EU To Boost Caribbean Competitiveness By Strengthening Regional Partnerships

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BASSE-TERRE, Guadeloupe, Sunday December 11, 2016 – The INTERREG V Caribbean, a multimillion dollar EU-funded program to strengthen regional partnerships, will be officially launched in St. Lucia on Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

In addition to boosting the economic competitiveness of the region’s countries, the INTERREG V Caribbean program will also respond to environmental challenges and health issues, while promoting the joint cultural heritage of the region. The program focuses on priority areas such employment and innovation, natural hazards, the cultural environment, public health and renewable energy.

The INTERREG V Caribbean program partners regional organizations, including the Association of Caribbean States, CARICOM, CARIFORUM, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, with the Regional Councils of the French Overseas Departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana, and the French Overseas Collectivity ofSt. Martin. The organizations will meet to discuss the coordination and implementation of the program from December 12 to 14 in St. Lucia.

The three-day conference will highlight projects supported by the INTERREG Caribbean program, which aim to enhance regional collaboration. By launching the 2014-2020 program in St. Lucia, the organizers are aiming to strengthen regional partnerships between the French Overseas Departments and the English-, Spanish- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean countries and territories of the region. Another aim is to allow all regional stakeholders to be a part of the effort to put transnational cooperation at the heart of the sustainable development of the greater Caribbean.

Recognizing the growing importance of regional cooperation, the INTERREG Caribbean budget has been increased from €63 million (US$66.5 million) to €86 million (US$91 million), of which €64.2 million (US$68 million) is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the projects to be covered by the program through the French Overseas Departments and Territories.

The general session at St. Lucian by Rex Resorts on Wednesday morning, December 14 is open to members of the public, especially entrepreneurs, project developers and other parties who have an interest in the financing of regional business opportunities.

 

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