Completion for this phase of the
damage to the road surface.
Northern Coastal Highway has been
A ground breaking ceremony has been – Page 10
planned for December 3, 2005 and work is scheduled for June 2008.
Sugar industry can emerge
stronger after reforms
he preparation for the et, known as the Financial ing a wide range of stakeholders
EU sugar reform has Perspectives. This aid package they have produced an analyti-
been a long running is additional to existing cal study outlining several
process, with a European Development Fund options for the Jamaican sugar
preparatory impact assessment assistance and complementary industry. It is now up to the gov-
of the reform on the African to other programmes such as pri- ernment to present their
Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) vate sector development or rural National Adaptation strategy
States which started in 2002 and development, as well as those of outlining the direction they wish
including consultations with the the European Investment Bank, to follow.
ACP. The official proposal for the EU Member States and other This National Strategy
the sugar reform was released on donors. It is important therefore would be the basis for the EU
the 22nd June 2005 and the that this financial assistance is financial support that will start
Commission stands ready to not seen in isolation. in 2006 for the next 8 years to
continue consulting with An adaptation strategy must help the Jamaican economy to
Jamaica and the other ACP be immediately established for adapt to the new situation. There
countries in accordance with the swift implementation of EC needs to be improvements in
partnership approach under the assistance. competitiveness of sugar pro-
Cotonou Agreement. The EC Delegation and the duction, diversification, and also
Jamaica and the EU do not Jamaican Government have an assessment of the socio-eco-
disagree on the need for reform this represents a longer transi- been discussing since March nomic impacts. Diversification
but what concerns Jamaica and tion period from a later starting 2005 the way forward to devel- is possible. I personally know of
other ACP sugar producers is the date, giving Jamaica's sector op a Jamaican National Jamaican farmers who have
depth and speed of the proposed more time to adjust. This pro- Adaptation Strategy following moved out of sugar production a
price cuts. In order to achieve an vides scope for managing the the EU sugar reform. In May few years ago and now success-
effective reform within the EU, adjustment timeframe. fully cultivate ackee and cassa-
we need to attain a necessary This does not mean that the ‘Initiatives have va, for instance, employing
restructuring of the EU sugar
sector and to achieve a sustain-
EC underestimates the difficulty
involved in that adjustment
already been many former cane sugar work-
able market balance. This means process, whether for the Jamaica deployed to Trade measures can also
serious price cuts.
The second concern is the
sugar industry or for many other
industries, including those with-
analyse the play an important, complemen-
tary role in Jamaica's adaptation.
pace of reform. The loss of the in the EU. In light of this the options and to The EC will ensure that the out-
dispute initiated by Brazil,
Thailand and Australia in the
Commission has proposed to
establish an assistance scheme
develop a come of the ongoing Cariforum-
EU negotiations on the
WTO compels the EU to rapidly for countries signatories to the response to the Economic Partnership
implement the reform. The Sugar Protocol, as early as 2006, new conditions Agreement provides such a sup-
Commission has used the maxi- even if the price cuts on the EU portive framework. If the differ-
mum flexibility available to market will only be fully imple- introduced by the ent aid and trade components are
phase down the EU price: the mented after a transition period reform’ dealt with in the right way, I am
sugar reference price will be cut of four years. firmly convinced that Jamaica's
by 36 per cent over four years as In 2006 the EC will provide 2005 the Jamaican government economic and social fabric can
agreed by EU agriculture 40 million euro to the Sugar requested EC support for the emerge reinforced from this
Ministers on November 24. Protocol countries affected by elaboration of their national adaptation process.
