Caribbean trade mission a success
Barbados could soon be expanding its exports to CARICOM.
This comes following the successful conclusion of a multi-sectoral trade mission led by the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) into St. Lucia and Grenada during the period March 21-25, 2011.
The mission has unveiled not only significant opportunities for trade and investment between Barbados and the two countries, but has generated a number of contracts and sales for several of the 15 Barbadian manufacturers who participated. Among them were six companies identified by the BIDC as high-potential exporters who were venturing into export marketing for the first time and who were able to secure contracts and sales.
Representing firms from Barbados’ construction, transport, wood and metal decorative products, food and beverages, apparel and accessories, renewable energy, printing and graphic design services sectors, the group reported positive outcomes and lucrative prospects for enhanced commercial ties with the territories. Even though some of the mission participants already have a significant market presence in Grenada and St. Lucia they were able to strengthen their position with increased interest in their product offering.
Mission coordinator, BIDC Business Development Officer, Ms. Madeline Headley-Woodroffe, said participants were able to initiate discussions with prospective business partners while showcasing their product and service offerings during the approximately 200 pre-arranged business-to-business (B2B) meetings. They also got the opportunity to tour the Free Zone in St’ Lucia and visit some food production and agro-processing facilities to gauge local production capabilities and explore joint venture possibilities.
The networking receptions hosted in each island Headley-Woodroffe said, offered a taste of Barbados with sampling of Barbados’ rums, rum cakes, meat products, condiments and sauces and afforded them the opportunity to forge relations with key representatives of the respective governments, business support organizations and business communities, who all extended a warm welcome and expressed a keen interest and desire to enhance commercial relations with Barbados. The BIDC is committed to active follow-up and engagement of the participants to ensure that the initial in-market discussions translate into successful projects.
The presence of the Barbadian delegation attracted much attention and was covered extensively in both the print and electronic media with the Corporation’s newly rebranded export promotion strategy taking the spotlight under the theme “Connecting with the World Through Trade”.
Beyond efforts aimed at increased market penetration and enhanced business linkages, the BIDC took the opportunity while in the territories to extend Barbadian goodwill with the donation food and beverages products contributed from the Pine Hill Dairy, Hanschell Inniss, Good Times Snacks, MIS Condiments and Spices and Caribbean Passion to the Le Marion Senior Citizens Home in St. Lucia and Father Mallaghan’s House for Boys in Grenada.
Friday, April 1, 2011