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CARICOM, Turkey Considering Free Trade Pact

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
29 July, 2014

Leaders from Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states agreed with Turkey to launch negotiations towards a free trade agreement at the first CARICOM-Turkey Consultation and Cooperation Meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 18-20, 2014.

The Government of St Kitts and Nevis said that the attendance of eleven CARICOM Foreign Ministers, and senior representations from three others, demonstrated the importance attached by Caribbean states to boosting trade and business ties with Turkey.

It was agreed at the meeting that CARICOM will explore the possibility of establishing a joint embassy in Turkey with assistance from the Turkish Government; Turkey will establish a Caribbean Business Council to support Turkish businesses to invest in the region; and CARICOM and Turkey will explore the possibility of negotiating an FTA to facilitate trade and investment, and will arrange dates for holding negotiations.

The meeting was held after talks began between the bloc and Turkey in July 2013, when Davutoglu first extended the invitation to the Foreign Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Secretary General. Davutoglu said at a meeting: "I am convinced that this meeting will not only help cement the fundamentals of our relations but also enrich and diversify them. The Caribbean occupies an important place in [Turkey's] outreach strategy."

Turkey is the world's 16th and Europe's 6th largest economy, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts that it will become Europe's second largest economy, after Germany, by 2050.

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