Changes in European Union trade rules could cause Caribbean countries to lose up to 10 million euros (approximately $12.7 million) by the end of the decade from falling rum revenues, according to the Overseas Development Institute, a UK think tank on international development issues.
New research produced for the Commonwealth Secretariat showed that Barbados and Guyana in particular are at risk for a 3 percent fall in rum exports to Europe. Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic are also vulnerable.
EU trade preferences traditionally available to Caribbean countries are set to be extended to a wider number of Latin American and other countries, said Dirk Willem te Velde, head of ODI’s international economic development group. The Caribbean needs to diversity and upgrade the range and quality of existing rum exports to adapt to the increased competition, he said.