Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 21st 2014 Contents A16
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KINGSTON---The European Union (EU) is providing
350 million euros (one euro = US$1.29) to Caribbean
Community (Caricom) countries under the 11th
European Development Fund (EDF), says a senior
Charge d affaires at the delegation of the EU to
Jamaica, Jesús Orus Baguena said the funds for the
period 2014--2020 were an increase of 185 million
euros provided for under the tenth EDF from 2008
He said ten million euros was earmarked for regional
integration and the implementation of the Economic
Partnership Agreement (EPA), which governs Cari-
com s trade with the EU.
"This support should enable the private sector to
take better advantage of the enhanced access granted
under the agreement," Baguena said, noting that the
EU is currently implementing the EPA-I programme
350 million euros boost for Caricom
and has just started another Euro $7.3 billion
"The EU also supports tax reform, the
improvement of public finance management
and, more generally, good governance, with
all these programmes contributing directly
or indirectly towards improving the business
environment," he said.
Baguena said in Jamaica only, the EU
has provided financial and technical sup-
port of more than Ja$25 billion (one
Jamaica dollar = US$0.004) for private-
sector development, including support to
the banana and sugar industries.
He noted that the EPA aims at ultimately
ensuring a stable, predictable and transparent
business environment, thereby helping the
Forum of Caribbean States (Cariforum) to
attract more foreign investment, and making
further progress with regional integration.
The EU diplomat said the EPA would
improve the access of firms to competitive
intermediary goods and services, which in
turn will increase their own competitive-
"The EPA s rationale is to help create an
environment where trade spurs growth and
development. Ultimately, the success of
Jamaica will depend on its capacity to adapt
to the changing global economic environ-
ment and to create an internationally com-
petitive economy," Baguena stated.
Created in 1957 by the Treaty of Rome,
and first launched in 1959, the European
Development Fund is the main instrument
for providing community development aid
in the African, Caribbean and Pacific coun-
tries and the overseas countries and terri-
CASTRIES---Port Authority officials here are
reporting that they are poised to welcome over
685,000 cruise passengers and over 375 cruise ships
for the upcoming 2014/2015 cruise season, which
is an increase from the previous year.
Dona Regis, director of marketing and product
development, says over the years there has been a
slight dip in number, but the upcoming season seems
to be better than previous.
"A number of cruise lines are returning including
Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International,
P&O Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Windstar and MSC
cruise lines which has contributed to the increase in
numbers this season.
"Back on the itinerary this year after over an eight-
year hiatus is Disney Cruise lines which will be making
approximately five calls to the island for 2014/2015.
"St Lucia has become one of the best performing
cruise destinations in the Caribbean and this is no
"The port is located in Castries where there is an
eclectic mix of traditional charm and modern-day
conveniences, including duty-free shopping at La
Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine duty-free shop-
"We continue to work with our industry partners
to ensure that passengers and crew receive the
warmest welcome at Port Castries and continuously
promote Port Castries and Saint Lucia as the ideal
cruise destination," Regis stated.
For the past two years, Castries has been ranked
in the top 50 ports by the Global Cruise Market Mag-
St Lucia this year
A cruise ship docked off Castries, St Lucia.
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