BRIDGETOWN: Head of the European Union delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barfod, has announced that the EU remains committed to working with Caribbean governments and the regional private sector in building economic resilience.
“The EU believes a favourable environment for doing business and the expansion of trade through regional and global integration are crucial in attracting and retaining private domestic and foreign investment,” Barfod told delegates at the 2014 Caribbean Exporter’s Colloquium, which was held at the Hilton Hotel in Barbados last week. The event is funded by the EU under the 10th European Development Fund.
The EU official said that building economic resilience is a complex and time-consuming process.
“There are already encouraging signs in some countries such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic with regard to the benchmark ease of doing business,” said Barfod.
Despite challenges, Barfod said the EU anticipates the continuation of successful collaboration with regional governments.
As an example, he referred to the first joint Caribbean EU-Partnership strategy that was completed in 2012 and now provides the framework for the 11th Regional program for 2014-2020.
He said the discussions surrounding this program will soon be completed and the focal sectors will include “regional economic integration, crime and security and environment, climate change and energy”.
Barfod said the EU will continue to forge stronger linkages between its interventions aimed at “private sector-led economic growth…in a bid to promote stronger, greener, more resilient economies in the Caribbean region”.