The starting date has also the reform, while more substan- adaptation strategy. Following
been pushed back to July 2006 tial long term assistance will be this, a team of consultants fund-
instead of 2005. In comparison secured for the period 2007- ed by the EU started their ana-
with the Commission's 2013, which is linked to the lytical work in the country in Gerd Jarchow
Communication of July 2004, debate on the EU's overall budg- late August 2005. After consult- Head of Delegation
Local microfinance institutions
invited to apply for grant funding
anagers of local credit unions, purchase of hardware/soft-
cooperatives, benevolent, ware.
providence and friendly societies The first presentation was
participated in two public held on Monday, September
presentations hosted by the Delegation of the 19, 2005 at the Hilton
European Commission to Jamaica, staged to Kingston Hotel and received
highlight grant funding opportunities under overwhelming response. Over
the Microfinance Framework Programme. 85 senior personnel from a
Financed through the 9th European wide range of microfinance
Development Fund as part of a strategy for institutions attended.
private sector development, the Microfinance An overview and
Framework Programme seeks to improve the description of the Programme
overall effectiveness of microfinance was presented by Mr Stefan
operations in African Caribbean and Pacific Szepesi of the Delegation's
countries. Politics, Economics, Trade
Microfinance organisations in the 77 and Information Section.
Head of Section for Politics, Economics, Trade and Information,
countries of the ACP Group were asked to He explained that grants Carlo Pettinato welcome participants to the presentation. At left is
submit proposals to the programme which will be awarded based on four Stefan Szepesi.
has 7.2 million euro for allocation to projects objectives: – Photo courtesty of The Jamaica Observer
which could range from 250,000 euro to one 1. Diversifying finacial
million euro. services for the poor Industry and Commerce; and the Jamaica
The key areas, for which grant funding 2. Applying technology to improve Cooperative Credit Union League.
will be provided to qualified organisations, outreach and lower costs In an effort to accommodate credit unions
are institutional strengthening, microfinance 3. Expanding outreach in rural and and cooperatives in the rural sections of the
ratings and efficiency and transparency. sparsely populated areas country, a second presentation was held
Eligible activities can include action 4. Enhancing transparency in the Tuesday, September 20 at the Invercauld
research, training, advisory services and the microfinance industry Great House and Hotel in Black River,
Prospective applicants were advised St Elizabeth, the country's agricultural
that they need to have a proven track bedrock located on the South Coast.
record in microfinance related business, Jamaica has a highly organised
as well as strong in-house technical microfinance sector which is regulated by the
expertise. Ministry of Industry and Commerce through
Among institutions represented were the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly
the City of Kingston Credit Union – the Societies and the Bank of Jamaica. There are
largest in the Caribbean; Sodality – the over 52 credit unions in Jamaica serving over
country's oldest cooperative; GSB 728,000 members with a reported combined
Cooperative Credit Union – representing asset base of $23.8 billion at end of 2003.
government sector employees; Churches Data from the Department of
Cooperative – comprising of church Cooperatives and Friendly Societies indicate
members from any denomination; Jamaica that there are 220 co-operatives comprising
Police Cooperative - serving the members mainly of agricultural and community groups
of the constabulary force and their and 453 friendly and benevolent societies
families, several people's cooperative offering limited savings and credit options for
banks, farmers' cooperatives, a Citrus members.
Growers Cooperative and a cooperative of The presentations were held in
poultry growers. association with both umbrella organisations,
Also in attendance were representa- the Jamaica Cooperative Credit Union
A key component of the Programme is strengthening tives from the government regulatory League and the Department of Cooperatives
microfinance institutions, such as credit unions, to bodies. These included the Department of and Friendly Societies.
enable them to become more effective in lending to Cooperatives and Friendly Societies The deadline for submissions was
which is a division of the Ministry of October 20, 2005.
Export Helpdesk launched also includes a Market Place Link which
provides a contact point for importers and
Participants closely followed the power
point presentation which also provided
trade statistics on countries exporting to the
A lively question and answer session
followed as participants posed assorted
queries ranging from identifying markets
for organic pineapples, branding of
handmade sandals, to food standards and
The on-line service has been providing
free and comprehensive information to
exporters since February 2004. The
European Commission launched the Export
with the goal of enhancing the economic
JAMPRO’s Delaine Morgan (left) and her colleage Janet Crick reflect on the presentations with growth of developing countries by
Carlo Pettinato and Stefan Szepesi (right).
facilitating the access of their exports to the
ncouraged by constant and including fashion designers, potters, freight EU market.
growing demand for information officers etc. From its launch to December 2004 it
on trade policies and business The live internet presentation was received an average of nearly 1,500 hits per
opportunities within the European conducted by Mr Stefan Szepesi, from the day, rising to well over 3,000 hits per day so
Union, the Delegation of the European Delegation’s Politics, Economics, Trade far this year.
