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115. FAO may usefully provide assistance in the development of joint ventures in the CECAF area at the following six levels:

Assistance in infrastructure building and development planning

116. This type of assistance is of course at the centre of FAO's activities and is not confined to joint ventures assistance. Through UNDP/FAO projects, assistance can be offered not only on such aspects of infrastructure building as training, institutional improvements and review of legislation, but also on development planning that will enable clearer decision making on the need for, and place of, joint ventures in the national development picture, and clarify objectives to be achieved by individual ventures.

Preparation of guidelines

117. FAO is in the process of drawing together all available information on joint ventures in fisheries and preparing a general study that can be used as a handbook by government officials and private enterprises alike when considering, negotiating and operating joint venture agreements.

Resource surveys and feasibility studies

118. FAO's ongoing assistance in the survey of fisheries resources in the area will help provide essential data on which joint venture operations can be based. In the area of feasibility studies, these must be carried out for each proposed project by the parties concerned. However, FAO can provide assistance in the form of check lists of matters to be covered in such studies and the form in which they should be presented as well as in the assessment, where appropriate, of proposals to government authorities.

Finding and introducing partners for joint venture operations

119. A problem mentioned by some countries was the difficulty experienced in locating and contacting suitable and reliable partners for prospective international joint ventures. Through its worldwide contacts, FAO can assist in effecting such introductions.

Assistance in negotiating joint venture agreements

120. FAO endeavours to provide, on request by Member Governments, assistance in the negotiation of joint venture arrangements involving governments of developing countries. In this connection, the Organization gives technical and legal advice to the prospective parties, promotes mutual appreciation of the individual parties' essential aims and interests and, generally, acts as “midwife” to assure the safe birth of joint venture arrangements.

Joint venture servicing

121. Once a joint venture agreement has been successfully negotiated and signed, assistance may still be required in the form of training, information on optimum types of fishing vessels, gear or processing equipment, prices, etc. to ensure the success of the venture and the active and informed participation of local interests in its management.

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