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September 13, 2013

Caribbean Export London Engage Initiative


On March 29th, 2012, Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) held a launch of its upcoming London Engage Initiative at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, St. Michael, Barbados. This Initiative comprises of events highlighting and showcasing Caribbean products and services in the backdrop of the Summer Olympics 2012 with the overall aim of this initiative is to ‘jump-start’ the utilization of the opportunities and benefits under the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

At the launch, the Chairman of Board of Directors of Caribbean Export, Ambassador Colin Murdoch expressed that ‘these initiatives represent a paradigm shift for the Agency in terms of how we get regional goods and services to the UK and wider markets. London 2012 showcases the Caribbean Brand. Break Point seeks to drive entrepreneurship and the CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum solidifies the viability of the EPA.

Details of these events includes:-

    • 2nd CARIFORUM-EU Business Forum

      The main objective of the Business Forum is to engage CARIFORUM and EU business persons to promote and discuss possible business ventures and challenges hindering exports and doing business in the respective regions. This initiative comprises of study tours to United Kingdom (UK), Germany and France with a Business Forum in the UK where business persons and representatives of business support organisations (BSOs) will be given the opportunity to engage potential clients, investors, distributors and partners from Europe and other ACP countries. The initiative will focus on businesses within the manufacturing and cultural sectors, particularly agro-processing, music, audiovisual, fashion and publishing.

    • Break Point


    This a business competition aimed at increasing the awareness of the benefits of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA and innovation in promoting products and services for thirty (30) selected CARIFORUM private sector firms specializing in agro-processing, light manufacturing, creative industries, including fashion and garments, processional services, specialized tourism and alternative energy. The selected 30 firms will undergo coaching and deliver a preliminary business pitch to be considered for the final pitch at the London Engage Initiative. All these stages of the competition will be filmed and produced into a reality television series. This initiative is jointly funded by UK Department for International Development (DFID), who sponsored the first iteration of the Breakpoint Competition.

In conjunction with the African Caribbean Business Experience and Expo, the following events will also take place during the London 2012 Olympics at the Grosvenor House, London:-

      • Cuisine and Hospitality Suite

        This will be a hospitality bar and lounge open for special invitees, including key business executives to showcase special Caribbean inspired cuisine using products, which are equipped to meet the requisite entry requirements for the European market under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.

      • Caribbean Soul Fusion Concert

        Artists and respective managers participating in the Business Forum will be given the opportunity to showcase their music and export potential in a concert featuring a range of Caribbean musical genres, namely Reggar, Soca, Zouk, Kompa, Caribbean Jazz, Folk and Afro-Haitian.

Other events being planned during the initiative, includes

      • Fashion Showcase of selected Caribbean designers;
      • Design Showcase of historical materials and building of the Caribbean as well as an exhibit entitled ‘Doors: Entryways to Sustainable Living’ featuring 3D rendered designs and walk-throughs of different types of eco-friendly building designs at the University of Westminster;
      • Sport Photography Display of life-sized photos of Caribbean athletes at the Westfield London Mall before the events to be held at the African Caribbean Business and Expo.

These activities are being coordinated by the Caribbean Export Development Agency, which is a trade and investment promotion agency representing the fifteen (15) CARIFORUM states that manages 28.3 million Euros under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) – Regional Private Sector Development Programme. The overall objective is to integrate CARIFORUM countries and their companies into the world economy through building their exports and boosting diversified export growth. Its three pillar approach of engagement is competiveness and engagement through investment strategies, direct assistance and research and development facilitation, trade and export development through business and market intelligence and export capacity building and institutional and capacity building through strengthening of business support organisations and advocacy.

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