Jamaica News: High Commissioner in London, His Excellency Seth George Ramocan, today (July 6), hosted two round-table discussions for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) sugar-producing countries.
The talks focused on ways to create sustainable long-term markets for Caribbean sugar producers through use of the Common External Tariff (CET) in CARICOM, and on the UK’s potential as a market for ACP sugar post-Brexit.
The discussions come against the background of changes made in the European Union (EU) sugar regime in October 2017, which resulted in the erosion of preferences, a sharp decline in the average selling prices for ACP sugar in the EU, and increased competition for ACP producers.
Countries in the Caribbean export up to 80 per cent of their sugar to the EU, and the removal of this key market poses a threat to the future of the regional sugar industry.
Both meetings were organised by the London-based Caribbean Council, which, with the support of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has produced a number of studies looking at different policy options, and conducted an economic impact assessment to assist sugar industry stakeholders and policymakers, especially in the Caribbean.
The round-table participants were briefed on the latest developments in CARICOM and the ACP on sugar and heard the findings of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) from its engagements with regional sugar manufacturers, as well as proposals to address the concerns of industrial sugar users in CARICOM through the use of the CET.
The ACP country representatives were encouraged to see Brexit as “a once in a generation opportunity” to restore value to the sugar industry, through ambitious and creative trade agreements with the UK.
Participants included Her Excellency Perla Perdomo, High Commissioner for Belize; His Excellency Christian Nkambule, High Commissioner for the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), and representatives from the High Commissions for Barbados, Fiji, Mauritius and Zambia; the Commonwealth Secretariat, and other sugar industry stakeholders.
Source: JIS News