Santo Domingo.- Industry and Commerce minister Jose del Castillo assumed CARIFORUM’s pro tempore Presidency for the 2nd Meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which he’ll preside over in Brussels, Belgium, on October 27.
The European Union Presidency was assigned to Trade Commissioner Karel De Gutch, with the participation of nine trade ministers from the Caribbean region, where they discussed the implementation of the EPA and other topics of interest, such as the focus to differentiate the EU’s cooperation policies.
Del Castillo said the "GDP per capita indicator should not be the main criterion for determining the degree of a country's sustained growth,” and suggested other economic variables such as levels of poverty, vulnerability, inequality and levels of indebtedness.
He noted that the use of GDP per capita, as the sole indicator, not only could slow the pace to implement the EPA successfully in the Caribbean region, but could also lead to a decline in economic development and regional integration, which is encouraged with the development cooperation of the European Union.
Dominican Republic also participated in the 16th Meeting of ACP-EU Trade Ministers from October 24 to 26 in Brussels, where Del Castillo stressed the need to bolster trade capacities in small and medium businesses, which in his view is a key sector for economic development in developing countries.
Trade Ministers of in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific attended the meeting, together with their European counterparts.
Del Castillo led the Dominican delegation which included Foreign Trade General Director Katrina Naut Sención; Executive Secretary for Negotiations, Ambassador Luis Omar Fernandez, and World Trade Organization (WTO ) Ambassador in Geneva, Luis Manuel Piantini.