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September 13, 2013

Attendance of the Validation Seminar on “Strengthening the Capacity of Services Suppliers to compete effectively in the European Union and Other International Markets”

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On December 9th, 2010, the Antigua and Barbuda EPA Implementation Unit was invited by The EPA Implementation Unit of the Foreign Trade Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados to attend and participate in a Validation Seminar to conclude a four-month consulting project on “Strengthening the Capacity of Services Suppliers to compete effectively in the European Union and Other International Markets.” The consultancy was undertaken by consultants Professor Dr. David Diaz and Ms. Lisel Harewood. The seminar served to present and discuss the consultants’ findings with services suppliers and their business support organizations, as well as, benefit from sharing experiences with CARIFORUM countries.

The consultants presented analysis on export opportunities that could be exploited under the Agreement, which included information gathered from exploratory trade missions to ten EU countries, including Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and the United Kingdom and the French Caribbean Outermost Region (FROCs). This information provided insight on the main barriers and business opportunities pertaining to services exports for CARIFORUM companies and suppliers in four main cluster groups, professional services, ICT, creative and culture industries and travel and tourism services particularly in the area of health, business and sport tourism.

The Hon. Ms. Maxine McClean – Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Barbados giving the featured opening address highlighting the steps taken by the Barbadian government to push forward implementation of the Agreement, including the work of their Unit since being established in July 2009.

Along with the report of the findings of the study by the consultants, industry players, such as Ms. Brenda Pope, President of CICMC presented specifically on Management Consulting and Business Advisory Services and Mrs. Susan Springer, The Executive Vice-President of the Barbados and Hotel Tourism Authority spoke on the advantages that could be had through the implementation of the Agreement and the pertinent next steps to be taken in this respect.

The representative from Antigua & Barbuda, Ms. Alana Benjamin – EPA Implementation Unit sat on a panel discussing “The opportunities and main barriers facing CARIFORUM exporters and services in EU Market’ and “Strategic Initiatives by CARIFORUM Countries to capitalize on market access opportunities available to Caribbean Exporters of Services.” with Mr. Eisenhower Douglas, Director of Trade, Minister of Trade, Industry & Commerce and Mr. Dav Ernan-Kowlessar, President, Trinidad Chapter of CICMC.

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