Efforts to strengthen Barbados’ position within its number one export market – CARICOM – are being intensified.
And, as such, a 15-member contingent from Barbadian companies will be heading to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to participate in a trade mission scheduled for June 25 to 28.
The mission is being spearheaded by the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC), which will be working with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Hotel and Tourism Association to facilitate the meetings.
Following a successful multi-sectoral mission to St. Lucia and Grenada last year, this visit is being coordinated as part of the BIDC’s plans to broaden Barbados’ export base within the Caribbean and Latin America.
BIDC Director of Export Development and Promotion, Sonja Trotman, explained that: "The mission is part of a major effort to consolidate and grow Barbadian exports within the region. CARICOM represents a market where quick gains can be realised from new and traditional export products and is at the same time, an ideal entry point for first-time exporters to become immersed in conducting international business".
The Barbadian team will comprise of representatives from the condiments; confectionary; apparel and accessories; botanicals; jewellery; gift and decorative accessories’ sectors. Representatives from the Barbados Manufacturers Association (BMA) and the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team (BPSTT), have joined the BIDC as strategic partners, and will also be a part of the delegation.
During the visit, the contingent will engage in a number of meetings; consult with business support organisations and agencies; and explore opportunities for further development of trade relations, joint ventures and other investments. There will be a special focus on the spa and hospitality sectors, and, it is hoped that the trade mission will succeed in sustaining existing relations and creating new ones between Barbados and the targeted market.
Of main focus to the BIDC?? is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Invest St. Vincent & the Grenadines to encourage greater cooperation between the two countries on trade matters and business development in general.
According to preliminary statistics from the Barbados Statistical Service Barbados shipped approximately BDS$198.6 million in goods to CARICOM countries during 2010, a decline of 3.26 per cent from the previous year. Trinidad and Tobago remained this island’s main regional export partner, followed by St. Lucia and Jamaica. Exports to St. Vincent estimated at BDS$20.6 million, were up 7.3 per cent in 2011 when compared with exports in 2010.