Guyana secures €500M for sugar protocol ACP countries
Guyana has successfully sourced some 500M euros for the 18 former sugar protocol countries in the African Caribbean and Pacific countries.
The money will be paid out between the period 2011 and 2013.
This is according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett who yesterday announced that Guyana assumed chairmanship of the ACP at the beginning month for a period of six months.
She said that the money represents a second tranche from the European Union and will be for the countries affected by the price cuts under the Economic Partnership Agreement.
It was pointed out that with Guyana as chair of the ACP the country will be seeking to establish relations with China and Brazil adding that the grouping is not just about relations with the European Union.
She said that Guyana believes that the ACP should be speaking with other countries.
The Minister pointed out that consultations will be held as it relates to the EPA signed adding that it is only CARIFORUM which has signed the agreement.
She said that the other countries have similar difficulties with EPA and Guyana will seek to have the issues resolved.
The Minister said that the European Union must recognize that many of the ACP countries have capacity constraints.
The ACP was established by way of the Georgetown declaration in 1975 and consists of 79 member states.
Guyana has played a major role in the establishment off the ACP according to the Minister and over the years has had a keen interest in the work of the ACP.
She said that Guyana chairs the ACP consultative group on sugar and has initiated a study to look at the impact of the loss of preferential treatment for ACP exports to the EU.
“We believe that this is necessary because while we are being told of the benefits of the EPA other markets are opening up and we need to see how it would impact on our markets.”