Commission to Jamaica hosted a Public and Information Section. Using a variety of Representatives from Jamaica
Presentation on the EU Export Helpdesk on scenarios, Mr Szepesi took participants Promotions Corporation used the
August 4, 2005 at the Terra Nova All Suites through the different sections of the on-line opportunity to promote the Private Sector
Hotel, Kingston. Helpdesk, outlining how exporters can Development Programme, an EU and
The presentation was well attended by access useful information on the EU's Government of Jamaica funded initiative,
over 60 persons representing trade and tariffs, import duties, standards, labelling, which provides financial and technical
commerce organisations, prospective and custom procedures, rules of origin applica- support for development of small and
current exporters and entrepreneurs ble to Jamaican producers. The Helpdesk medium sized businesses.
Staff changes ....
Paris X Nanterre and previously worked for the European
Commission in Guinea as a macroeconomist.
Penny DeLeon joined the Delegation in October 2002
Malado Kaba, who joined as Imprest Accountant/Administrative Assistant, having
the Economic and Social previously worked with the British High Commission in Consular
Development Section in January and Passport services. Prior to her stint with BHC, she
2005 will be leaving for the operated Ivor Restaurant in Jack's
Delegation in Guinea. Her stint at Hill overlooking Kingston.
the Delegation was in the In March 2004 her role with the
Socio-Economic Section working on Commission was modified to allow
poverty alleviation and private her to concentrate on ever-increas-
sector development projects ing Administrative functions.
Prior to joining the Commission, Penny has decided to return to her
Malado worked for the then French greater love; the food service
Ministry of Co-operation and Development (Paris) and as a industry, and is leaving in
technical assistant at the Ministry of Finance in Guinea. December.
She obtained a Masters in Economics at the University of
€7million for rural
development in Belize
elizean Prime Minister H.E Said Musa and the Head of
Delegation to Belize H.E. Gerd Jarchow have signed an
agreement valued at BZ$15 million (7 million euro) for the
Belize Rural Development Programme (BRDP).
The BRDP aims at supporting sustainable economic growth of
Belizean rural areas where the poverty rate is at it’s highest. The
main results of the BRDP will be a reinforced institutional
environment within which rural enterprises, traders, processors, local
organisations and communities are strengthened. More efficient and
competitive rural enterprises (both farming and non-farming) and
improved rural services and infrastructure are among the objectives.
BRDP will target the poorest part of the rural population
including farmers, community and civic groups, economic
operators, women and young people.
Groups involved in non-traditional productive activities and Belizian Prime Minister Said Musa (left) and Head of Delegation Gerd
those facing high risk of social and economic instability will also Jarchow exchange contracts after the signing ceremony in Belize in
benefit. The project is expected to directly benefit the economic November.
activities of more than 10 per cent of rural families, among whom a
minimum of 30 per cent are women and young people. The BRDP will be implemented by a Project Coordination &
Beneficiary communities will be closely involved in the Management Unit (PCMU), which will assume an administrative
decision making process. They will be invited to contribute to a and financial role, and co-ordinate the project's implementation at
participatory planning process toward a 10-year plan and community, district and national level with the various line
‘development map' of their district and they will also be Ministries and donor agencies.
represented during the Project Steering Committees. The PCMU will consist of a Project Director, a Technical
‘The project is expected to directly benefit the Director, a Marketing Specialist, a Social Development Specialist, an
Accountant/Office Manager and a Planning, Monitoring and
economic activities of more than 10 per cent of Evaluation Specialist.
rural families, among whom a minimum of 30 per The BDRP follows the Financing Agreement of BZ$7.5 M (2.93
million euro) signed in February for support to the banana
cent are women and young people’ sector.
European Commission representatives, Nicholas Ritzenthaler (left) and Head of Section for Rural Development Felice Zaccheo participate in a
seminar to explore EU/Belize cooperation, especially existing and future opportunities for trade.
