TEPA Newsletter – May 2017

Interest at Agroalimentaria 2017

The five Saint Lucian product lines spotlighted at the just concluded Agroalimentaria 2017 trade show in the Dominican Republic (DR) held their own and attracted interest from host country buyers as well as those from  Dubai, Martinique, the US, France, Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. The Saint Lucia Trade Export… Read More…

Training for ITC Analyst Certification

Approximately 40 persons from private and public sector agencies take the first step towards ITC Trade Analyst certification on Monday May 22nd. The opportunity is made possible with their participation in a six-week eCourse on Market Analysis and Research, which is a joint initiative of the Saint Lucia… Read More…

National Export Strategy 2017-2022

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were recognized as a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de Janeiro… Read More…

Global Value Chain Workshop

As trade across borders becomes more difficult we see countries and companies adopt different strategies to ensure a high level of competitiveness with other global parties and to explore opportunities that will lead to “Upgrading “their products or services within the “Global Value Chain”. Read More…

ASK Anthony


This article focuses on trade agreements and the value they bring for companies in developing countries. Free trade agreements are the result of rounds of negotiations between two or more sovereign countries and protect the reciprocal unencumbered movement of goods and services between the countries. The categories of trade agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO) are:

  1. Unilateral (non-reciprocal) trade preferences (usually referred to as preferential trade arrangements (PTAs)), fall under the General System of Preferential schemes (GSPS) where developed countries grant preferential tariffs on imports from developing countries. An example of this is Canada’s Market Access Initiative, which allows goods originating from least developed countries (LDCs) to have duty-free and quota free access to the Canadian market.
  2. Bilateral agreements such as Canada-Jordan and Canada-Peru to name a few, which are FTAs between two countries.
  3. Multilateral trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which is between Canada, Mexico and the United States of America and the concluded Canada-European Union;
  4. Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which are FTAs between more than two countries.

It should be noted that there are regional trade agreements (RTA) which embody reciprocal trade agreements and customs unions between two or more countries. Examples of RTAs include the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the European Union (EU).


  1. After a FTA has come into force, the reductions and/or eliminations of customs duties are not immediate. Usually there is a negotiated gradual reduction over a period of time.
  2. Origin of goods is very important when exported under FTAs. In these instances, rules of origin under the WTO are invoked so that countries that are not party to the FTA do not benefit from the preferential arrangements. A certificate of origin is required to accompany the documentation for entry of goods.
  3. Recently negotiated FTAs now include greater detailed intellectual property rights (innovation as an economic driver), labour mobility (growth in service industries) and investment protection provisions.
  4. Environmental sustainability has become a factor in FTA negotiations over the recent years and, with Canada’s recent commitment to the Paris agreement on climate change, it will become an integral part of future trade agreements negotiated by Canada.
  5. FTAs usually benefit specific sectors in a country’s economy. Countries that have FTAs could capitalize on this by making the respective private sector groupings (within said agreement) aware of the benefits. Countries should create economic development programs to maximize preferential treatments of the FTAs.

Source: Trade Facilitation Organisation (TFO) Canada

Trade Information

Thinking about expanding your export base? You may want to get a general idea of the business environment in your target market. That information may very well assist in your decision making process as concerns which market would be the best to venture into. See some guides from TEPA’s Trade Information portal here http://tepa.org.lc/category/doing-business-guides/

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