Abstracts of Papers Presented

Mr. Arthur Gray - Director, Foreign Policy and External Economic Relations, Caricom Secretariat, Guyana

"CARICOM and Preparations for FTA Negotiations."


In its twenty-three year history, CARICOM has had to adapt to changes in the international trading system; in recent times these changes have been more fundamental, including the move to trading blocs and tighter management of the international trade regime through the establishment of the World Trade Organisation… CARICOM is now also faced with a perceived loss of influence in international issues, limited human resources and the need for a more thorough, better prepared approach to trade negotiations. The author traces CARICOM's involvement in FTAs and describes its preparations for upcoming FTA negotiations through the creation of specialised negotiating bodies, and the training of negotiators.

Dr. J. Bernard Yankey - Director, OECS/EAS, St. John's, Antigua

"The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Free Trade Area of the Americas Negotiations."


The author briefly outlines the nature of the FTAA agreement and then discusses how OECS countries need to ready both their national economies as well as their negotiating capacity in preparation for entering the FTAA. He points to existing impediments to optimal participation in FTAA, specifically a lack of resources and the impact of member countries' perceptions regarding the nature of the process. An OECS strategy for addressing these concerns and preparing adequately for FTAA is then outlined. Presented, finally, are some of the issues participants at the Miami Summit agreed to focus on towards achieving a hemispheric free trade area.

Mr. Trevor Harker - Regional Economic Adviser, United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Port of Spain


"Small States and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)"


The primary issue faced by small states is increasing their negotiating space, argues the author. Their success in FTAA negotiations will be predicated upon their "potentials" and their "restrictions". In particular these states must consider their dependence on external trade and recognise the need for internal, especially monetary, policy reform. A number of recommendations are made on the steps small states need to take in preparation for FTAs and upcoming FTAA negotiations.

Anthony Gonzales - Senior Lecturer, Institute of International Relations, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.


"Reciprocity in Future ACP/EU Trade Relations with Particular Reference to the Caribbean."


Lomé, Caribcan, CBI, and other non-reciprocal trading arrangements such as MFN and GSP will be inadequate for stimulating trade and investment in ACP countries in the coming decades. The author feels that participation in Free Trade Areas would be more beneficial to these states in the long-term and advocates that Caribbean countries gradually move to full reciprocity with the EU. This paper discusses those issues - market access, transition to reciprocity, trade options, - which ACP and, more specifically Caribbean, states must confront as they prepare for such a transition.

Dr. Arnold McIntyre - Director, Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), Barbados


"The Role of Caribbean Export Development Agency in Preparing for Free Trade Agreements (FTA) Negotiations."


The author identifies a role for CEDA in FTA negotiation as well as in on-going support of these arrangements. He discusses the ways CEDA can assist negotiators through the provision of trade information and how it can contribute to greater private sector involvement in the negotiating process. CEDA's more important role, however, is in FTA support: advising governments on the policy implementation and institutional arrangements (such as market entry strategies and private sector alliances) necessary to stimulate trade with FTA partner countries. By working in this way with CEDA to put in place appropriate "facilitating conditions", Caribbean states can maximise the trading opportunities available to them through FTAs

Dr. David Lewis - Chief of Party, Caribbean Policy Project, Antigua


"Private Sector Preparations for Negotiations - A Caribbean Perspective


For the private sector to meaningfully contribute to the FTA negotiation process, it must be actively involved in regional preparations as manifested in such arrangements as a CARICOM Single Market and Economy . The author first overviews the contemporary hemispheric trading environment, considering the implications for the Caribbean region of the evolving FTAA-2005 process within the context of increasing trade liberalisation and reciprocity. Next, the impact of FTA negotiations on the private sector is addressed and, finally, the preparations necessary for maximising this sector's gain from the FTA process are discussed.



Mr. Eberhard Stahn - Head of Delegation, Delegation of the Commission of European Communities in Trinidad and Tobago, Port of Spain.


"The European Union and FTAs with Developing Countries."


The author explains the criteria used by the EU in deciding whether to negotiate an FTA. The current state of EU FTA negotiations with developing countries and the major issues affecting these arrangements is discussed. The author then examines FTA arrangements with ACP countries, briefly reviewing pertinent aspects of the Lomé Convention including negotiations over ACP product access. Annexed to the paper is a table representing EU FTA agreements with third countries.

Dietrich Kappeler - Director, Diplomatic Studies Programme, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.


"Malta and the European Union: Experience in Maximising Negotiating Capacity for Possible Entry into the European Union."


Situated in the very centre of the Mediterranean, the small island state of Malta represents a good example of economic resourcefulness. With no natural resources to speak of and negligible agricultural and fishing sectors, Malta has exploited its locational advantage to become a regional container distribution centre and a popular tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Today over 75% of the island's trade is with the European Community (EU) along with 80% of its tourist arrivals. In light of these essential financial and economic links, the present Government of Malta made a formal application for membership to the EU in 1990

Kappeler in this paper focuses on the political and strategic issues that Malta has had to address as a result of its application and the unique steps taken by the government to place the country in a favourable position for expected negotiations with the European Commission.

Dietrich Kappeler - Director, Diplomatic Studies Programme, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.


"The Impact of Information Technology On the Preparation and Support of Small State Participation in Economic Negotiations."




Kappeler in his paper seeks to highlight the ways in which traditional practices in diplomacy and negotiations are being enhanced through the use of Information Technology. He particularly throws out hope to small states, whose participation in diplomatic activities in the past has been severely compromised by among other things, limited access to appropriate and timely information; inadequate representation at important international gatherings; insufficient collaboration in pre-negotiations and limited communications during diplomatic exercises.

New possibilities are mentioned for diplomatic communications and governmental/inter-governmental networking via the Internet; electronic contacts and on-line consultation for multilateral and international negotiations; and the submission of views and the casting of vote for international meetings via wide area networks.