Guyana wants ACP countries to become drivers of global economic development

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BRUSSELS, Jun 12, CMC – Guyana says the upcoming negotiations between the European Union and the African Caribbean and Pacific ( EU-ACP) on a new partnership agreement should  allow for the developing countries to become “drivers of global economic, human and social development in the 21st century”.
The ACP Secretariat in a statement quoted President David Granger as outlining the position when he addressed the ACP Committee of Ambassadors here last week.
The 79-member ACP Group and the EU have a current partnership framework, known as the Cotonou Agreement, which is a legally-binding treaty that lays out parameters for trade, development cooperation, and political dialogue between the two blocs.
The Agreement expires in February 2020, and talks for a follow-up accord are set to begin in 2018. Both EU and ACP sides are making preparations for this process.
In the statement, Granger, who commended the Committee of Ambassadors and the ACP Secretariat for the preparation towards the post-Cotonou talks, said ‘the negotiations represent an opportunity for ensuring environmental security and economic security for ACP states and of reinforcing the Group’s solidarity”.
President Granger said that any future ACP-EU agreement “must usher in a new era of economic relations between the North and the South,” where ACP countries become drivers of global economic, human and social development in the 21st century.
“The ACP must seek a new economic covenant aimed at supporting the transformation of its economies through investment in industries, infrastructure and information communications technology.
Investment in economic industries is the key to unlocking the potential of our economies and moving production higher up the value chain. “
Granger said investment in infrastructure will support the structural transformation of our economies and reduce inequality.
“Investment in information communications technology will reduce the digital divide and foster improved integration into the markets of the North.
“Unemployment, particularly of young people and women, remains a major developmental challenge across the ACP.  Job-creation remains the best means of extricating persons out of the clutches of poverty.  Jobs are necessary to curb emigration and retain skilled persons.”
The Guyanese Head of State said ‘a  new ACP-EU agreement must assign high priority towards reducing unemployment through job-creation and job-promotion initiatives, including support for small and medium-scale enterprises which have demonstrated a capacity to reduce employment”.
He said post-2020 relations should support the transformation of ACP economies through investment in industries, infrastructure and information communications technology.
“Moreover, environmental security need to be ensured, with measures to promote climate adaptation, guarantee food security and support sustainable livelihoods, supported by development finance accessible by all ACP countries, including middle-income countries,” the ACP statement noted.

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