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EU and the Caribbean seal economic partnership with ground-breaking trade dealy

The European Union and countries of the Caribbean region have signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which will strengthen ties between the two regions and promote regional integration in the Caribbean.

The EPA is the fi rst genuinely comprehensive North-South trade and development agreement in the global economy. It includes a package of measures to stimulate trade, investment and innovation, and to promote sustainable development, build a regional market among Caribbean countries and help eliminate poverty.

Some key benefi ts of the EPA:

• Offers up front access to EU markets for Caribbean exports;
• Allows Caribbean markets to open gradually with extensive safeguards to protect local jobs
and sensitive sectors;
• Frees up trade in the servicessector to promote growth and investment;
• Promotes cooperation in innovation programmes;
• Protects labour and environment standards in the Caribbean;
• Helps Caribbean exporters meet EU and international standards.

The EPA will mean much closer cooperation and dialogue between the two regions on all these issues
and is backed with substantial EU development aid.

Source: European Commission
http://ec.europa.eu