St. Kitts and Nevis was among nine countries to sign a post-Brexit trade agreement.
St. Kitts and Nevis was among nine countries to sign a post-Brexit trade agreement.

St. Kitts and Nevis was one of nine Caribbean countries which have signed an agreement to preserve existing preferential trade terms between their countries and the United Kingdom in a Post-Brexit era,  Lindsay Grant, Minister with of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, said.

The countries who signed were Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines . The remaining member states committed to sign the agreement after they complete their domestic procedures.

This took place in Castries, St Lucia at the 25th CARIFORUM Council of Ministers held at the Harbor Club Hotel between March 21 and March 23.  Minister Grant expressed his satisfaction that after months of negotiations with UK Trade Team and Senior Government Trade Officials in the region, led by the CARIFORUM Directorate and the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN),  the work had now materialised and yielded a mutually beneficial agreement.

He indicated that  “engagements over the past months sought to ensure a post Brexit Agreement that would have rolled over the terms of the CARIFORUM /EU Economic Partnership Agreement. He explained that the new agreement overs trade in goods, trade in services and trade-related issues such as Intellectual Property Rights. He also confirmed that  “this agreement is very much in line with his Government’s mandate of ensuring that trade remains a viable engine of growth.”

Grant said that the European Union (EU) remains an important trade partner for St. Kitts and Nevis and our CARIFORUM Colleagues and will remain in place. He used the opportunity to call on entrepreneurs and other players in the private sector to explore opportunities within this framework, even as we seek to improve implementation.

The EPA is the Trade and Development partnership signed in 2008 by the 15 states of CARIFORUM and the EU’s 28 countries. The goal is to make it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other, and to spur development across the Caribbean.