The EU Sugar Reform:
Moving towards a more market-oriented system,
while maintaining preferential access for ACP producers
n November 24 the European The ACP assistance plan will earmark
Union agriculture Ministers 40 million euro for 2006 and pave the way
reached a political agreement for further assistance.
on wide-ranging reform of the "There is no alternative to a profound
Common Market Organisation for sugar reform," said Mariann Fischer Boel,
based on the proposal tabled by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural
Commission. The changes will enhance the Development. "The easy option would be
competitiveness and market-orientation of to sit on my hands. But that would mean a
the European Union sugar sector, guarantee slow and painful death for the European
it a viable long-term future and strengthen sugar sector. I am convinced that EU sugar
the EU's negotiating position in the current producers have a competitive future, but
round of world trade talks. They will only if we act now and act decisively to
modernise the current system, which has prepare them for the challenges ahead. We
remained largely unchanged for around 40 are offering a long term, stable planning
years. The new system will continue to horizon with a generous restructuring fund
offer preferential access to Europe's sugar to encourage less competitive producers to
market for developing countries at an leave the sector and to cope with the social
attractive price well above the world and environmental impacts of the
market level. African, Caribbean and restructuring process. And we will maintain
Pacific countries which traditionally export Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural preferences for our traditional suppliers in
sugar to the EU will benefit from an Development, Mariann Fischer Boel. the developing world. Our market will
assistance programme, also adopted by the remain an attractive place for some of them
Commission. environmental and land management to sell their sugar."
The reform includes a cut by 36 per cent standards and added to the Single Farm Commissioner for Development and
in the price for sugar over four years; com- Payment; a voluntary restructuring scheme Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, also
pensation to farmers for 64 per cent of the lasting four years to encourage less highlighted the need for reform. "We fully
price cut through a decoupled payment - competitive producers to leave the sector; understand that the EU sugar reform is a
which would be linked to the respect of and the abolition of intervention. serious challenge for many of our ACP
partners. The proposed assistance scheme
will help them to secure a smooth
transition, in the framework of a local strat-
egy for sustainable development".
The rationale for reform
Following the CAP reforms of 2003 and
2004, the time has now come to bring the
sugar regime into line with the approach
already adopted in other sectors. Sugar
reform must take proper account of farmers'
incomes, consumers' interests and the
situation of the processing industry. The
reform must bolster the competitiveness of
the EU sugar industry, improve its market
orientation and produce a sustainable
market balance in line with the EU's
international commitments. The
Commission has studied the sugar market
in detail and consulted as wide a range of
stakeholders as possible. Its impact
assessments have shown clearly that the
for ACP countries
maintenance of the status quo is unsustain-
able. Without reform quotas would have to
be drastically reduced across the board,
hitting the most competitive
producers hardest and leading to an
attrition scenario. ttention must be given to the needs
of developing African, Caribbean
European producers must be given
and Pacific countries for which
long-term certainty about the rules they
Europe has traditionally been a
have to follow. The reform therefore fixes
crucial market. Post-reform, Europe will
the economic and legal framework for the
remain an attractive market place for some of
European sugar sector until 2014/2015 the countries which have guaranteed access
without foreseeing a review clause. to the EU market under the Sugar Protocol.
The agreed reform includes a price cut However, the Commission is also
coupled with a generous restructuring fund proposing an assistance scheme for the
lasting four years. The restructuring fund African, Caribbean and Pacific countries
has three main objectives: firstly to which traditionally export sugar to the EU. It
provide incentives to encourage less recognises that the reform is a major
competitive producers to leave the challenge not only for EU beet and sugar
industry, secondly to provide money to producers, but also for many ACP suppliers.
