CDB introduces Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund to regional practitioners at CARIFESTA XIII

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August 22, 2017, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Building on the recent announcement of its provision of initial capitalisation for the Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) recently introduced the CIIF to approximately 100 cultural practitioners, policymakers and academics from across the Caribbean. The occasion was the Cultural Policy and Intellectual Property Rights Workshop, held as part of CARIFESTA XIII in Barbados on Sunday August 20, 2017, sponsored by CDB.

Lisa Harding, Private Sector Development Specialist, CDB, noted that the CIIF was developed to support an enabling environment for the development of the cultural industries sector, and could make the cost of doing business more affordable for Regional cultural practitioners.

This Fund is born out of the fact that we recognise there’s a void in the financing ecosystem. There are gaps, especially in grant funding for creative industry entrepreneurs and stakeholders in general. We consulted with several stakeholders to come up with a model that we believe will help to support the sector. The areas which the Fund will cover are music, audio-visual, film, animation and gaming, fashion and design and festivals and carnivals,” said Harding.

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CARIFESTA XIII Grand Market gets underway today

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The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre  in Barbados was a buzz of activity on Friday in preparation for the opening of the CARIFESTA XIII Grand Market which will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at noon. Vendors and exhibitors were busy preparing their booths, mounting their displays and making general arrangements. Minister of Culture, Barbados Hon. Stephen Lashley was there to oversee the activities.

Our Communications Officer at CARIFESTA spoke to the Minister who said that all activities in the CARIFESTA XIII schedule are still on despite the disruption cause by Tropical Storm Harvey.   He also encouraged persons to visit the Grand Market and Buyers Shopping Mall to witness various aspects of the Region’s culture on display.

Stay tuned to this space for the video interview with Minister Lashley who will provide more details on what to look forward to at CARIFESTA XIII, including the opening ceremony which will now be on on Sunday, August 20, 2017, starting at the Queen’s Park Oval and culminating at the Kensington Oval.

CARIFESTA a gateway to EPA – Minister Lashley

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Barbados is leveraging its $6 million investment in CARIFESTA XIII against the opportunities to break into the European Union’s (EU) cultural industries market.

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley contends the region has been “slow” in taking advantage of the opportunities offered through the EU/Caribbean Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Monday he told the media: “We are strategically trying to position our creatives to make that agreement a living document and, of course, working with our various partners in the EU and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) we want to ensure after CARIFESTA there is a strategic focus on gaining market share.”

Lashley said CARIFESTA was one of the first moves to translate the artistic talent of the Caribbean into revenue and to prepare its artistic developers for the bigger markets. To date $2.5 million of the $6 million budgeted for the Festival has been spent, he said.

Read more at: Nation News

CET, Rules of Origin critical to viability, competitiveness of indigenous industries – Review Consultation hears

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The protection of indigenous industries to ensure their viability and competitiveness on the global market and the harmonisation of rates across CARICOM were among the key concerns raised at a Consultation on the revision of CARICOM’s two trade instruments.

The trade and revenue instruments are the CARICOM Common External Tariff (CET) and the Rules of Origin.

At the brief opening ceremony of the one-day Consultation on 25 July, 2017, at the CARICOM Secretariat, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Mr.Joseph Cox called for frank discourse against the background that the CET in its current format, was not sustainable and was not serving the purpose for which it was originally intended.

He said order, structure and modernisation were necessary for the instruments to work for the Region.

Regional stakeholders at the Consultation acknowledged the importance of the CET and the RoO to the economic growth of the Region. They recommended the careful consideration of derogations of the CET on some products, as well as the implementation of a modernised and simplified version of the Rules of Origin.

Consultant, Mr. Dan Ciuriek, said that the review of the regime was to ready it for free circulation, a fully functioning CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and to be effective as a springboard into the global economy.

Listen as Mr. Bernard Black, Senior Project Officer, Customs and Trade Policy at the CARICOM Secretariat, provides some insight into the discussion and the next steps that are to be taken.