Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss will lead a five-day trade mission aimed at increasing this island’s exports to three neighbouring Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states.
Inniss, who is to be accompanied by his Permanent Secretary Philmore Best and five other officials, is scheduled to visit St Lucia, Grenada and Guyana on the mission, which also seeks to enhance the development of trade relations, joint ventures and other investments.
Organized by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), the mission includes three BIDC export and business development officers, along with a representative from the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association and Foreign Service Officer Corey Archer.
It will see 17 local companies marketing their products and services through business-to-business meetings and consultations. Participants from the food, beverages, condiments, printing and professional services sectors leave the island on Sunday for St Lucia. The mission then moves on to Grenada on Tuesday, January 26 and Guyana on Thursday, January 28.
One of the highlights of the visits to St Lucia and Grenada will be the signing of memoranda of understanding between the BIDC and the St Lucia Trade and Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) and the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation.
Bridgetown is also exploring opportunities for expandede trade with Guyana, as well as Brazil via Guyana’s partial scope agreement with that South American country.
In 2014, Barbados shipped $48.4 million in goods to Guyana; $29.7 million to St Lucia; and $18.5 million to Grenada.
Speaking ahead of the mission, BIDC Chief Executive Officer Sonja Trotman said: “We believe there are still many untapped opportunities for innovative companies willing to explore niche areas and provide high quality goods on par with imports from larger international suppliers.”
The mission, entitled Embracing Our Region, is one of the major activities in the BIDC’s Going Global programme, and the first of several export initiatives planned for 2016.
A second mission to northern CARICOM countries is scheduled for later this year.