Bridgetown, Barbados, 18 February 2014/Caribbean News Now/ACP — Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), on behalf of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat hosted a regional private sector consultation meeting in Barbados on February 14, 2014.

The purpose of this meeting was to gather input from key stakeholders from across the region to inform the ACP Secretariat in the preparation of a private sector development strategy for the ACP group as well as Caribbean Export for the future direction of the regional private sector development programme under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).

Following a meeting in Brussels on November 11, 2013, held by the ACP Secretariat in order to guide the preparation of a private sector support strategy for African, Caribbean and Pacific states and regions, it was recognised that a new strategy is necessary to support private sector development due to the less than satisfactory performance of private sector support in the past.

In addition the significant changes that have taken place in the realm of private sector development and the paradigm shift that has taken place in engaging the private sector for sustainable and inclusive development also contributed toward this need.

The proposed strategy coincides with the European Commission’s preparation of a communication on “Strengthening the Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in Developing Countries” and programming of the 11th EDF with Caribbean Export. Moreover it is hoped to establish partnerships within a framework where the private sector is fully engaged in a manner that makes business and investment climates more conducive and enables better management of risks and facilitation of financial and non-financial transactions.

It is recognised by the European Commission, the ACP Secretariat and Caribbean Export that economic growth needs an enabling business environment and a competitive local private sector that is equipped to harness the opportunities offered by globally integrated markets.


(Photo: Milton Lawrence, expert in charge of private sector, African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and David Gomez, manager – trade and export development, Caribbean Export Development Agency (seated)/ Caribbean News Now)