By Natasha Walcott/ Mikaela Stoute
BARBADOS / GRENADA – It’s been one month since Caribbean Export’s Executive Director and Services Specialist met with Government Officials in Grenada to advance the country’s transformational agenda. One of the key takeaways from that engagement was the identification of capacity-building support to the islands’ agro-processors.
Consequently, a 2-day workshop, entitled “Leveraging CARIFORUM Trade Agreements” was hosted by Caribbean Export, in partnership with the European Union Delegation in Barbados from 22-23 February 2023 at the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort. This workshop covered several topics that are key considerations for MSMEs that are already exporting, or those considering exporting to the European Union.
Minister Joseph Andall, minister for foreign affairs, trade and export development delivered the opening remarks, demonstrating the government’s commitment to the private sector.
He noted: “The government of Grenada is committed to building and supporting the development of world-class brands that are capable of successfully competing in both regional and international markets, with special focus on the European market. As such, this workshop today is critical for firms that are serious about taking advantage of trade agreements such as the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and getting their products into those markets.”
Carlene Hamiliton of the EU Barbados and Eastern Caribbean States delegation navigated the EU export requirements portal to a packed room of close to 50 participants comprising representatives from 35 MSMEs and eleven ministry and business support staff.
Mikaela Stoute, research officer market intelligence and Natasha Edwin-Walcott, senior advisor competitiveness and export promotion from Caribbean Export emphasized ways to assess a firm’s export readiness, leveraged key market research and intelligence tools and showcased how to prepare for export promotion and enter new markets.
As far as possible, real-world examples were demonstrated, highlighting the opportunities and export potential of Grenadian products, but also the challenges of market access.
The Grenada trade and investment officials as well as the Grenada Bureau of Standards presented on the Grenada economy and the importance of standards and labelling in exporting products.
Participants’ products ranged from seamoss, teas, chocolate, water, sauces and condiments as well as service providers. By the close of the session on day two, the room was just as full as day one. Representatives were fully engaged, provocative in their thinking and ready to improve their business and export plans to take advantage of the trade opportunities presented.
Caribbean Export acknowledges the support provided by the local partners and business support organisations such as the ministry of foreign affairs, trade and export development, Grenada Investment and Development Corporation and the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce for the leadership in hosting this event.
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