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#CaribbeanExport, the #CARIFORUM Directorate and the EU support firms in leveraging EPA

Supporting CARIFORUM firms to leverage the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is at the forefront of the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s work programme as they implement the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union.

More than 70 business and business support organizations participated in the specially held workshop at the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association’s (TTMA) Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) on Friday 7 July and a further 90 persons were able to participate via live streaming.  Co-hosts for the workshop, the European Union (EU) Delegation, expressed their commitment to supporting the region’s private sector highlighting that “one of the EPA’s main objectives is to promote economic growth of the region and to gradually integrate the Caribbean states into the world economy.

It aims to increase chances for the Caribbean businesses to participate in global value chains and supports the conditions for increasing investment and private sector initiatives, enhancing supply capacity and competitiveness in the CARIFORUM States” said Ambassador Biesebroek of the EU Delegation in Trinidad & Tobago in his remarks at the opening of the workshop.

The EPA was signed in 2008, and the opportunity for CARIFORUM firms to grow their businesses through exporting is apparent. “Caribbean Export has focused its attention on providing export development services (such as training, grant financing, trade and business intelligence) to SMEs and Business Support Organizations in order to build their capacity and enhance their trade competitiveness globally,” said Caribbean Export Senior Advisor Robertha Reid.

One of the presenters, Dr. Noel Watson, is currently working with the agency to break down the EPA so that private sector can be more aware of the market opportunities available to them. Also sharing at the workshop was Adam Wisniewski from the EU Delegation’s office based in Barbados who expounded on the core elements of the EPA.

The agency, the EU Delegation and the CARIFORUM Directorate supported eight Business Support Organizations from across the region to exhibit at TIC to showcase the products of their respective members and countries in an effort to gain interest and increase regional trade. Events of the similar nature, bringing the Caribbean private sector together and explaining practical aspects of the EPA are to be organized regularly throughout the region.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon made a plea for “a more aggressive approach” to be taken by the private sector as it relates to exporting products and services. With regional and international buyers attending TIC, there was a real opportunity to increase the market penetration of Caribbean products into export markets including Europe using the EPA.

About Caribbean Export 

Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organization of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Export’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic alliances.

More information about Caribbean Export can be found here.

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Category: A Frontpage, Caribbean, EU

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