Cuba urges slashing tariffs on intra-Caribbean trade
Published December 08, 2014 EFE
Cuban President Raul Castro on Monday called for revising and updating
the trade and cooperation agreement between his country and the
Caribbean Community to scrap tariffs on 300 products.
“Small and vulnerable” countries need to receive “special treatment on
trade access and investments,” he said in an address inaugurating the
5th CARICOM-Cuba Summit in Havana.
Cuba also joins other Caribbean nations in demanding the removal of the
affected countries from “unilateral lists that hinder economic
development and trade with other countries,” he told heads of state and
other senior officials from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados,
Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis,
St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
While Communist Cuba has been under a U.S. economic embargo since 1962
and is on Washington’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, several
other Caribbean countries have been stigmatized for inadequate financial
regulation, among other things.
Regarding the current state of economic integration within CARICOM,
Castro said that fostering cross-border investment among Caribbean
countries “continues to be an outstanding issue.”
He also pointed to difficulties in transporting goods inside the region.
The Cuban leader urged Caribbean nations to come together in the face of
“shared challenges” such as climate change, health and education, as
well as to focus on the “post-2015 development agenda.”
“As small insular states and developing nations we face the challenge of
surviving and moving forward in a world convulsed by a global economic
crisis,” Castro said during the summit opening at the Palace of the
The Cuban president said his country will continue to share its “modest
achievements” in education and health as well as other areas like human
resources training, disaster management and the fight against Ebola.
CARICOM was founded in 1973 and the regional grouping’s first summit
with Cuba was held in 2002.
The meeting takes places every three years. EFE
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