International Trade Working Paper

The International Trade Working Paper series promptly documents and disseminates reviews, analytical work and think-pieces to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to stimulate debates and discussions on issues that are of interest to developing countries in general and Commonwealth members in particular. The issues considered in the papers may be evolving in nature, leading to further work and refinement at a later stage.


Harnessing the Caribbean’s External Trade Partnerships

Opportunities and Challenges

In a dynamic, rapidly liberalising and fiercely competitive international environment, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries see the pooling of their national efforts through the Caribbean Single Market and Economy as a central plank for overcoming their numerous constraints and advancing their economic growth and sustainable development. However, to succeed in the often challenging and fiercely competitive international setting, strategic and supportive external partnerships are vital. The region has therefore been exploring new relationships while it seeks to strengthen and deepen those that have existed for some time, to ensure that they make the intended contribution to helping the region achieve its goals.

Caribbean countries are pursuing their trade and investment relations with their established partners while also expanding economic relations with hemispheric partners and other emerging global players. The shifting global trade landscape, however, has implications for the region and for its trade and economic policy.

This discussion paper undertakes a preliminary exploration of some of the initiatives and relationships, both new and long-standing, that have an impact on the region’s trade and economic performance. These include the European Union and its economic partnership agreement with the Caribbean Forum, the USA (Caribbean Basin Initiative) and Canada (CARICOM–Canada free trade area negotiations). It will also look at the shifting global trade landscape, including the emergence of mega regional trade areas such as the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement.


Keywords: CARIFORUM-EU EPA, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), trade partnerships, Caribbean Basin Initiative, Brexit
JEL: R11: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics / General Regional Economics / Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes; F6: International Economics / Economic Impacts of Globalization; F15: International Economics / Trade / Economic Integration; F13: International Economics / Trade / Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
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