Advantages of the EPA

The outgoing head of the European Union delegation in the Dominican Republic, Dino Sinigallia, points out that the fund to help Dominican producers to learn how to export to Europe is a major difference between the European Partnership Agreement (EPA), the European free trade agreement and the DR-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), signed with the United States. As reported in Clave Digital, Sinigallia said that from 2008-2013, RD$1.5 billion would be available to hone Dominican exporters’ skills and local competitiveness. “Cooperation for development is an integral part of the agreement and it seeks to ensure that the Caribbean countries can maximize the opportunities and adjust to the challenges,” he said. Sinigallia pointed out that the European Fund for Development is a EUR350 million fund of donations, not loans to help development in the Caribbean. Sinigallia also pointed out that the DR agreed not to grant trade advantages to emerging countries, such as Brazil, China and India that have not been conceded to Europe. The European Partnership Agreement was approved this month, and will begin to be implemented for duty free exports to Europe in January, and for duty free exports to the DR starting in April.