The challenges in accessing international markets are not insurmountable for Barbados.
That assertion is being made by trade consultant for the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team Shardae Boyce as concerns continue to mount about the inability of local businesses to reap the anticipated benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with Europe six years ago.
While revealing that her team has been helping to educate the private sector on how to use the EPA, Boyce today called for greater use of the funding opportunities originating from the agreement.
At the same time, she noted, there have been a few success stories.
“. . . At least one company [is] setting up in the European market through the provisions afforded by the agreement. Many other companies are trying to follow,” she said in as statement.
However, Boyce further stated, “The reality is, in some instances it is not easy to enter the European market due to a number of non-tariff barriers. Moreover, because Barbados lacks a modern agricultural health and food control system dairy and poultry products are barred from accessing Europe and other international markets.”
Speaking specifically to another external market arrangement being pursued by CARICOM, the CARICOM-Canada Agreement, the trade consultant noted, “Although CARICOM may not be able to agree to all of the logistics of the trade agreement with Canada it should seek to achieve a balance within the negotiations and move forward in an effort to capture the opportunity to increase its market share internationally.”