Cuba to Lose Trade Assistance from Europe

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba, along with other eleven countries, will be taken out of the 2014 European System of Tariff Advantages (SGP) after having been classified in recent years as being a medium-high income economy as determined by the World Bank, reported the executive office of the European Union on Tuesday.

According to the EFE news service, the revision of the SGP — already agreed to by the members states and the European Parliament — looks to target commercial assistance on the neediest countries, leaving to one side those nations that have reached higher levels of development.

Europe hopes that the exit of several commercial competitors will benefit the countries it assists within the system. This is expected to include 89 countries, among them Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.

The imports that benefitted the SPG in 2011 represented 87 billion euros, or around 5 percent of the total purchases by the EU.