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OTN Special Update (the EPA Built-In Agenda) 2010-12-09
OTN Special Update (the EPA Built-In Agenda) 2010-12-09
OTN Special Update (the EPA Built-In Agenda) 2010-12-09
OTN Special Update (the EPA Built-In Agenda) 2010-12-09
OTN Special Update (the EPA Built-In Agenda) 2010-12-09
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OTN Special Update (the EPA Built-In Agenda) 2010-12-09

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  • 1. SPECIALOFFICE OF TRADE NEGOTIATIONS … for trade matters OTN Update December 8, 2010 The EPA Built-in Agenda The negotiation of the CARIFORUM-EU1 Economic Services and Investment Partnership Agreement was completed in 2007 and the Agreement was signed in 2008. However, the In the subject area of Services, Article 62 speaks to Agreement contains what is referred to as a built-in a commitment of the Parties to engage in further agenda for future negotiations in a number of areas. negotiations on investment and trade in services, That agenda addresses the commitments the Parties no later than five years from the date of entry into have made regarding future work that they will force of the EPA with the aim of enhancing the undertake with respect to a number of disciplines under overall commitments undertaken. the Agreement. There is also a similar commitment towards progressive liberalization of Investment as specified in Article 74. In this regard, the Parties have agreed to review the legal framework, the investment environment, and the flow of investment between them consistent with their commitments in international agreements. This is to be undertaken 1 The Treaty of Lisbon, which was signed on December 13 2007, no later than three years after the entry into force of amended the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community. Following its entry into force on December the EPA and at regular intervals thereafter. Also 1, 2009, the economic and political union of 27 European states is with respect to Services, the EPA speaks to the referred to as the European Union. The former nomenclature, the European Community (EC) has been superseded. commencement of negotiations of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) no later than OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  • 2. 2three years after entry into force. Under Article 85 of it is expected that CARIFORUM and the EU will usethe EPA, both sides have made the commitment to the recommendations to negotiate an agreementencourage professional bodies to develop and provide on mutual recognition through their assignedrecommendations on mutual recognition of procedures competent authorities.for the authorization, licensing, operation andcertification of investors and service suppliers. It is The movement towards an MRA in architecture inintended that mutual recognition agreements will be particular has been building momentum. In thisnegotiated in sectors such as accounting, architecture, regard, a Memorandum of Understanding wasengineering and tourism. signed in November 2009 between the Association of Commonwealth Societies of Architects in theMRAs set out the arrangements and conditions Caribbean (ACSAC), the Federation of Caribbeanthrough which trade partners are able to accept each Association of Architects (FCAA) and the Globalother’s methods of accrediting professionals in the Foundation for Democracy and Development -respective educational and certification systems. While Center for the Study of Architecture, Urbanthe EU has regulations which facilitate the mutual Planning and Habitat of the Dominican Republicrecognition of diplomas exclusively for EU nationals, (CEDARQ-FUNCLODE), and the Architects Councilfor non-EU nationals, the right of professional service of Europe (ACE).providers to practise in one EU member state does notautomatically confer the right to practise in another. The MOU reflected an intention to cooperate inThe establishment of MRAs with European various areas and exchange information with acounterparts will be of benefit to CARIFORUM view to negotiating a Mutual Recognitionprofessionals because the agreements will create an Agreement.arrangement that will assist the reduction of the At a meeting convened in June 2010 by theadministrative burden, time and cost of meeting Government of Curacao, the EU and Caribbean-domestic requirements in each EU Member State Export for Regional Architects and Interiormarket where they do business. Designers, a second MOU was signed between theThe process of the negotiation of MRAs is largely a FCAA, the ACSAC, the Unie Van Architected inprivate sector driven exercise which emphasises Suriname (UAS), and the Society of Antilleandialogue and consultation between relevant Architects & Engineers (SAIA) of the British Virginprofessional bodies in CARIFORUM and the EU. Islands.Based on negotiations amongst themselves, This MOU designated FCAA as a coordinator ofprofessional bodies of both regions will be expected to some specific MRA related activities, andeventually make recommendations on mutual recognized the need for an intra-Caribbean MRArecognition to the CARIFORUM-EU Trade and (the latter was a major conclusion of the meeting).Development Committee which will assess the FCAA has already written formally to the Architectsconsistency of those recommendations with the EPA. If Council of Europe advising them of the progressit is determined that there is sufficient correspondence made and plans.in the regulation of the professions in each region, then OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  • 3. 