EU grant for private sector body
The European Union today approved a Euro 28.3 million (US$38.7 million) grant to finance a Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPDB), over the next five years.
“This programme will contribute to the gradual integration of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) into the world economy, enhancing regional economic growth and by extension alleviate poverty,” said Valeriano Diaz, Head of the EU Delegation in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.
The RPDB is integral to assisting the region in responding to the opportunities and challenges offered by the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), as well as other new and existing trade arrangements.
The EU said that the programme will enhance competitiveness and promote innovation in the regional private sector; promote trade and export development among CARIFORUM states as well as promote stronger trade and investment relations among CARIFORUM states, the French Caribbean Outermost Regions and the European Union Overseas Countries and Territories in the Caribbean.
It will also seek to promote stronger trade and investment cooperation between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.
The implementing agency will be Caribbean Export, which is also to directly benefit from institutional strengthening activities under the RPDB.
“CARIFORUM states, regional and national business support organisations, small and medium sized enterprises and entrepreneurs are both stakeholders and beneficiaries under the Programme and will play a vital role in its successful execution,” the EU said in a statement.
CARIFORUM includes the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping and the Dominica Republic. (CMC)