As a result of Britain’s recent exit from the European Union (BREXIT), Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, on Thursday tabled the Order to legally bring into effect the CARIFORUM-United Kingdom (UK) EPA and to ratify Guyana’s partnership with the UK.
Just prior to the conclusion of 2020, and immediately before BREXIT came into force, the Finance Minister had signed the Order, while noting that access to the UK market would remain uninterrupted once the new CARIFORUM-UK pact was promulgated.
The Ministerial Order, signed on December 30, 2020, sought to bring into effect as of January 1, 2021, the latter agreement to allow for continuity of the already existing preferential trading and investment relations for CARIFORUM states which trade with the UK.
Following the June 23, 2016, UK referendum to exit the EU and the concerns raised about the likely negative impact this would have on regional trade, CARIFORUM Ministers and the UK Government agreed to a rollover of the CARIFORUM-EU-EPA to take effect once the UK finally exited the EU.
The rollover agreement resulted in the CARIFORUM-UK EPA and would allow for a seamless process to ensure uninterrupted market access and other EPA benefits for itself and for CARIFORUM in trade with the UK.
After he tabled the Order, Minister Singh reiterated that his government considers the United Kingdom a very highly valued trade and economic partner and for that reason places the highest importance on ensuring a seamless transition to the post-BREXIT dispensation in the interest of ensuring uninterrupted market access as well as continued and increasing levels of trade between the two countries.
The Order is expected to come up for debate at the next sitting of the National Assembly. (Ministry of Finance press release)