BIDC Gives Trade Mission the Thumbs Up

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Peggy Okey of Solaris Global Energy Ltd., speaking with clients at the OECS Exhibition at the Radisson Hotel in Panama. (F.Ince/BGIS)

Barbados’ trade mission to Panama has been "very well received by the Panamanian business community".

That is the word from Director of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), Sonja Trotman, who said even though it was still quite early some business people had already had interaction with valuable partners.

"The participants I have spoken to so far are very pleased with the responses they have received. They have met some interesting persons and we have two more days of meetings, so we anticipate that each person should come away from this trade mission with good contacts on which to follow up," Mrs. Trotman stated.

However, she stressed that despite the initial contacts, it was a market they would have to work on. "So, as long as participants are prepared to work, follow up on contacts, which should include additional market visits, and ensure that their products are prepared and delivered on time, I believe that we can have a successful result in Panama," she insisted.

The Director noted that the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama had been "very accommodating" in arranging several business-to-business meetings. "An official with the Chamber also gave us an excellent presentation on how to do business with Panama and I believe the participants came away with a lot of information necessary to have access to this market," she proffered.

BIDC is charged with the responsibility of promoting and developing export markets. As coordinators of the mission, the Corporation has been making arrangements in Panama to ensure business-to-business meetings take place, as well as collaborating with its consultants to ensure all other arrangements are finalised for the relevant networking sessions.

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Sonja Trotman, Director of the??BIDC (F.Ince/BGIS)??

Mrs. Trotman described the markets in Panama and Costa Rica as "huge, open and on a rapid expansion path." She added:?? "Since we are in search of markets, in order to expand our global footprint, these ones do offer very viable options, which we cannot ignore.

"The market facilitation and the other aspects of assistance the BIDC is offering to prospective exporters trying to access those markets are intended to mitigate the routine challenges which affect the export effort."

The trade mission will leave Panama on Sunday, October 23, continue its second leg of the tour in Costa Rica and return to Barbados on Thursday, October 27. The delegation is headed by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, and includes Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman; Barbados’ Ambassador to Washington, John Beale; and Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Trade Division, Bentley Gibbs.

Several representatives from the private and public sectors, including Invest Barbados, are also participating in the mission, as well as six persons from the Chambers of Commerce in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.

This initiative has received significant financial support from the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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