Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland shaking hands with Ambassador Taglialatela. (Photo: US Embassy Bridgetown)

Barbados will play host to several regional counterparts when the United States (US) Embassy hosts a US Commercial Service Trade Mission to the Caribbean at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Needham’s Point, St. Michael, from May 31 to June 5.

This was disclosed recently when United States Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Linda Taglialatela, met with Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland, at the Warrens’ Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.

Ambassador Taglialatela informed Minister Sutherland that the trade mission would offer US companies the opportunity to explore markets in the Caribbean, namely Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.

“It will also provide opportunities to local and regional micro, small and medium sized enterprises to establish relationships, partnerships and joint ventures with US companies,” she said.

The trade mission will also feature sessions relating to access to finance, logistics, disaster resilience and recovery, as well as export compliance.  It is expected that 80 to 100 companies from the US will be in attendance.

Minister Sutherland stated that the mission was timely. “It comes at a time when Barbados celebrates ‘We Gatherin’ and while the Ministry is continuing its efforts to provide opportunities for small businesses to develop and grow, especially in new and innovative areas, such as renewable energy.”

From left to right: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Esworth Reid; Political Economic/Commercial Assistant in the Embassy, Rachel Meyers; US Ambassador to Barbados, Linda Taglialatela; Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland; and Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Affairs in the US Department of State, Cynthia Kierscht. (Photo: US Embassy, Bridgetown)

The Small Business Minister told the Ambassador that Government had a mandate to create a fossil free environment by 2030 and there were many opportunities for businesses to provide services in this sector.

“The mission would, therefore, give small local businesses opportunities to partner in these areas; to give them the ability to compete in the global market space,” he stressed.

In addition to the trade mission, there was discussion on other areas relating to the Financial Literacy Bureau, the Electronic Single Window and the Barbados Trust Fund Limited, and how the US could offer support in these areas.

The meeting also touched on issues relating to the importation of pork. While reiterating there was no ban on the importation of pork, Minister Sutherland, however, told Ambassador Taglialatela that there must be opportunities for local pork producers to remain competitive in the marketplace, and Government was utilizing the Treaty of Chaguaramas “to ensure local pork producers could have their fair share of the market”.

Also in attendance were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Esworth Reid; Economic/Commercial Officer in the Embassy, Rachel Meyer; Political Economic/Commercial Assistant in the Embassy, Jonelle Watson; and Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in the US Department, Cynthia Kierscht.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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