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ECONOMICS
The 3rd CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum

"Making connections. Building businesses. Increasing trade and investment"


The Third CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum will take place from April 15th to 16th, 2015 at Montego Bay, Jamaica bringing together about 150 key stakeholders from across the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Pacific.
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The Business Forum is focused on agro-processing (cocoa, herbs and spices), creative industries (music) and services (higher education) and is aim to facilitate high-level discussions on how to use the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to garner enhanced business growth and market penetration. Participating companies will also have a unique opportunity to network and explore trade and investment opportunities.

The CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum was conceptualised generate awareness about the EPA and to promote business opportunities within sectors that are readily positioned to do business in the EU, with a special focus on business environment issues and impediments to trade and investment between the two regions. It was thought as an initiative which seeks to build private sector capacity in the Caribbean Region by providing a platform to facilitate dialogue between entrepreneurs and investors from the Caribbean and Europe.

The main objectives of the Forum were to identify business opportunities for trade between the Caribbean and European markets, as well as attract foreign direct investment from Europe to the Caribbean.

On the last Forum, held in London, United Kingdom in 2012, the Business Forum focused on manufacturing and cultural industries and attracted senior government officials and businesses from both Regions. The meeting noted that despite the market opportunities provided for CARIFORUM businesses and professionals in the EU within the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, there are significant challenges that the private sector faces. These challenges include: Lack of access to timely market information; tedious visa requirements for some CARIFORUM countries to enter the EU market; unavailability of data in services sectors to allow for public policy and planning; lack of appropriate sectorial linkages between sectors are naturally complementing to each other i.e. tourism, culture, entertainment & sports; high cost of production and transportation; limited access to essential raw materials; lack of visibility within the EU market; and limited direct contact with international buyers. Also, the meeting discussed at length the importance of implementing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the EPA at a national and regional level as a means of measuring the impact and tracking its benefits to determine if the opportunities prescribed therein are being accessed by the CARIFORUM countries.



Designed to enhance the level of trade and investment between the CARIFORUM States and the EU, Africa and Pacific, this 3rd convention will support the business climate reform agenda in the Caribbean targeting the specific sectors; agro-processing (cocoa, herbs and spices), creative industries (music) and services (higher education). 

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