Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry is returning to the board of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) as Antigua and Barbuda’s representative. He was re-appointed recently by Asot Michael, minister of investment and trade. Ambassador Henry last represented the country’s interest on the board a year-and-a-half ago.
Caribbean Export is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group. It was established in 1996 by an Inter-Governmental Agreement as the regional trade and investment promotion agency serving 15 States of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM), including Antigua and Barbuda.
Dr. Henry told OBSERVER media that as a board member he will be able to identify resources that will directly target small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country, as well as being directly involved in the overall mandate of the agency.
“The board meets on occasion to review and set parameters to ensure the member states are well serviced in the overall regional agenda to build the capacity of the private sector. There are representatives from each member state on that board,” Dr. Henry said.
Meanwhile, Caribbean Export is currently partnering with the European Union to provide grant funds to private sector companies in the region under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS).
DAGS is a reimbursement grant-funding programme designed to specifically provide financial assistance to legally registered firms and individuals with the potential to export their products and services.
Under the revised DAGS programme, the ceiling for grants has increased to 50,000 euros, or U.S. $61,783, with a minimum grant amount of 10,000 euros, or U.S. $12,356.
Application for the grant will open on April 23 after Caribbean Export publishes the Call for Proposal. The form and guidelines will also be posted on the agency’s website. The National Authorisation Officer (NAO) and the Antigua and Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) are the two agencies that will be working along with local businesses desirous of applying for the grant.