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Caribbean – Trade – European Commission

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In October 2008 Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic signed the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU.

Haiti signed the agreement in December 2009, but is not applying it yet, pending its ratification.

The EU-CARIFORUM Economic Partnership in practice

Trade picture

Caribbean countries:

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago

  • The EU is CARIFORUM’s second-largest trading partner, after the US.
  • The main exports from the Caribbean to the EU are fuel and mining products, notably petroleum gas and oils, bananas, sugar and rum, minerals (notably gold, corundum, aluminium oxide and hydroxide), iron ore products, and fertilisers
  • The main imports into the Caribbean from the EU are boats, ships, cars, constructions vehicles and engine parts, phone equipment, milk and cream, and spirit drinks

EU-Caribbean Countries: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2017-2019, € billions

Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 3.5 6.6 3.1
2018 3.8 7.0 3.2
2019 4.6 7.0 2.5

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 22/04/2020

More statistics on Caribbean

EU and Caribbean

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA):

  • helps the two regions invest in and trade with each other
  • provides predictable EU market access for these countries
  • will gradually open the EU market in services, including creative and entertainment industries
  • ensures duty-free-quota-free market access into the EU for all products
  • EU exports of sensitive products will gradually be liberalised over a period of 25 years
  • makes it possible for CARIFORUM companies to set up a commercial presence in the EU

The EPA includes a free trade agreement (FTA) which opens up trade in goods between the two regions. Unlike other FTAs, the EPA helps their development through trade:

  • opening up trade in services and investment
  • making it easier to do business in the Caribbean – like rules to ensure fair competition
  • coming financial support from the EU to help:
  • governments implement the accord
  • businesses to use the EPA to export more and attract more outside investment

CARIFORUM countries have been integrating more closely with each other. The EPA helps by making it easier to export goods and services between:

  • all the countries that make up CARIFORUM;
  • 17 Caribbean territories with direct links to EU countries (four French ‘outermost regions’ and 13 overseas territories – six British, six Dutch and one French)

The CARIFORUM – EU EPA entered into provisional application in December 2008. Reviews of the agreement take place every five years.

A study of the agreement’s impact happened between 2013 and 2014.

Meetings and documents on implementation

Both parties meet regularly to discuss EPA implementation. For more information, please consult:

Trading with Caribbean