CARICOM and the Republic of Cuba have committed to providing greater market access for goods under the existing trading arrangement between the two sides.
CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and Cuban Ambassador to CARICOM, Julio Cesar Gonzalez Marchante, have signed the Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between the Caribbean Community and the Republic of Cuba in Georgetown, Guyana, recently.
The Protocol deepens commercial relations among the parties to the Agreement, by affording regional private sector entities additional preferential access of 326 items into the Cuban market. These items include meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, beer, rum, cement, soaps and clothing.
Cuba will also have additional preferential access into the markets of CARICOM’s More Developed Countries, which include Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago on 72 items.
Of this number, 50 items will be granted immediate duty free access, while the remaining 22 items will be afforded differentiated treatment in these territories. Some of the items afforded immediate duty free access are fish, pharmaceutical products and electrical machinery.
The Protocol also provides a mechanism for bilateral investment between the parties through the use of Contact Points to facilitate communication on trade barriers, new trade, investment opportunities and other matters covered by the Agreement.
Trade and investment opportunities between Barbados and Cuba will be buttressed by further access to Cuba’s market of 11 million people as a result of the signing of the Second Protocol to the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement.