Stakeholder Consultation to Examine Entry of CARIFORUM Entertainers in the EU Market
Public and private sector stakeholders drawn from the Cultural Industry of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) are to participate in a Stakeholder Consultation on the Development of a Strategic Action Plan for the Entry of CARIFORUM Entertainers in the European Union (EU) Market, to be held in St George’s, Grenada from 14-15 October.
The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Unit based at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is convening the Stakeholder Consultation. The Consultation forms part of a consultancy which the Unit has been overseeing.
The consultancy is geared at formulating a Strategic Action Plan that will enable entertainers in CARIFORUM States to take advantage of development cooperation and trade opportunities under the EPA. The draft Action Plan will be under consideration at the Consultation.
The consultancy was made possible through funding from the United Kingdom Government’s Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund), which is also being utilized to support the Stakeholder Consultation. Financial support for the Consultation is also being provided by the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
The Consultation, which represents a key milestone in efforts to ensure stakeholders from the regional Cultural Industry are well-positioned to leverage the EPA to gain access to the EU Market, has five objectives: (i) develop a common understanding of the specific major opportunities for trade in cultural services from CARIFORUM countries, and the major constraints to taking advantage of these opportunities; (ii) identify current best practices in the development of cultural industries and promotion of trade in cultural services; (iii) clarify the roles and responsibilities of the regional agencies, national agencies and private firms (entertainment management companies, agents and promoters) involved in the development and promotion of cultural industries in CARIFORUM countries and ongoing and planned sector development initiatives; (iv) identify short-term implementation priorities and establish an interim committee to kick-start the implementation process; and (v) develop a results-focused Regional Action Plan for the Development of the Cultural Industries, including a framework for managing the implementation of the Action Plan.
Representatives from the Cultural Department in CARIFORUM States’ public sectors and a leading private sector organization in the performing arts, music or audiovisuals, in each State, are to participate in the Consultation.
During the engagement, strong emphasis will be on consideration of Action Plan priorities spanning: legislative and regulatory requirements; support for market development; sustaining market presence; increasing the volume and value of trade in goods and services; finding and securing partnerships to increase investment; resource requirements and funding.
Drawing on the foregoing priorities, the highlight of the Stakeholder Consultation will be the identification of short-term implementation priorities. Focus is expected to be on the development of a framework for managing the implementation of the Action Plan and assignation of oversight of the implementation process.
The Consultation will be facilitated by the experts retained to develop the Strategic Action Plan. Other resource persons are drawn from KEA European Affairs, the World Music Expo (WOMEX), London Film School, Question Mark Entertainment, Visual and Performing Arts Jamaica (VAPJ). The Regional EPA Implementation Unit’s Trade in Services and Investment Specialist, Ms S.H. Allyson Francis, also will serve as a resource person.
Presentations will be delivered by experts in music, audiovisual and performing arts who understand the requirements and challenges of EU market entry by actors from third-states.
The CARIFORUM-EU EPA includes a Protocol on Cultural Cooperation which, inter alia, provides for cultural cooperation between the EU and CARIFORUM States. The entertainment industry, which is a subset of the cultural/creative industry, represents a substantial and important area of actual and potential economic growth for CARIFORUM economies.
The fifteen signatory CARIFORUM States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.