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The EU's political relations with Trinidad and Tobago are underpinned by the Cotonou Agreement. This Agreement was signed in 2000 by the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, the EU Member States and the European Community. It covers a period of 20 years and has been revised every 5 years. The Agreement will end in 2020 and negotiations are currently taking place to draw up the successor agreement that will set the terms of the future relationship between the ACP states and the EU.
The Agreement foresees a regular political dialogue between the EU and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Trade relations between the EU and Trinidad and Tobago are based on the 2008 CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA covers all areas of activity, from manufactured goods to services to intellectual property and investment, and offers Trinidad and Tobago free access for its goods and services to the EU market, while Trinidad and Tobago will gradually introduce tariff reductions for an agreed set of goods over a period of 25 years for imports from the EU. In addition, Trinidad and Tobago has bilateral investment treaties with some individual EU countries, including Spain, France and Germany.
While Trinidad and Tobago already exports to Europe, the EU being Trinidad and Tobago's second largest trading partner, measures are being taken to increase trade in general. The EU provides support to CARIFORUM to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago, as well as and other countries in the region, can take greater advantage of the trading opportunities available under the EPA. For example, training and workshops have been provided in areas such as food safety requirements and technical barriers to trade. Trade missions to Europe are also organised at regular intervals, the next upcoming being the, "CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum and Authentic Caribbean Trade Expo", which shall take place in Frankfurt Germany from 26th to 28th September, 2019.
Since 2007, the EU has given Trinidad and Tobago grant funding worth more than €100 million. The focus of this aid is on boosting economic diversification and promoting competitive business, food security, crime reduction, and environmental protection and sustainability. It is also being used to strengthen local and regional civil society organisations and improve governance. Upcoming programmes will focus on the introduction of renewable energy and the promotion of energy efficiency.
EU development cooperation with Trinidad and Tobago currently includes the following programmes:
The following programme is currently under formulation:
EU development cooperation in the region includes the following programmes, in which Trinidad and Tobago participates:
In addition, new projects, in the areas of economic integration and cooperation, crime and security and the environment and sustainable energy are under development.
Trinidad and Tobago has also benefitted from a number of ACP intra-regional programmes, including:
Through its funded programmes and projects, the EU supports Trinidad and Tobago in various important thematic areas, most notably: