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EU supports recovery and resilience in #Caribbean region with €300 million

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The European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to support the Caribbean region in the aftermath of recent hurricanes Irma and Maria, as it pledges substantial support during the High-level Donor Conference for the Caribbean in New York.

At the High-Level Donor Conference for the Caribbean in New York, International Cooperation and Development Commissioner Neven Mimica pledged a substantial €300 million development support package to the Caribbean region. This assistance comes in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria. Out of the total amount, about a third will be new grant resources for the countries of the region.

Commissioner Mimica said: "Caribbean countries have again been struck by deadly hurricanes. The European Union stands by the region, and our assistance package of €300 million will provide much needed support to accelerate recovery, strengthen resilience, and step up progress towards a sustainable economic path. The EU is supporting the region to reinforce its resilience to natural disasters and climate change."

While some of the funds will be used to cover humanitarian gaps in Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Cuba, the majority will provide support for medium-term reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts at national level in Antigua and Barbuda, in Dominica, in St Kitts and Nevis, in Cuba and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). At regional level, the EU's assistance will help to build longer term resilience by increasing the region's disaster preparedness as well as its ability to adapt to climate change.

In the margins of the conference, Commissioner Mimica met key Caribbean counterparts to discuss reconstruction efforts, EU support and overall bilateral relations. This includes the prospects for a renewed partnership, after the Cotonou Agreement will expire in 2020. The Cotonou Agreement is the current legal framework for the relations between the EU and the Caribbean region.

Finally, the Commissioner is also signing a new programme with the President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Warren Smith. This programme will support the development of geothermal energy sources. The project will help these countries to reduce their dependence on energy imports and hence, promote clean energy sources and improve their energy security.

Background

In the aftermath of the hurricanes the EU has intervened immediately to provide immediate relief to those in need.

Under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, member states have provided logistical support for humanitarian relief, civil protection expertise and in-kind assistance to affected Caribbean countries and territories. This has been complemented by humanitarian assistance worth €2.9 million to provide shelter, water and sanitation, food, logistics and health in Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Sint Maarten, and Turks and Caicos.

Moreover, within few weeks after the disaster, the European Commission has disbursed €7 million to the state budgets of Anguilla and Turks and Caicos from on-going programmes. A new budget support payment of €3.5 million will be released shortly for Dominica.

The EU has also provided funding for the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNAs) which have been carried out jointly with the UN and the World Bank in Antigua and Barbuda and in Dominica.

Looking ahead, the EU has put resilience at the centre of its development policy – highlighting the need to move from crisis containment to anticipation, prevention and preparedness. Therefore, the EU will join forces with the Caribbean islands to reduce structural vulnerability, and increase the resilience of economic infrastructure and fragile coastal ecosystems to extreme recurrent natural events. The EU support will target interventions at national and regional level, and look into innovative financing solutions and mechanisms to help Caribbean countries in reducing vulnerability and building long term resilience.

Caribbean

Caribbean Export Development Agency launches first virtual expo event 

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The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has announced the launch of its first virtual expo event named Absolutely Caribbean, unlocking the profit potential of the Caribbean.  Taking place on 17th and 18th November 2020, the event will bring together around 50 producers to showcase some of the best products that the Caribbean has to offer.   

We’re really excited to be organizing our first virtual expo. We have seen a growing trend for Caribbean food, beverages and natural products across Europe in the last few years which presents a real opportunity for us.  In the UK alone, Caribbean food is now estimated to be worth £97m1 with the number of Caribbean restaurants in the last year having grown by 144%2, comments Dr. Damie Sinanan, Manager of Competitiveness and Export Promotion from Caribbean Export.