cope with the social and environmental In order to respond to the diversity of
impacts of factory closure (financing of situations of the different countries, the
Michel ... The proposed assistance scheme
social plans or redeployment programmes Commission's assistance scheme proposes to
will help them to secure a smooth transition,
and of measures to put the site back into cover a broad range of social, economic and in the framework of a local strategy for
good environmental condition) and thirdly environmental actions. sustainable development
to provide funds for the most affected Under the Sugar Protocol, 18 ACP coun-
regions to develop new business in tries export sugar to the EU, and may be comprehensive, sustainable strategy. While
coherence with EU structural and rural affected by price reductions on the EU the ownership of the design of the adaptation
development funds. market. The commitment of the Commission strategy is left to each country, the EU has set
to assist them in the adaptation process was some basic principles on which it will base
integrated in its Communication of July its development assistance. First, it is
2004, and expanded in an "Action Plan" necessary for the adaptation measures to be
produced in January, as a basis for dialogue articulated into a comprehensive strategy,
with the ACP. focussing on the needs not only of the sugar
The Commission proposes to start sector, but also of the sugar-dependent
implementing the assistance scheme as soon regions. This requires broad stakeholder
as 2006, as early investments in these involvement in the design of the strategy. It is
countries will maximise their chances of also important to base the strategy on an
successful adjustment. Since the complexity objective analysis of the long-term
of restructuring and diversification processes sustainability of the sectors to be supported.
requires a sustained effort, 2006 assistance Finally, combining different sources of
should be integrated into an eight year finance will enhance the efficiency of
scheme. An initial budget of 40 million euro implementation of the strategy. The types of
has been earmarked for 2006. Further long assistance will be designed with particular
term assistance will be secured for the period attention to the effectiveness of
Considering the differences between the
ACP countries, a broad range of support
options is being offered both for the sugar Further information sources
sector and/or for alternative economic http://europa.eu.int/comm/agricul-
activities to be strengthened, to be tailored in ture/capreform/sugar/index_en.htm
each country to the needs identified by the
stakeholders, and integrated into a long term,
EC adopts €3.5 million for
Caribbean disaster preparedness
he European Commission's paredness work must continue. The rele- Furthermore, activities supported under
Humanitarian Aid Department vance of our approach has been confirmed the new DIPECHO Action Plan will include
(ECHO) has launched its 5th by an external evaluation. This 5th the following:
DIPECHO (for Disaster action plan continues our efforts and focus- The setting of early warning systems;
Preparedness ECHO) Action Plan for the es on the most vulnerable groups," Small scale infrastructure mitigation
Caribbean with an allocation of 3.5 million explains European Commissioner for works aimed at reducing physical
euro for disaster preparedness in the region. Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis vulnerability of beneficiaries, like
Jamaica is among the countries targeted for Michel. protection walls along riverbanks, drainage
this assistance which will also benefit The Action Plan includes supporting works, reforestation;
Belize, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican strategies that enable local communities Map-making and computerisation of
Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Suriname and and institutions to better prepare for and data connected with the study of risks,
Eastern Caribbean islands. mitigate against natural disasters by vulnerability and the development of
The main objective is to increase the enhancing their capacities to cope. emergency plans;
capability of vulnerable populations living The financing will focus on the Research and dissemination of
in areas most affected by recurrent natural strengthening of capacity/training at the technical studies, workshops and their
hazards to cope with the effects of natural local level, with the direct participation of results in order to increase knowledge on
disasters. beneficiary communities. For example: risk reduction issues.
"The 2004 hurricane season and the organisation and training of local The Caribbean region has been included
2005 season have once again tragically emergency committees; simulations and in DIPECHO's programme since 1998.
demonstrated the region's exposure to natu- workshops at the community level aimed at Since then, four Action Plans have been
ral disasters, mainly hurricanes and the elaboration of an emergency plan; implemented with the help of NGOs, UN
floods. If we want to help these populations training and equipping of community agencies and other regional partners, for a
face and cope with disasters, our pre- disaster response teams. total amount of 8.5 million euro.
Affected residents in Portland Cottage, Jamaica await emergency assitance after Hurricane Ivan destroyed most homes in the community in 2004.
The emergency assistance from ECHO, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Department, was channelled through OXFAM.
EPA Update: EU and Caribbean Region
launch third phase of negotiations
n September 30, EU Trade Commissioner
Peter Mandelson met with Caribbean Trade
Ministers to launch the third phase of
Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
negotiations between the EU and the Caribbean region.
