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September 13, 2013

Country Visit of Consultant on OAS/OECS Study – “Implementing The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement – Legal Review And Design Of Projects In Trade In Services And Investment for OECS”.

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States with support from the Regional EPA Implementation Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat and the Organisation of American States (OAS) through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funding launched a five month consultancy on ‘Implementing The CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement – Legal Review And Design Of Projects In Trade In Services And Investment for OECS‘. The aim of the consultancy was to undertake a review of the EPA against the domestic legislation to set the foundation for harmonization across OECS countries. This two-part consultancy will identify the pieces of legislation related to services trade and investment that need to be brought into conformity with the EPA, including suggested legislative changes and draft text, for each Member States. After this analysis, projects will be identified and designed to assist with the conformity of the OECS countries’ legislation with the EPA.

As part of the consultancy, Dr. Kathy-Ann Browne, the consultant, made country visits to all six independent states of the OECS. On February 21st and 22nd, 2011, Dr. Browne visited Antigua & Barbuda and conducted meetings with various stakeholders organised by the Antigua & Barbuda EPA Implementation Unit. During her two-day visit, Dr. Browne met with Financial Services Regulatory Commission, Intellectual Property and Commerce Office, Investment Authority, Ministry of Telecommunications, Ministry of Finance and the Economy, Division of Trade, Industry and Commerce, Chamber of Commerce and various professional bodies, such as Association of Professional Engineers, Institute of Architects, Insurance Association, Contractors Association and Institute of Chartered Accountants. During the consultations, the consultant inquired on the progress of various obligations pertaining to the EPA as well as the challenges that could be corrected through adequate legislation.

After the country visit, there will be a validation seminar on the draft report in June 2011 and final report should be available for comments in August 2011. The Unit will then take the necessary steps to implement the recommendations in the finalised report.

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