Carifesta a gateway to EPA
BARBADOS IS LEVERAGING its $6 million investment in CARIFESTA XIII against the opportunities to break into the European Union’s (EU) cultural industries market.
Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley contends the region has been “slow” in taking advantage of the opportunities offered through the EU/Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Monday he told the media: “We are strategically trying to position our creatives to make that agreement a living document and, of course, working with our various partners in the EU and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) we want to ensure after CARIFESTA there is a strategic focus on gaining market share.”
Lashley said CARIFESTA was one of the first moves to translate the artistic talent of the Caribbean into revenue and to prepare its artistic developers for the bigger markets. To date $2.5 million of the $6 million budgeted for the festival has been spent, he said.
Several buyers and market influencers representing fashion, music, home décor and gourmet dining from Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Italy, the US and Canada and Colombia will be in Barbados during the festival, looking to see what the Caribbean has to offer at the Buyer’s Market and the potential for exposure abroad. (GC)
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