We know one of main drivers of globalisation has been the bilateral and multilateral efforts by governments to negotiate lower barriers to trade. This year has seen some big failures at the global multilateral level, with the collapse of the Doha Round of WTO negotiations (see the earlier Blog Entry on this).
This Economist article heralds the signing of an agreements between a group of Caribbean countries and the European Union which may increase considerably the trade flows between these two regions. The article also offers insight into the wide range of interested parties, and complex issues that arise in negotiating such agreements. The Caribbean currently engages in a mix of economic activities from agriculture, to tourism, business services (especially in the several countries which are tax havens), and textile manufacturing (helped by the complex import quotas in place in the US – discussed in that T-Shirt book).
As mentioned in the article, the new Agreement also reduces the restrictions on citizens of these regions moving internationally for work – more reggae music for Europe then?