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EPA letdown

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

EPA letdown

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TO THE “DISMAY” of Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Maxine McClean, it seems Barbados has had to return $1 million it was given as part of the Economic Partnership Agreement process.
Speaking this morning at a Cave Hill School of Business breakfast conference, McClean said, “to my dismay about $1 million was returned to a fund and not because people didn’t apply for it but because some officers, and I am not cussing all civil servants, don’t let anybody say that I did that, but where people don’t seem to appreciate the importance and the purpose of delivering”.
“We can negotiate anything but I don’t sit down and write cheques or interview somebody for a grant and therefore it is critical that people understand what there is.”
She agreed there was an inadequate private sector response to the EPA provisions, but also identified  “difficult times” in making the marriage with the Dominican Republic work, and the fact that European countries now had their own financial challenges and “some things are reversing” as other significant challenges. (SC)