3With respect to the OTN’s work plan in the area of which may impact the way the origin of goods isMRAs, an OTN/TradeCom Project that supports MRA determined. Any modifications of the ROO shall bepreparations is being rolled out. That project facilitates effected by a decision of the Joint CARIFORUM-EUthe undertaking of comparative analyses of both intra- Council.CARIFORUM and CARIFORUM-EC qualification-related regulations for architects which will (i) identify Regarding Competition Policy, six (6) years afterthe specific negotiating objectives in an MRA, (ii) the specified CARIFORUM Competition authoritiesdevelop a CARIFORUM model-MRA, and (iii) facilitate are established, the operation of the Competitiona mission between CARIFORUM and the EC that will Policy Chapter is to be reviewed. One of theallow CARIFORUM professionals to meet with their primary areas to be canvassed in the review is thatEuropean professional counterparts and to explore of enforcement cooperation between the Parties.markets there. The expectation is that by that time, CARIFORUM Competition authorities will have developedA similar study was also approved by TradeCom for sufficient practice and experience in theCARIFORUM Engineers. Both studies were started in enforcement of the competition policy rules. It isOctober 2010 and will be concluded in December further anticipated that having the benefit of such2010. It is hoped that a similar facility can be created experience will better enable CARIFORUM to comefor Accountants. to an agreement with the EU on the expansion of the scope of the enforcement cooperationThe work being marshalled in this vein will also provisions, as well as the scope of theprovide useful insights which could help inform the CARIFORUM entities with which the Europeanstrategy and proposals developed with respect to the Commission will cooperate.treatment of professional services in the CARICOM-Canada negotiations for a Trade and Development The built-in agenda also addresses IntellectualAgreement. Property. With respect to Geographical Indications the Agreement has allowed for discussions on protection of products as Geographical Indications. Possible Geographical Indications in theOther Areas of Interest CARIFORUM States are to be submitted to theThe EPA also addresses a commitment of the Parties Trade and Development Committee for discussionto continue to address Rules of Origin (ROO) as well and comment within the first six months after theas Competition Policy. With respect to Rules of Origin, Agreement enters into force. The Trade andwithin the first five years of the entry into force, the Development Committee is the institutional platformParties are expected to review the provisions related which provides the opportunity to exchangeto ROO, with a view to further simplifying the concepts experience with European specialists on, forand methods used for determining origin. This review example, retrieving Geographical Indications fromwill take into account the likely developments in use as generic terms.technologies, production processes and other factors, OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  • 4. 4The Agreement also includes provisions on Agreement. With respect to the review of the Rulescooperation to identify and develop CARIFORUM of Origin within the first five years of the entry intoGeographical Indications to the point where they force for instance, it would be impractical that ahave acceptable grounds for legal protection before review of the ROO take place, for example, in the1 January 2014, the date by which the year 2023, 3 years after the year of entry into forceCARIFORUM States must establish a system for of 2020, and 15 years after the signing andthe protection of Geographical Indications. provisional application of the Agreement. Arguably, it would be in the interest of both Parties for a review of the ROO and thus the entry into force, to take place much earlier than this schedule wouldManagement of timing allow. The example as illustrated outlines anMost of the work scheduled under the built-in unlikely scenario. However, the point is that theagenda relates to timeframes that are contingent date of entry into force and the dates of signatureupon the entry into force of the agreement. The and provisional application of the Agreement areEPA will enter into force after the Parties have not meant to be incongruously separated by longnotified each other that they have completed the timeframes.procedures necessary for this purpose. In so doing, That aside, in the interim period before entry intothe Parties will have expressed their consent to be force is effected, much preparatory work related tobound by