The crucial third phase will launch negotiations on the
text of a final agreement, encompassing the continued
integration of the Caribbean regional economy and
access to the European goods and services market.
What are EPAs?
EPAs are the trade and development agreements
that the European Union is currently negotiating with
six African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions. They
will replace the trade chapters of the 2000 Cotonou
Agreement between the EU and the ACP countries. The
exception of these chapters from WTO law will expire
in 2008, requiring both parties to have put in place a
WTO-compatible alternative. The European Union is
committed to ensuring that the EPAs will guarantee
both the development focus and the preferential trading
terms currently enjoyed by ACP countries, while
The Economic Partnership Agreement will encompass the continued integraion of
complying with WTO obligations. the Caribbean regional economy while broadening access to the European market.
From Phase Two to Phase Three
in the Caribbean…
Because the EPAs are intended not simply to guarantee access
for ACP countries to the EU market but to boost their economic
development, their initial focus is on building regional markets
among ACP countries, strengthening trade capacity and creating
the conditions for attracting inward investment. In the Caribbean
this will help smaller states benefit from economic participation
in a larger trading economy and help diversify the Caribbean
economy and reduce its current economic vulnerability.
Phase two of the EPA process in the Caribbean has focussed on
creating the conditions for regional integration and attracting new
regional investment and trade. Caribbean states have affirmed their
intention of creating a single Caribbean market by the end of 2005.
Phase three continues this work and will begin the work of
agreeing the terms of market access for the two regions. The EU
will seek to further improve the market access already extended to
ACP countries – 98.5 per cent of ACP imports already enter the EU
duty and tariff free. The question of progressive opening of ACP
markets will be treated only at the end of the EPA process – a
decade or more – and on a timetable determined on the basis of the
Caribbean region's own assessment of its needs. The focus of the
EPA process in the first instance is on encouraging ACP countries
to open their markets among themselves.
EPAs will put Caribbean development first
By Peter Mandelson, is not only a free trade agreement. It is an
European Commissioner for Trade instrument that we are jointly designing to
help the region become more competitive.
ast September in St. Lucia, the It will develop the market access the
European Union and the Caribbean Caribbean already has to the EU – and
launched a new phase of our remember that about 98.5 per cent of
negotiations on an Economic Caribbean exports already enter the EU
Partnership Agreement (EPA) between our free of any tariffs. But the Caribbean's
regions. This is the third and crucial stage growing strength in tourism and other
of the process, which will begin to give services can also be developed through
structure to the final agreement, building better market access.
on what we have already agreed. The MANDELSON ... The Caribbean needs to Access to the Caribbean market is not a
generate more trade and more inward
benefits of an EPA have yet to be proven, priority for the EU. Incremental,
investment. It needs to diversify away from a
so there is bound to be some skepticism, vulnerable dependence on single agriculture progressive opening of Caribbean markets
for example amongst less-developed commodities should not be rushed. This gradual
Caribbean countries. I want to address liberalisation is important to integrate the
those doubts. generate more trade and more inward Caribbean into the international economy
Decades of preferential access to the investment. It needs to diversify away but should be phased in, over a decade or
EU market have not increased exports from a vulnerable dependence on single more, and at a pace defined with the
from Caribbean countries into the EU. agriculture commodities. This is why the Caribbean region itself. I will be willing to
They have not built increased primary focus of the EPA is on building a defend before the WTO the flexibility the
competitiveness in agriculture or any regional Caribbean market that will EU will offer in liberalization, and the
other sector. They have not promoted encourage inward investment and attract exceptions it will be willing to make on
agricultural or economic diversification. trade. sensitive products, if we achieve a
Preferential access has not helped An EPA can do that by, first, promoting reasonable balance of measures in the EPA
Caribbean countries develop to compete in regional integration. This is what we have negotiation.
