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Contact: Roger Joseph

March 16, 1999 - Prime Minister Dr. Honourable Kenny Anthony will join other Windward Islands leaders Wednesday for a one-day Banana Summit in neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Called by the Banana Donor Group of the European Commission, the meeting will discuss and clarify the latest issues related to the banana industry and the way forward.

The March 17 meeting, which takes place in the Vincentian capital Kingstown, will be attended by the leaders of the four Windward Islands, as well as by delegates of the Organisation of East Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

George Dwyer, Head of Delegation of the European Commission in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, says the meeting is being summoned to review, among other things, progress which has been made with the Windward Islands Banana Production Recovery Plan.

Prime Minister Anthony earlier this month attended another major banana meeting in the United Kingdom, amid continuing efforts by the Windward Island and Caribbean governments to secure the best possible deal for Caribbean bananas in the ongoing battle between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The meeting takes place at a time when the EU and the USA are locked in battle over treatment of Caribbean bananas on the European market.

Washington has implemented what are considered to be punitive and retaliatory measures against European Union member-states’ exports to the USA – a step seen by EU and WTO officials as not being in the interest of the search for a mutually acceptable solution.

At the St. Vincent meeting, the leaders are also expected to discuss and agree upon a Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and the Windwards covering the latest developments in the ongoing discussion and debate over treatment of Caribbean bananas in Europe.

 

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