JG - Region needs to get busy now to take advantage of EPA - Golding
Region needs to get busy now to take advantage of EPA - Golding
published: Sunday March 9, 2008
Prime Minister Bruce Golding has called on Caribbean companies to come together in joint ventures because each country acting independently will not be able to penetrate European markets nor be able to achieve the levels of efficiency that each country requires to get into and dominate those markets. He says the economic partnership agreement (EPA) will provide a challenge to which the region must respond.
Golding was speaking at a press briefing yesterday afternoon at the 19th Intercessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government in The Bahamas, following his pre-sentation on the implications of the Cariforum/EU economic partnership agreement and the appropriate strategy for future trade negotiations. He said CARICOM countries can now invite investors across the world to invest domestically in order to get into the European market, duty free and quota free.
"This is a great opportunity to attract foreign investment, but the foreign investments won't arrive in the region, we have to go into the investment markets. It is a commodity and it has to be marketed," Golding stated.
The prime minister said Caribbean countries needed to find the right niches because there was a European market of 450 million people, and if the region could penetrate even a small part of that market, then thousands of jobs could be created for Caribbean people. He said Jamaica was playing its part in putting a great deal of effort behind creating a brand which would be used to impact the market. "If we sit around and wait on the EPA to transform our lives, it will never happen. We need to get busy," Golding noted.