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September 13, 2013

Workshop for the Establishment of a Regional Network of CARIFORUM EPA Implementing Authorities

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The Workshop for the Establishment of a Regional Network of CARIFORUM EPA Implementing Authorities took place 11-13 June 2012, at Hotel Plaza Naco, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with attendance of eleven (11) Member States.

This workshop is a follow-up to a Workshop held in Antigua & Barbuda in October 2011 by the Regional EPA Implementation Unit of CARIFORUM Directorate on the dimension of communication in EPA Implementation Process. From this meeting, the respective participants from the national implementation authorities expressed a need for a consultancy to assist with the undertaking of communication needs, including the establishment of regional online network.

The main objective of this Workshop was to assist the National Authorities in improving their communication activities as it relates to EPA Implementation, share experiences and best practices as well as introduce the CAFEIN Network and its various functionalities.

In the opening remarks, Mr. Manuel Rodriguez from DICOEX, on behalf of the Director, expressed that the key component to successfully communicating information on trade agreements is transparency. He reiterated that it was an important lesson for the Dominican Republic that providing efficient accessible information was an essential part of the smooth transition of the implementation process.

During the workshop, presentations were also given on a study to the ‘Monitoring the CARIFORUM-EU EPA: Where are we and what next steps?’, case studies on monitoring on a national level in Barbados, gathering statistical data for EPA monitoring in the service sector, and the Private Sector Development Programme under the 10th EDF implemented by Caribbean Export Development Agenda. The programme also included a visit to the offices of Direccion de Coordinacion de Importaciones (DICOEX) to discuss their strategy and operations in executing and monitoring the implementation process of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA, including its communications plan.

Courtesy of the Government of the Dominican Republic, the participants attended a cocktail party hosted by Minister Mr. Manuel Garcia Arevala and Vice Minister Mr. Fernando Pou of Ministro de Industria y Comercio de la Republica Dominica, and Mrs. Yahaira Sosa, Director of DICOEX as well as a cultural tour, including a tour of the Old Colonial City of Santo Domingo and dinner at a typical Dominican restaurant.

At the end of the workshop, it was agreed that Regional EPA Unit and national implementing authorities would work together and coordinate to create unified messages for varied stakeholders as well as develop a common template for the creation of the communication strategy.

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