About the Unit

In order to fulfill the decision by the Conference of the Heads of Government to ensure the implementation of the EPA at national level, the Cabinet agreed to establish a dedicated Unit for the implementation of the EPA within the Office of the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) within the Ministry of Finance, Economy and Public Administration in October 15th, 2009.

With financial support secured from the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund) managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), The Antigua & Barbuda EPA Implementation Unit commenced operations on November 2nd, 2010 with the overall responsibility of managing and coordinating the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA at the national level.

The main objectives of the EPA Implementation Unit are:-

  • To coordinate activities designed to fulfill national obligations from the EPA;
  • To facilitate the private sector in accessing development assistance to build capacity to take advantage of the increased market access into the EU market as well as compete with the European firms in their own market;
  • To heighten awareness amongst key stakeholders of the benefits, opportunities and challenges of the Agreement;
  • To monitor and report on accomplishments and gaps implementation to provide meaningful policy guidance on national and regional level, as well as joint institutional bodies under the Agreement;
  • To facilitate the building and upgrading of the regulatory framework to support the socio-economic activities and aid implementation of the Agreement.

Staff of the Unit

Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry

Head of Unit

Ambassador Henry serves as the National Authorising Officer for the European Development Fund and the Trade Coordinator charged with the responsibility of CARICOM and CARIFORUM issues.

Ms. Barbara Williams

National Implementation Coordinator

In this capacity, Ms. Williams manages the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement in Antigua & Barbuda. She has direct responsibility for the implementation of the services commitments, as well as overseeing the other activities pertaining to implementation nationally.

Since 2003, Ms. Williams previously held the position of Senior Research Officer in the Division of Trade, Industry and Commerce. In this capacity, she served as Focal Point for Antigua & Barbuda on the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, attended the Council of Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and other regional and international meetings pertaining to trade issues. She has also advised the public and private sector on the trade commitments undertaken by Antigua & Barbuda on the multilateral, regional and bilateral platform.

Ms. Williams holds an MBA in Business Administration from the University of Leicester, England and a BS in Political Science from the University of the West Indies – Cave Hill.