Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 12, 2022 (SKNIS): Minister of International Trade, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas is currently representing St. Kitts and Nevis at the October 11-12 Joint CARIFORUM – European Union (EU) Ministerial Meeting in Barbados.
The meeting was convened to witness the launch of a new framework for CARIFORUM-EU Cooperation which is outlined in the Caribbean Regional Multi-Annual Indicative Programme, while providing political guidance for CARIFORUM-EU Cooperation and future flagship programmes.
Minister of Trade of Antigua, the Honourable Chet Greene, is the lead spokesperson for CARIFORUM.
It is anticipated that the meeting of CARIFORUM Ministers and the EU Commissioner will engender lively and frank discussions with realistic outcomes. For the Caribbean, the Post Cotonou Agreement has enshrined objectives which address the specificity of the region and its intrinsic vulnerability of its small economies to external shocks. Some of these objectives include the promotion of trade and development, transitioning to a sustainable and diversified economy that supports decent jobs and growth.
St. Kitts and Nevis as a CARIFORUM Member State continues to benefit from a number of funding programmes financed by the EU including support under the 11th EDF which is set to expire by the end of 2022 and will be replaced by the Neighbourhood Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). Discussions on this new source of development cooperation would feature high on the agenda.
The region has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with the EU for almost half a century since the first LOME Agreement. The Lomé Convention is a trade and aid agreement between the European Economic Community (EEC) and 71 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries, first signed in February 1975 in Lomé, Togo.
The partnership agreement between the European Union and the Member States of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Post Cotonou Agreement will replace the Cotonou Agreement as a source of development assistance to CARIFORUM. The Agreement has the overall objective of strengthening political partnerships to generate mutually beneficial outcomes.