ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – Dominica says it is pursuing efforts to get the European Union to remove the visa requirements for nationals travelling to Europe, saying that it was important to stimulate trade under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with Europe five years ago.
Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Alvin Bernard said Dominica has joined several countries in making the request.
We have made some progress and we have had tremendous commitment from various representatives of the Council, but at the moment, the most recent report that we have received is that the Council is at the moment preoccupied with two other countries that have been included on the negative list.
“Apparently the consideration of the request from Dominica is still for consideration…but it has been delayed because of the countries from the Middle Eastern area included on the list”.
Bernard said Dominica was pursing the initiative “because we see the lifting of the visa requirement for Dominica and other affected countries, particularly signatories to the Economic partnership Agreement as critical.
Dominica and other countries of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) grouping signed the EPA in October 2008 that also provides substantial EU aid for trade.
According to the European Union website, the purpose of the agreement is to make it easier for people and businesses from the two regions to invest in and trade with each other and thus to help Caribbean countries grow their economies and create jobs.