Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries have expressed concern about not reaping potential benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), signed with Europe in 2008, eighteen years ago.  This was summarized in a statement following the 23rd meeting of the Council of CARIFORUM Ministers held in Guyana the week ending Friday, February 18.   Reviewing the EPA, the meeting of the organization concluded that the region “had as yet to meaningfully reap the potential benefits of the Agreement”.

The statement noted that the commonly held view was that CARIFORUM committed itself and signed a comprehensive EPA, yet it has not “harvested the windfalls” which seemed to have been held out as rewards for early signature of the Agreement.

According to the statement, ministers in attendance at the meeting recorded “deep concern” that a recent declaration on taxation in the European Union had the potential to negatively impact the economies of a number of member states.

The meeting took note that CARIFORUM and EU senior officials held a political dialogue session in Guyana on March 15, 2016, at which the Union provided an update on the European Union’s recent communication on an External Strategy for Effective Taxation as part of its Anti-tax Avoidance Package.