Trade Watch V8 No 3 July 2014

Official E-Newsletter of the Caribbean Export Development Agency

VOL. 8 NO. 3 JULY, 2014

Caribbean Export Hosts FCOR/OCT Business Forum

Mr. Johann Moxam, President, Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce delivering remarks during the Business Forum

A section of the audience listens to presentations during the CARIFORUM/FCOR/ OCT Business Forum

Business Forum participants reviewing product samples during the B2B session

As a continuation of its mandate to facilitate the development of a trade and commerce relationship among CARIFORUM States, the French Caribbean Outermost Regions (FCORs) and EU Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) hosted a Business Forum for private sector firms from these territories and other public and private sector stakeholders. This mandate has become a focus within the Agency as it aims to create a regional brand which encompasses its many strengths and resources. The forum was conceptualized and realized in order to open dialogue between CARIFORUM States and their neighbours, with whom, despite their close proximity and the establishment of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in 2008, there has been limited interaction. The day of meetings took place in Grand Cayman on June 25, 2014. The Agency sponsored the participation of 45 firms in the Forum through the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union (EU) under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The companies participated in a series of business to business (B2B) meetings, which enabled direct interaction between the firms and the OCTs present. It was hoped that this rare opportunity for face-to-face

engagement would be the catalyst for potential partnership between territories, which would enable them to take advantage of the untapped resources which these countries represent. Caribbean Export has conducted studies which reveal that, because of the political ties and preferential agreements between the bodies, FCORs and OCTs import the vast majority of their goods and services from Europe. The ultimate aim of the Forum, and other such initiatives under the RPSDP, is for CARIFORUM States to become a viable alternative for FCOR/OCT needs such as raw materials, tourism, contract manufacturing in the agro-processing and industrial sectors, as well as financial and professional services. This would not only benefit the CARIFORUM States, but also to alleviate the significant financial burden, which such hefty imports would incur. Caribbean Export and its implementing partners have set the foundation for these possibilities by providing the opportunity for enterprises from across the region to raise awareness about their products and simultaneously learn more about the demands and preferences of the markets which they wish to enter. In addition to the networking and potential for partnership, the Forum also afforded those present with the opportunity to examine and evaluate the barriers to trade, which still exists and the common

developmental challenges that territories are facing in the establishments of sustainable trade relations. All parties were able to gain an understanding of preventative trade issues being faced and to collectively brainstorm creative solutions. To conclude the day’s proceedings, the firms were given a guided tour of Cayman Enterprise City (CEC). CEC was established in 2012 as the Caribbean’s first special economic zone. The technology and information-based model is one which was designed to attract international companies to the unique advantages of investment in the Caribbean context. This concept follows in the blueprint of offshore banking and franchising which has been extremely successful particularly in the Cayman Islands.

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In this Issue

EXPORT DEVELOPMENT Food Safety Preparedness Meeting and MOU Signing FOSTERING PARTNERSHIPS 9th CARIFORUM/FCOR/OCT Task Force Meeting INVESTMENT PROMOTION CAIPA participates in UNCTAD Green FDI Workshop

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OPPORTUNITIES Caribbean Export Opportunities

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1 Tradewatch • The Official E-Newsletter of the Caribbean Export Development Agency • Vol. 8 No. 3 July 2014

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