EPA Parties to Co-operate in Promoting Creativity


Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries and the European Union are expected to co-operate in promoting creativity and innovation, under the recently negotiated Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).This is essential for the development of entrepreneurship and competitiveness in achieving the overall objective of the agreement.
As set out in the document, this co-operation is in recognition of the fact that it is necessary to take certain measures and policies at the regional level, in order to fully attain the objectives of co-operation in the area of competitiveness and innovation.
The CARIFORUM states, which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States, have agreed to increase action at the regional level with a view to providing enterprises with a regulatory and policy framework conducive to fostering competitiveness through innovation and creativity.
Specific areas in which the parties have agreed to co-operate are: promoting innovation, diversification, modernization, development and product and process quality in business; creativity and design, particularly in micro, small and medium enterprises; and exchanges between networks of design centres located in the Europe Community and the CARIFORUM States; promotion of dialogue and exchanges of experience and information between networks of economic operators; and technical assistance, conferences, seminars, exchange visits, prospecting for industrial and technical opportunities; participation in round tables and general and sectoral trade fairs.
It has also been agreed that there will be promotion of contacts and industrial co-operation between economic operators, encouraging joint investment and ventures and networks through existing and future programmes; promotion of partnerships for research and development activities in the CARIFORUM States, in order to improve their innovation systems; and intensification of activities to promote linkages, innovation and technology transfer between CARIFORUM and European Community partners.
Specifically, the parties will foster the participation of the research and technological development bodies in the co-operation activities in compliance with their internal rules. Special emphasis will be placed on human potential building as the real long-lasting basis of scientific and technological excellence and the creation of permanent links between both scientific and technological communities of the Parties, at both national and regional levels.
Research centres, higher-education institutions, and other stakeholders, including micro, small and medium enterprises, located in the Parties, will be involved where appropriate.
Meanwhile, in relation to co-operation on information society and information and communication technologies, the agreement states that the parties have agreed to co-operate in the areas of: dialogue on the various policy aspects regarding the promotion and monitoring of the information society; exchange of information on regulatory issues; exchange of information on standards and inter-operability issues; promotion of co-operation in the field of ICT research and in the field of ICT-based research infrastructure; development of non-commercial content and pilot applications in domains of high societal impact; and ICT capacity-building with, in particular, the promotion of networking, exchange and training of specialists, especially in the regulatory domain.

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