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Members of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA) and the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA) are now more aware of the benefits of the CARICOM Interactive Marketplace and Suspension Procedure (CIMSuPro).

On Monday, the Foreign Trade Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade hosted a virtual presentation by CARICOM’s Secretariat, Senior Project Officer – Customs and Trade Policy, Bernard Black, on CIMSuPro, which is slated to officially come online from April 1 this year.

Minister of State in Foreign Trade and Business Development, Sandra Husbands, explained to participants that the meeting was being held to inform of Barbados’ participation in CIMSuPro, and the processes involved.

This, she noted, was part of Government’s quest to expand trade and create economic growth, which would also “boost regional trade and create food security and production security across the region”.

CIMSuPro, according to Mr. Black, is an online marketplace aimed at promoting trade within CARICOM, as well as managing the request and approval of the suspension mechanism of the Common External Tariff (CET), in an effort to reduce processing times and make it easier to do so.

He also informed members of the BPSA and BMA that in addition to utilising CIMSuPro to post their raw materials, packaging, and finished products to CSME purchasers, they would also eventually be able to do so in the international marketplace within one year of the platform being launched.

Mr. Black also emphasised that the system requires sellers to maintain their “portfolio” online, and they are responsible for up-to-date information on their products, including the amount of product available for supply.

In addition to marketplace buyers and sellers, referred to as traders, CIMSuPro comprises administrators from the CARICOM Secretariat; moderators, who are drawn from the Ministry of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, which is the Competent Authority for the manufacturing sector within Barbados, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as the overall facilitator.  

He stated that the moderators are critical to having the CIMSuPro database populated, and their interaction with the producers and business support organizations is essential to achieving success.

Minister Husbands indicated to participants in the virtual meeting that not every product listed from Barbados may be a candidate for exponential regional trade, but stressed that participating in the digital platform would be beneficial.

“I, for one, would be extremely pleased to see as many Barbadian products mounted on the CIMSuPro.… I think COVID and this war has taught us how vulnerable we are, and we have to work at some level of production, security and food security.  This is going to be critical to all of us and our own resilience to existing as a firm and as we seek to build the resilience of the region,” Minister Husbands stated. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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