Regional Media to Engage Experts on EPA in Grenada


ST GEORGE’S, Grenada — A regional media workshop on the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), organized by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat-based EPA Implementation Unit, will be convened in St George’s, Grenada on 12-13 November.

It is the second such workshop that the unit has organized, this time around in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Grenada National EPA Implementation Unit (NEPAIU).

The workshop is supported in part by Caribbean Export, through the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP). The Workshop is also being financed by GIZ. Funding has also come from the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund).

“The Regional EPA Implementation Unit is charged with engaging a cross-section of stakeholders on EPA implementation, of which the regional media form an important component. This workshop for the regional media is another effort to deepen the Unit’s engagement with these stakeholders and to sensitize them on the provisions of the EPA and the efforts underway in the region to promote its implementation,” said the head of the Secretariat-based EPA Implementation Unit, Branford Isaacs.

One representative from the print and broadcast media, respectively, from each signatory CARIFORUM State to the EPA has been selected and invited. The workshop targets editorial managers/senior journalists who are responsible for business and economic reporting in their respective media houses.

The workshop is geared at heightening the regional media’s awareness/understanding of the EPA, by focusing attention on: (i) the state of play of EPA implementation in key areas and associated opportunities; and (ii) how the private sector is being positioned to make use of the agreement. In this regard, the workshop is designed to afford participants a better appreciation of how the regional private sector can take advantage of the EPA. The workshop is also intended to provide participants a much better understanding of what kind of institutional support is being extended across the region, in order for the EPA to work for enterprises in a tangible way. Those support programmes will be outlined at the workshop by the very institutions that have responsibility for them in the region. In addition, members of the Grenadian private sector will share their experiences in respect of how they have benefitted or stand to benefit from some of these support programmes.

The workshop’s sessions have been designed to be interactive and to elicit insightful, lively discussions between the regional media gathered, along with the Secretary General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), and panellists representing the following organizations: the CARICOM Secretariat EPA Implementation Unit and Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN); Caribbean Export; GIZ; the UK Department for International Development (DFID); Delegation of the EU to Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and for the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories; the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ); the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); and Compete Caribbean.

The expectation is that media participants will come away from the workshop with an appreciation of the various actors involved in EPA implementation, as well as with an understanding that in an institutional sense EPA implementation should not be conceived of as a monolithic endeavour. Moreover, it is also expected that participants will be equipped with a ‘toolkit’ of subject-area knowledge that can be put to use in EPA-related reportage; in particular, in generating stories that showcase success stories of regional businesses that are able to tap (or are on the cusp of doing so) the opportunities afforded the private sector in the agreement. In one of the last sessions of the workshop, media operatives will be afforded the opportunity to take stock of how they can improve the frequency, timeliness and type of reporting around commercial diplomacy, in general, and EPA implementation, more specifically.

The fifteen signatory Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific (CARIFORUM) States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM member states and the Dominican Republic.

source: Caribbean News Now