5th CARICOM-DR Business ForumTrade in Services working committee Nirad Tewarie - TTCSI
Background Trade in Services Committee • CARICOM-DR Business Forum established June, 2006 • 3rd CARICOM-DR Business Forum (June 13, 2008) Trade in Services Working Committee established • TTCSI Chair • Draft TOR proposed by TTCSI • Ultimate objective is to increase services trade flows between CARICOM/DR
Services Environment • Services element of CARICOM-DR Agreement deferred and not negotiated • Services element now superseded by the EPA’s provisions on services and investment? • Regional Preference Clause Art. 238, whatever preference the MDCs (B’dos, JAM, T&T and Suriname) offered to the EC, they must also offer the same to DR and vice versa? • Effective for MDCs one year after the signature of the agreement and LDCs, after two years. • DR, CARICOM commitments are found in Annex IV of the Agreement. • However, there has been no definitive conclusion on whether this means that a services chapter is now irrelevant in the CARICOM-DR Agreement unless the intention is to go further than the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.
Challenges of Trade to the DR • 1) Political Issues • 2) Trust • 3) Knowledge • 4) Relative disinterest from CARICOM business community
In their own words… • Doing Business in DR is no differenttomanycountries in LA, themajorconcernwithdoing Business in DR howeversurroundswhathappensif a businessventuregoessour?
In their own words… The laws in the DR are very skewed to the local entity and can be very disadvantageous to the foreign entity.
In their own words… • When we were looking to expand our Oracle Business in that country we felt that this risk would be too great as Oracle themselves were burned by partnerships in the DR and lost millions of dollars as a result.
Anecdotes • Fashion industry expressed interest and after exploring now say its too difficult… • AMEC project & Caribbean ICT Network – it sometimes appears that DR wants to interact only on their own terms…
Suggestions • Work and push to resolve political issues • Law 173 statement from private sector • Definitive position on EPA Article 238 • More exchange of information – TIC opportunity
Suggestions • CARICOM trade facilitation office/officer in DR • CARIFORUM private sector review goods lists and make recommendations on how we can go forward • CARIFORUM private sector agree to a list of services which can be used to begin the negotiations