Talks on CARICOM-Canada Trade Pact to Conclude “No Later Than June”

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Above: St Vincent (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Negotiations on the long-awaited CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement are expected to conclude “no later than June 2014,” CARICOM’s Heads of Government said in a joint communique issued on Wednesday.

The region’s leaders received a report on the status of the negotiations during their meeting at the Buccament Bay resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In the statement, the region’s leaders said they “noted the state of play of negotiations arising from the fifth and sixth round of negotiations and expressed expectations of further progress being achieved in the continuation of the Sixth Round [of tlaks] at the end of March.”

The region’s reiterated their stated objective of negotiating a “pro-development agreement which takes account of the differences in the levels of development between CARICOM and Canada and which would support sustainable economic and social development of the peoples of the Region.”

Analysts have been urging CARICOM and Canada to reach an agreement on the trade deal.

Last year, a report from the Toronto-based CD Howe Institute said that, “Because a trade deal with CARICOM could serve as a model for future trade pacts with other countries, these negotiations should make the cut on Canada’s priority list.”

The two sides first launched the trade talks in 2007.

 

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