By Staff Writer
The Ministry of International Trade is moving ahead to have the triangular trade agreement between Brazil, Guyana and the Federation creating a task force.
The Hon. Lindsay Grant, Minister with responsibility for international trade, said his government has engaged the Brazilian Resident Ambassador who suggested that the government form a task force to engage him. That body would discuss all areas with the Ambassador who will return to Brazil soon to relay the results of that meeting with his government.
“That has been a long outstanding and protracted matter for eight years and I would like to see it come to fruition in short order,” said Mr. Grant.
The Partial Scope agreement was signed in 2012 and gives manufacturing companies in St. Kitts and Nevis a near zero percent tariff entry into the Portuguese-speaking South American country’s market. Since signing the agreement has been at a standstill, Grant said it is not at the end of the Federation.
“We have done everything that we were supposed to do,” he declared. “It is now left for the Brazilians to work on it and make it happen. We have put together 40 products that we want under the partial scope agreement. Now we have to look at those products and have their technical people in Brazil make sure the rules of origin are satisfied from the Brazilian end.” Grant added that if products are to be imported into Brazil from St. Kitts and Nevis, a large amount of input must be made by the exporting country. He also claimed it would bring things into the scope of the agreement.
Brazil is a major market in South America and is seen as a key location for the Federation’s manufacturing products. With its favorable tariff arrangement, a number of companies in St. Kitts and Nevis are expected to benefit when the program gets into operation.