the Agreement. Provisional application of the built-in agenda will need to be put in train asthe Agreement, which took effect on December 29, soon as possible. In this regard, the Region will2008, has enabled the signatory states to derive need to prioritize the planning of technical work andbenefit from the Agreement until it enters into force. activities which will need to be conducted toThe domestic procedures that are necessary for support the commencement and completion of theentry into force of the EPA vary across the built-in agenda. This planned programme will needCARIFORUM states. In most cases, a decision of to be executed at both the regional and nationalthe Cabinet will suffice though this does not levels.preclude referral of the matter to the legislature. Incontrast, in Antigua and Barbuda, Haiti, the The commencement of work on the built-in agendaDominican Republic and Suriname, an act of the by CARIFORUM States should be consideredlegislative branch of government is required. . separate to the programme of work and activities as outlined in part in the EPA Roadmap2 that isTo date, not all the CARIFORUM states have currently being carried out to facilitate thecompleted the necessary procedures to enableentry into force of the EPA. Therefore, correlatingtimelines related to the built in agenda will bedelayed until such processes are completed. 2However, in practical terms, entry into force should The EPA Roadmap is available at http://www.crnm.org/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_vinot follow an extensively protracted period after the ew&gid=72&Itemid=95signing and provisional application of the OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org
  • 5. 5implementation of the EPA. However, the as well as new spheres of cooperation that couldcommencement and later completion of the work further enhance the trade and investmentand activities identified under the built-in agenda relationship between CARIFORUM and Europe.will be essential to the realization of the full benefitsof the Agreement as previously shown, forexample, in the case of the negotiation of MRAs.Furthermore, CARIFORUM’s undertaking of the The Road Aheadrequired programme planning and initial In the cases of both CARIFORUM and the EU,preparatory work necessary to implement the built- completing the built-in agenda will be a challengingin agenda would the Region’s commitment and process fraught with many institutional,intent to honour the Agreement through ratification administrative and logistical hurdles. CARIFORUMand to engender the full realization of its potential itself faces many capacity constraints that add abenefits sooner rather than later. different dimension to their challenges. LimitedThe process that is contemplated to facilitate the capacity for extensive and sustained consensusimplementation of the built-in agenda is also of building and coordination of positions amongststrategic value to the Region. By facilitating a governments, and between governments and thetracking of its evolving trade relationship with private sector is a perennial problem withinEurope under the Agreement, the Region will be developing countries, albeit not unknown within thebetter positioned to navigate, adjust and coordinate Organisation for Economic Co-operation andits trade and development policies towards Europe Development (OECD) countries. The earlyas well as other key existing and potential trade planning and mapping of activities under the built inpartners. agenda would help to identify specific challenges as well as possible solutions to those challenges,The commitment to engage in further negotiations which could also be supported through the use ofin Services and Investment, for example, will the development assistance which has beenprovide the Region with an opportunity to negotiate earmarked under the Agreement.improved terms of access to the EU market. Suchterms should be consistent with the evolvingcapacity and development of the Region’s sectors. ***************At the same time, those terms should also bedeveloped to ensure that the Region captures thebenefits and trading opportunities that Europe mayaccord to its trading partners in the future. Thiscould involve not only a deeper and wider removalof restrictions to the EU market but could alsoinclude the establishment of new or more robustrules and disciplines on services and investment, OTN UPDATE is the flagship electronic trade newsletter of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN), formerly the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM). Published in English, it is a rich source of probing research on and detailed analyses of international trade policy issues and developments germane to the Caribbean. Prepared by the Information Unit of the OTN, the newsletter focuses on the OTN, trade negotiation issues within its mandate and related activities. Its intention is to provide impetus for feedback by and awareness amongst a variety of stakeholders, as regards trade policy developments of currency and importance to the Caribbean. http://www.crnm.org

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