Castries, Jul 3 (Prensa Latina) The future of the sugar industry will be among the top points of the agenda of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Summit starting today in Castries, St. Lucia, specially after Europe rebuffed the region´s petition for a better deal.
During their meeting, till Wednesday 6, the Caribbean heads of state and government are to assess the implications for their countries´ economies of the proposed changes to Europe´s common market for sugar.
European Commission has recommended, starting in 2006, to cut guaranteed prices for white sugar by 39 per cent. This decision will cost sugar-producing African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states an estimated US3.8 million.
Europeans think the changes would enhance the competitiveness and market-orientation of their sugar sector, but Caribbean and other ACP sugar producers are already calculating heavy losses of more than US0 million annually.
The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) has also described the proposals as “devastating” and believes they must be “fought tooth and nail” by “the whole business community, non-governmental organizations, the whole trade union movement and the public at large”, according to a report by the Caribbean Media Corporation.