Guyana has officially signed on to the new agreement that will govern trade and investment between the United Kingdom and the CARIFORUM group of countries following the UK’s exit from the European Union.
CARIFORUM is made up of the member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic.
The UK is Guyana’s largest trading partner in Europe and sixth-largest trading partner overall. It accounts for 2.1 per cent of imports, 8.8 per cent of all exports and is an important market for exports of sugar, rice and rum.
Previously, CARIFORUM countries engaged in trade with the UK as part of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Last week, Dr Ashni Singh, senior minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, signed and issued a Ministerial Order that gives effect to the CARIFORUM-UK EPA.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation noted that the Ministerial Order brings into effect, from January 1, the CARIFORUM-UK EPA which will serve as the fundamental mechanism that ensures continuity in the existing preferential trading and investment relations and facilitate uninterrupted market access and other EPA benefits for CARIFORUM states in trade with the UK.
“The CARIFORUM-UK EPA is a roll-over agreement from the CARIFORUM-EU EPA as it replicates all relevant sections of the existing EPA with necessary technical and administrative changes to make the agreement operable in a CARIFORUM-UK context,” the statement noted.