The European Union promotes its values and policies in an open and equal partnership with the Governments and people of the Caribbean; to implement development and trade policies focusing on poverty alleviation and on the promotion of democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law as well as the smooth and gradual integration of the countries into the world economy; to deepen the political dialogue on all issues of mutual interest and to strengthen the partnership; and to support CARICOM regional integration as well as the planned development regional policies, programmes and institutions.
11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme
On the 23rd of March 2017 the European Union and the Caribbean Export Development Agency signed the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) agreement worth EUR 24 Million to support regional private sector development.
The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) which Caribbean Export is currently implementing has the overall objective to increase employment creation, inclusiveness, particularly for youth, women and indigenous groups, and overall poverty reduction in CARIFORUM states through targeted interventions that provide new and innovative frameworks for growth and development.
The previous 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) was given a positive overall assessment of medium-high by the EU in their implementation of some 260 programme based activities from which over 6000 SME’s across CARIFORUM benefited. Under the 11th EDF, focus will be placed on market penetration, supply chain and intelligence frameworks, increased access to finance, the promotion of green energy and energy efficiency as key factors in lowering costs and more targeted approaches to enhancing firm capacity. An extremely critical pillar in the success of this programme will be the improvement of the business enabling environment within CARIFORUM States.
10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme
Caribbean Export managed the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) during the period 2011-2016. The overall objective of the programme was to contribute to the gradual integration of CARIFORUM countries into the World economy and by so doing enhance regional economic growth and by extension alleviate poverty.
The RPSDP is divided into five components, based on the following specific objectives:
- Enhancing competitiveness and promoting innovation among CARIFORUM’s private sector.
- Promoting trade and export development among CARIFORUM States.
- Promoting stronger trade and investment relations between CARIFORUM, French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs), and the European Union (EU) Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) in the Caribbean.
- Promoting stronger trade and investment cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Dominican Republic.
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of Caribbean Export to implement trade and investment promotion programmes in the region.
The total programme cost was estimated at €32,089,000 of which €28,300,000 was financed from the 10th EDF Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP) in the framework of the Cotonou Agreement, and €3,789,000 by Caribbean Export through contributions from beneficiary states. The programme was signed and became effective on March 7, 2011 and was officially launched on April 20, 2011. The 10th EDF RPSDP closed on December 20, 2016.
Caribbean Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (2008-2010)
The European Union (EU) and Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) formally signed on May 16, 2008 the agreement which brought phase two of the Caribbean Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (CTPSDP) into operation.
EUR 6.883 million of this EUR 7.9M programme was allocated to Caribbean Export for implementation of specific projects up to 2010.
The main objective of this programme was to contribute to the gradual integration of CARIFORUM countries into the world economy and by so doing enhance regional economic growth and thus help to alleviate poverty.
The programme was to increase the international competitiveness of the private sector in CARIFORUM Member states and to help the potentially more competitive sectors. It supported the improvement of the trade environment as well as the institutional strengthening of business support organisations (BSOs) to enhance the range and quality of services delivered to their members and clients.
The expected results of the project were:
- Increased competitiveness of firms through market expansion and export diversification support.
- A vibrant Caribbean Business and Investment Support Network with strengthened Business and Investment Support Organisations
- Greater cooperation between the CARIFORUM business sector and that of the French and Dutch Caribbean territories (DOMs and OCTs).
- Increased contribution by the Caribbean business sector to the improvement of the regulatory environment for private sector development in the region through the publication of an annual report on the state of the Caribbean regulatory environment for the private sector as well as on regional foreign direct investment (FDI). This report will be presented to an annual meeting of concerned stakeholders.
- Assistance with EPA preparation and implementation.