Supporting Regional and National Institutions in the Implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)
Title: Support of Regional and National Institutions in the Implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in the Caribbean
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: CARICOM member states (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago); Dominican Republic
Lead executing agency: CARICOM Secretariat
Overall term: 2009 to 2014
In 2008, the CARIFORUM states and the member states of the EU signed an economic partnership agreement (EPA). CARIFORUM comprises the member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic. The agreement aims to promote sustainable development and regional integration in the Caribbean and strengthen private sector competitiveness with a view to improving access to the EU market.
Their very restricted local markets and their different stages of economic advancement (generally closely linked with the tourist industry) pose major challenges for the economic development of the CARIFORUM member countries. Weak institutions also hamper intraregional and interregional market access. The main goals of these countries therefore include improving access to major economic areas for local goods and services and ensuring progressive integration into the regional market.
Relevant regional and national institutions in the public and private sector meet the requirements of the economic partnership agreement between the CARIFORUM countries and the member states of the European Union.
In collaboration with the export agency, Caribbean Export, and the CARICOM Secretariat, the programme supports the key actors in the region in implementing the economic partnership agreement. Regional and national institutions must be strengthened and reformed to meet the requirements of the agreement, with sustainable development a foremost concern.
Support concentrates on coordinating implementation procedure, promoting regional integration by organising regional and national conferences to facilitate public-private dialogue (PPD), and improving networking and cooperation among actors.
Project activities are carried out in both the private and public sector. They comprise a variety of initiatives. Potential initiatives are evaluated and revised before implementation together with national and regional partners.
The establishment of the CARIFORUM-EPA Implementation Network (CAFEIN) and the Caribbean Network of Service Coalitions (CNSC) has reinforced cooperation among actors.
As part of PRONET, a training programme for medium-sized producers, a large number of trainers have been certified in collaboration with Caribbean Export. By taking part in trade fairs, entrepreneurs have gained confidence in their products, identified suitable markets for them and raised production and exports.