Attendees will have the chance to book slots to meet with producers from a variety of categories including sauces and condiments; alcoholic drinks; natural, plant-based products and nutraceuticals.  There will also be a presentation by European consumer goods and retail experts to discuss the latest insights on these fast-moving consumer goods within the UK, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Caribbean Export has partnered with Shaun and Craig McAnuff of Original Flava for the event who have found great success with their Caribbean food and lifestyle platform and recently released their first cookbook of authentic Jamaican recipes.  With an increase in demand for Caribbean sauces and condiments across Europe, the duo will host a live session to show how versatile these products are, including a cooking demonstration.

The event is also supported by the West Indies Rum & Spirit Producer’s Association (WIRSPA), who represent distillers’ associations from across the ACP Caribbean3 and will be hosting a session on premium alcoholic drinks from the Caribbean in collaboration with the Rum and Spirits Academy of Europe

The online event is a joint venture between Caribbean Export, the European Commission and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and has been launched off the back of a successful three-day trade show and conference which took place in Germany last year.

For more information about the event and to register, click here. 

[1] Grocery – IRI December 2017

[2] CGA August 2019

[3] ACP stands for ‘Africa, Caribbean and Pacific’. The ACP Caribbean states are the countries that are signatories of the Lomé Convention signed in 1975. This was superseded by the Cotonou Agreement in June 2000.

About Caribbean Export 

Caribbean Export is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group. Established in 1996 by an Inter-Governmental Agreement as the regional trade and investment promotion agency, it serves the 15 states of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), namely: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The agency carries out numerous programme based activities designed to enhance the competitiveness of regional small and medium sized enterprises, promote trade and development amongst CARIFORUM states, promote stronger trade and investment between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic, CARIFORUM states and the French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs) and the EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) in the Caribbean.

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Caribbean Export boosting the international competitiveness of the region’s services sector

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As services industries and providers across the region learn to navigate the global pandemic, Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the Belize Coalition of Services Provides, the Jamaica Coalition of Services Industries and the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries are stepping in to host a training programme to enhance the export-readiness of services SMEs.

Commencing on October 1st, 2020. This programme will support thirty (30) services providers operating in the business and professional services, and information, communication, and technology sectors (ICT) and is funded by the European Union as part of the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme.

Ten entrepreneurs will be selected from each country to undertake the training and subsequently, six participants from each country will be selected to receive one on one coaching based on their performance during the workshop. The objective of the coaching is to provide them with feedback to complete their export plans.

The training will take place virtually over five days and will provide an opportunity for participating businesses to develop export plans, access regional and international markets and develop their global brands.

The Services Go Global (SGG) programme was developed to optimize the CARIFORUM region’s export of services by building the capacity of service providers to capitalize on opportunities under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME) and other existing trade agreements; and developing national capacity through a cadre of certified trainers for the SGG programme, geared to assist SME’s in the services sector. The workshop will be facilitated by master trainers, Michelle Hustler (Barbados) and Dr. Nsombi Jaja (Jamaica).

“Services play a crucial role in the development of the economies in CARIFORUM, not just as a sector but also due to the significant impact on other sectors such as the manufacturing sector. Caribbean Export is deeply committed to the development of the region’s services sector and it is hoped that firms large and small capitalize upon this opportunity to build their capacity to take advantage of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA and importantly during this pandemic build their resilience and their ability to support other sectors to better integrate into the new global economy.” expressed Allyson Francis, Services Specialist at Caribbean Export.

There are currently a number of opportunities for small firms to enter new markets, and it is anticipated these will be increased once they have participated in the SERVICES Go Global programme. This human and institutional capacity building initiative goes hand in hand with another joint project between the development agencies, which aims to enhance the sustainability of the national services coalitions which provide critical business support services to local service providers including training, advocacy and export promotions.

“SERVICES Go Global is a timely and comprehensive training programme for service exporters, and this training comes at an opportune time as businesses in Trinidad and Tobago seek to pivot their services,” shared Lara Quentrall – Thomas, President, Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries. Dr. Dionne Chamberlain, President, Belize Coalition for Services Providers echoed Ms. Quentrall – Thomas’s sentiments, and confirmed that the course will not only prove valuable to service providers across the region but will enhance their own export efforts in the process.