a global economy; in fact it may well have focused on in negotiations up to now. In Crucially, alongside the EPA, the EU
done the opposite. the EU, regional integration has helped will be helping Caribbean economies
The current trade agreements between European countries specialise, benefit diversify and develop by channeling
the EU and the Caribbean are part of the from economies of scale and boost development assistance to its productive
Cotonou Agreement and are exempted investment. A single set of rules for trade base. Since 1994 the EU has provided
from WTO rules by a waiver we obtained in goods, services and investment makes it some €400 million to help banana
with great difficulty from the rest of the easier to trade within a given region. It has producing countries in the Eastern
WTO membership in 2001. That waiver worked for Europe and, on a different Caribbean adapt and diversify – and to
expires in 2008, and we agreed to scale, we believe it can work in the provide a social safety net for those
introduce a WTO-compatible, pro-devel- Caribbean as well. The work of creating an producers leaving the sector. On a regional
opment agreement before then. effective single market in the Caribbean level, some €50 million is lined up to
We are determined to get the best is well advanced and is at the heart of the support regional economic integration.
possible deal for the Caribbean. The EPA EPA process. There will be more to come.
will provide at least the same access to the The Economic Partnership Agreement The EU is strongly committed to
EU market as Caribbean states currently responding to the unique development
receive under the Cotonou Agreement. challenges of development in the
However we must do more than just
‘The Economic Caribbean and is determined to help the
reproduce the status quo. Cotonou's trade Partnership Agreement is not region manage economic change. Where
arrangements with Europe provide access there are difficult transitions to be made
for goods but they do not substantially
only a free trade agreement. the EU will stand by the Caribbean for the
contribute to Caribbean competitiveness. It is an instrument that we long haul. The Caribbean can assuredly
That is why both sides feel that the prosper in the global economy. Both the
EPA need to be about more than market are jointly designing to help EU and the governments of the Caribbean
access. They need to be about creating the the region become more believe that an Economic Partnership
conditions for fostering sustainable growth Agreement is the right tool to help bring
and development. The Caribbean needs to competitive’ this about.
Commission welcomes decision
for complete untying of aid
he European Commission has concretely the partner country to become a The remaining part of EC aid will be open
adopted two regulations on access major actor of its own development, not only to other donors upon the condition that they
to external assistance which will in political terms but also as an operational untie their own aid, according to the principle
establish an unprecedented level of actor. of reciprocity. This represents a generous
untying of aid. The tying of aid is the European Commissioner for evelopment offer for those donors that do not yet untie
granting of aid on the condition that it will be and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, their aid. It could bring an additional value
linked to the purchase of goods and services presented this agreement as "a concrete for money of 1.2 billion euro.
from the donor country. delivery that proves that we have taken The regulations also entail several
In the past, the tying of aid has been a seriously the commitments we made on aid operational simplifications favouring more
major impediment to its effectiveness. This effectiveness in the UN Summit". joint actions between donors. They constitute
consensual decision represents a remarkable In the new regulations, all aid to the Least further implementation of the principles and
step toward the enhancement of European Developed Countries will be unilaterally commitments agreed by the European Union
Commission aid effectiveness. untied. All expertise will be untied and based in the High Level Forum on harmonization
The Council and the Parliament have only on its dual criteria of quality and price. and the so-called "Paris Declaration" on aid
agreed to the Commission's approach that Also, food aid will be untied. In total, 30 per effectiveness.
goes far beyond a trade negotiation between cent of all EC aid will be completely untied.
donors. It puts the partner country at the According to international agreed estimations
centre and advocates an intelligent use of the this would create a better value for money of The text of the Regulations can be
concept of untying that also supports up to 500 million euro. This goes much downloaded at the following address:
regional integration, capacity building and further than the existing limited international http://europa.eu.int/comm/develop-
the development of local markets. It helps consensus that covers two per cent of aid. ment/index_en.htm
Showcasing the EU at the International Trade Expo
Head of Delegation, Gerd Jarchow greets Minister of Local
Government, Community Development and Sport Portia
Simpson Miller at the October staging of the annual International
Trade Expo held at the Jamaica Pegasus. Minister Simpson Miller Staff of the Delegation of the European Commission to Jamaica, Janice Gayle
was accompanied on a tour of booths by Dean of Consular Corps and Joan Alert distribute educational material on the EU and its programmes
Arnold Foote Snr (centre). to a guest at the Expo.