Caribbean Ex­port at Euro­pean De­vel­op­ment Days in Brus­sels

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BUSINESS -

The 2017 edi­tion of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion's event Euro­pean De­vel­op­ment Days (EDD) held on June 7-8 in Brus­sels saw the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Caribbean Ex­port De­vel­op­ment Agency (Caribbean Ex­port) as part of those con­sid­ered to be the “best of in­vest­ing in de­vel­op­ment”. Caribbean Ex­port show­cased its ex­port de­vel­op­ment work to the 8,000 par­tic­i­pants that passed through the event over the two days.

“Our par­tic­i­pa­tion at EDD 2017 at this level has been a worth­while in­vest­ment, not only from a vis­i­bil­ity point of view but, more im­por­tantly, it has en­abled us to con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to the con­ver­sa­tion around the EPA and how the re­gion's pri­vate sec­tor is able to max­imise the op­por­tu­ni­ties es­pe­cially be­ing a part of the ACP group,” ex­pressed the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Caribbean Ex­port, Pamela Coke-Hamil­ton.

Coke-Hamil­ton par­tic­i­pated in key de­bates en­sur­ing that the Caribbean's po­si­tion was heard amongst the key stake­hold­ers in the world of de­vel­op­ment. In the ses­sion en­ti­tled “Boost­ing In­vest­ment for ACP In­clu­sive Trade and De­vel­op­ment” the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor called for stronger trade link­ages be­tween the Caribbean and Africa in view of the ap­par­ent syn­er­gies be­tween the two re­gions. “We want to pro­mote trade as THE mech­a­nism to de­liver real eco­nomic re­sults for our com­pa­nies, their work­ers and for our con­sumers. As such, we should look to­ward strength­en­ing trade be­tween us as a means to achieve this."

In ad­di­tion, Caribbean Ex­port par­tic­i­pated in a de­bate or­gan­ised by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion en­ti­tled 'Build­ing on EPA Op­por­tu­ni­ties' to share the ex­pe­ri­ence of the CARIFORUM pri­vate sec­tor in lever­ag­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties un­der the EPA. The de­bate noted that EPAs help by stim­u­lat­ing com­pe­ti­tion and re­duc­ing bor­der de­lays but in or­der to ex­ploit them to their fullest it is en­cour­aged that ACP coun­tries need to take own­er­ship of their de­vel­op­ment and de­sign their own strate­gies for growth and pros­per­ity.

The Agency also high­lighted its work un­der the re­cently con­cluded 10th EDF Re­gional Pri­vate Sec­tor De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme at its booth space where staff pre­sented a small sam­ple of unique prod­ucts from the re­gion, which re­ceived a phe­nom­e­nal re­sponse from the at­tend­ing au­di­ence. Sweet potato gra­nola pro­duced by Rain­for­est Foods in Saint Lu­cia was par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive and loved by vis­i­tors to the stand.

Caribbean Ex­port is en­cour­aged by the pos­i­tive feed­back from the EDD at­ten­dees and re­mains com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing its sup­port to re­gional com­pa­nies and BSOs so that they can utilise the ben­e­fits of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.

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