CDB's EU-funded standby facility oversubscribed

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CDB's EU-funded standby facility oversubscribed

Funding to be made available by third quarter of this year

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

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The Caribbean Development Bank's (CDB's) newest facility funded by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) is oversubscribed, this based on the overwhelming response it has received from countries in the region.

In a release on Monday the entity said that the overwhelming response stemmed from a proposal by the bank in February which focused on financing interventions for enhancement of the regional trading environment.

“Also known as the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM)-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building, the facility received close to 50 applications from 14 countries in the CARIFORUM region. CDB supported 28 trade-related projects under the 10th EDF,” the release stated.

“Evaluation of submissions will be completed in the upcoming months and all shortlisted projects are subject to final approval by an oversight committee comprised of CDB, CARIFORUM, Caricom and EU representatives. Implementation in the beneficiary countries is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2020,” it continued.

The facility targets organisations in the public and private sectors that promote integration of Caribbean economies into the global marketplace, with a focus on European markets. Projects aimed at improving local and regional quality infrastructure, standards bodies, and trade facilitation are also being evaluated.

Projects under review cover a broad spectrum of areas aimed at improving competitiveness and market access, increasing exports, and expanding and supporting the services and agro-processing sectors.

Director of projects at the CDB, Daniel Best attributed the response of those seeking to access the EUR 8.75-million resource to latent demand for such support across Caricom.

“CDB's ongoing partnership with the EU continues to demonstrate the need for initiatives that can positively impact both the capabilities of regional entrepreneurs and national trading environments,” he stated whilst lauding member countries for showing resilience and adaptability amidst the accompanied challenges of the pandemic.

CDB and the European Union, through the standby facility and similar projects, are building on a long-standing relationship focused on activities that advance implementation and trade under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA and the CSME.

According to Calvin Manduna, the facility's project manager, “The onset of COVID-19 and its effect on trade in the Caribbean highlight the exigency of increased support to strengthen the private sector, intra-regional trade, and increase utilisation of trade preferences under the CSME and the EPA.”

— Kellaray Miles


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