The programme was developed and delivered by Global Links Network, certified international trade professionals who have delivered services training in over 50 countries worldwide over the past 20 years. To date, SERVICES Go Global is the only export readiness training programme for services exporters and would-be exporters in the world. The programme follows a logical, sequenced approach to exporting – a ‘Roadmap’ – and takes the exporters through four stages and twelve modules of export preparation. With the completion of each module, elements of the service provider’s export plan are developed. Service providers who undertake the course leave having completed the essential elements of their export plan and having gained the valuable skills necessary to successfully engage in the international marketplace.

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14 entrepreneurs to start the #OECS - #CaribbeanExport coaching programme

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The OECS-Caribbean Export Development Agency's Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme launched on July 8, 2020 with the aim of strengthening the entrepreneurial and leadership skills of 14 selected young entrepreneurs from six countries of the Eastern Caribbean.

In her remarks at the virtually held launch event Caribbean Exports’ Services Specialist – Allyson Francis, underscored the importance of the private sector and youth owned businesses, in particular, for sustainable economic growth in the Caribbean.

Youth are the future. Their businesses are a critical foundation for sustainable economic growth in the region and so we must invest in them and their businesses.”

Funding for this technical assistance and coaching programme comes via the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, which the Agency is currently implementing.

Caribbean Export implemented a similar coaching programme for women owned businesses which was very successful, and so I encourage the participants to leverage the knowledge and expertise of the coaches and to build a network between one another” she continued.

The programme pursues three main objectives, namely: 

  • Assisting entrepreneurs to clarify their vision and develop achievable goals that can be translated into tangible results; 

  • assisting entrepreneurs to develop transformative business models and strategies that enhance productivity, competitiveness and growth, and;

  • providing technical support to set entrepreneurs on a path towards export readiness.

The beneficiaries of the OECS-Caribbean Export Development Agency's Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme were targeted through national Business Service Organisations and the OECS 30 under 30 programme. From 21 applications, 14 companies have been selected to participate in the three-month coaching programme from both the services and goods sectors. 

The group of young entrepreneurs will benefit from a highly experienced team of coaches in multiple areas such as business plan development, financial analysis, operations management, sales, marketing and branding, human resource management, proposal development, product development and quality assurance, legal and regulatory environment, ethical and sustainable business trends, information and communication technologies and e-commerce, and creative industries among others.

The coaching programme also includes the completion of a comprehensive analysis of each beneficiary companies and the development of individual strategies which will address their specific issues.

In closing, OECS and Caribbean Export reaffirmed the intention to continue to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean through complementary projects which will be launched in the future.

Company Entrepreneur's name Country Sector
Shop D Caribbean Darrion Louis Saint Lucia Information Communication Technology (ICT)
LinkUp Kenna Questelles George

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Information Communication Technology (ICT)
The Two Aces Lou-anne Mauricette Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Zénaïde Aromatherapy Zanda Desir Saint Lucia Manufacturing
Mec Designs Mauisa Carbon Antigua and Barbuda Manufacturing
T & A Household Decor Amy Antoine Saint Lucia Manufacturing
Adroit Tonnie Pierre Grenada Agribusiness
Cronneit's Forest Bows Denny Cronneit Grenada Manufacturing
Flirt Cocktails Hyacinth Richardson Saint Kitts and Nevis Agribusiness & Manufacturing
Mangal Trading Incorporation Nila Mangal Saint Lucia Agribusiness
Akata Farms Bevon Chadel Charles Grenada Agribusiness
My Crown Of Curls Ranique John Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Agribusiness & Manufacturing
Emerald Solar and Wind Ltd Nicholas Sander Montserrat Renewable Energy
Caribi Dreams Mr. Maurice  John Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Renewable Energy

About Caribbean Export

Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 11th 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

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