Foreign Trade


OACPS is a group of countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, established in 1975 through the Georgetown Treaty. The OACPS is the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific states. The organisation’s key goals are sustainable development and the reduction of poverty in its Member States and their deeper inclusion into the world economy. This was formerly recognised as the African, Caribbean and Pacific Community (ACP). For the exception of Cuba, all Member States join the Cotonou Treaty with the European Union.

From 1975 to 1999, Barbados and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations became parties to four economic / trade agreements with Europe, recognised as the Lomé Conventions. The previous one has set up and extended every subsequent agreement.

The ties between ACP and the European Union ( EU) began to improve in June 2000, when the Cotonou Agreement was concluded. The Agreement lays forth a comprehensive ACP-EU ties structure. Social growth, poverty eradication and quick and steady inclusion of ACP countries in the global economy are at the core.

The Cotonou Agreement continues to provide trade, economic and financial cooperation.  However, it also provides for a radical change in that relationship. The REPAs will facilitate reciprocal trade in goods and services from 2008 to 2020 in the first instance.  This represents a major difference to the non-reciprocal preferential arrangement under the Lomé Conventions.