14 Jun, 2019AST 4:30 pm28 Jun, 2019
Caribbean Export is seeking the professional services of a consultant whose primary goal will be to gather information from CARIFORUM and EU firms who have conducted bilateral investment and trade over the period 2008-2018, within the framework of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.
The Five-Year Review of the CARIFORUM-European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (CARIFORUM-EU EPA) (July 2015), has noted that the value of goods imported from the EU during the review period declined, with the exception of the Dominican Republic, Guyana and Suriname, which experienced increases in products that were excluded from liberalization, and therefore not attributable to the Agreement.
It was further reported that the EPA had limited impact on CARIFORUM’s exports to the EU. There was also a significant decline in trade between the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in particular, and the EU, when compared to the five years before the signature of the Agreement, due in part to changes to the EU internal regime for trade and difficulties in improving the competitiveness of industries in the OECS.
Against this background, continuous efforts are being made by Caribbean Export to advance CARIFORUM – EU trade and to achieve some benefits under the EPA, through capacity building initiatives for CARIFORUM exporters, and increasing awareness on the business environment in the EU towards greater market access.
In investment, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the EU into CARIFORUM over the past 4 years has come mainly from Germany, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands with a focus on Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
One of the initiatives being undertaken by Caribbean Export to increase the benefits to CARIFORUM states under the EPA is the upcoming 4th CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum, which is scheduled for 26-28 September 2019 in Frankfurt, Germany. The event is being funded under the 11th EDF -Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) and is designed to connect Caribbean and European businesses and attract FDI into the region from Europe. This Forum will provide a platform for the private sector in the Caribbean region to identify opportunities for trade, establish networks and alliances, secure market information and engender a better understanding of the business environment in the EU. It will also be an opportunity for the Caribbean to present opportunities for investment in the region to EU investors. In the area of trade, this 4th Business Forum will focus on three priority sectors namely: Agro-processed Foods (i.e. sauces, condiments, rum); Natural Ingredients (for food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals); and Cultural and Creative Industries (i.e. music, film and animation). These sectors were selected based on their potential to expand market presence in the EU. In the area of investment, the focus will be on the sectors identified for promotion under the Regional Investment Promotion Strategy, namely, agri-business, hotel and resort development, renewable energy and outsourcing.
This study will seek to detail, at the firm level, the experiences of CARIFORUM firms that have exported goods and services in the aforementioned priority sectors to Europe and of those investors in Europe and in the Caribbean, who have taken advantage of the Agreement and have invested since 2008 when the Agreement was signed. This review will provide the basis for a discussion at the Business Forum on the challenges identified and the steps that can be taken to improve CARIFORUM-EU relationship in the areas of trade and investment.
Interested parties are required to download the full terms of reference and submit a technical and financial proposal to Damie Sinanan, Manager, Competitiveness and Export Promotion, at [email protected] , copied to Suzette Hudson, Senior Advisor, Investment Promotion at [email protected]
The deadline for submissions is 4:30 p.m. Barbados Time on 28 June 2019.