In an effort to grow Barbadian exports by increasing the number of companies which are actually exporting, the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) has just concluded a three-day trade mission to St. Lucia.

The mission which took place from January 21 to 23 was organised as part of the Corporation???s Export Readiness programme, which seeks to provide export marketing training to high potential companies in order to enhance their management expertise.

While in St. Lucia, the companies attended business to business meetings with distributors, boutiques, retailers, banks and persons seeking strategic partners and franchises. They also met with umbrella bodies and the broad membership of the architects association and business associations.

Done in an effort to broaden their experience and assist in creating useful networking opportunities, the group also spent some time in the main commercial area where they were able to conduct their own research on comparative pricing and product positioning and thus make an assessment of the business environment.

The Group was accompanied by two BIDC officers, Paula Bourne and Madeline Headley-Woodroofe who were on hand to provide guidance to the first-time exporters. The BIDC representatives also engaged in market research, gathering data and information which could be utilised by other companies interested in doing business with St. Lucia.

The six manufacturing companies and two service companies who travelled to St. Lucia were: Southpaw Grafix Inc. – graphic design and printing; Fifth Element Designs- fashion design and clothing; Quality Lamps and Shades – lamps, lampshades and wooden accessories; J???s Therapeutic Touch Spa and Holistic Centre – botanical products; Contempra Shades-shades, blinds, soft furnishings; Star Chick Ltd.- poultry products; L&N Workshop Inc.- automotive bodies and JP Marshall & Associates- ICT solutions.

The programme which has been ongoing for the past nine months is in collaboration with the University of the West Indies and ACTION Coach.

Author: BIDC/Theresa Blackman

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