Foreign Minister Sees More Room For Closer Ties With DR

Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade Minister, Hon. E.P Chet Greene, says the Antigua and Barbuda
government believes that there is ample room for further cooperation with the Dominican Republic,
especially in areas such as trade.
Greene, who is currently in the Dominican Republic on an official visit, said Antigua and Barbuda’s strategic
position in relation to the rest of the Caribbean makes it the ideal platform for dynamic commercial
engagement, and DR trade reach into OECS and CARICOM markets.
Speaking to a large and receptive audience comprising of public and private sector officials, Greene, who
spoke in Spanish, said “there is potential for the greater economic integration between the OECS,
CARICOM and the Dominican Republic, especially with regard to the free movement of goods and services,
and possible access to European Union (EU) funding through CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA).”
He noted that Antigua and Barbuda is pleased that negotiations for the CARICOM/DR Trade Agreement have been completed. Moreover, he added, many of the bilateral agreements recently signed between
Antigua and Barbuda and the Dominican Republic can serve as platforms, which will propel the future ofour relations. In particular, the minister feels that the MoU for the Establishment of a Workgroup in
Matters of the Promotion of Trade and Investment, will allow us to further develop our business relations.
“In addition, given the fact that the structure of many Caribbean economies are service-based, especially
within the OECS sub-region, another area for further consideration would be to develop a services
component to the said agreement for the liberalization of services. It would facilitate more joint ventures,
and opportunities for service-providers, such as architects, graphic designers etc.,” the minister stated.
The minister is also proposing more people-to-people contacts suggesting that the government is working
to improve the visa granting mechanisms for D.R business people and residents to more easily visit St
John’s. One suggestion is for student exchange programmes between the two countries.
“Students from the Dominican Republic can come to Antigua and Barbuda to learn English, and students
from Antigua and Barbuda can come to the Dominican Republic to learn Spanish. We can also have an
exchange of teachers, and visiting professors from Dominican universities. Indeed, the MoU on Academic
Cooperation between the of Institute of Higher Education in Diplomatic and Consular Training of the
Dominican Republic, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, can serve as a catalyst
for initial exchanges,” he suggested.
Greene is accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anrhony Liverpool. They are also being assisted by the resident Antigua and Barbuda Consul in the DR, Ricardo Koenig.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *