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The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in cooperation with the European Union commenced a 3-day workshop to train Country Advisors from OECS countries on the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS) at the Trade Winds Hotel, St. John’s, Antigua yesterday, April 4, 2018.

The Agency announced last month that grant funds would be provided to CARIFORUM businesses via the DAGS and they would be accepting proposals from businesses from April 23, 2018.  A key component to maximise the utilization of the grant funds allocated under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) is through ensuring companies understand the application process and the procedures.  Country Advisors are being trained across the region to provide assistance to companies during the application and reimbursement stages of the programme.

DAGS is a reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered firms and individuals with the potential to export their products and services.  Under the new DAGS programme grants from a minimum of €10,000 and to a maximum of €50,000 are available to CARIFORUM firms.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Min. Asot Michael congratulated the Agency for the timely and crucial programme to support the region’s private sector encouraging firms to participate in the programme.

Direct assistance grants have typically been used by companies to modernize equipment, upgrade facilities to international food and quality standards, enhance products and packaging, implement alternative energy systems, train staff, develop collateral materials, market and promote products and services for export. The DAGS provides a platform that supports Caribbean businesses to become more innovative and compete internationally.

“Access to finance is a critical pillar to enable companies to expand, create new jobs for our economies and generate foreign exchange” highlighted Christopher McNair, Manager – Competitiveness and Export Promotion at Caribbean Export.

The Agency has now trained thirty-eight (38) Country Advisors across the region and details can be found on the Agency’s website.