Barbados will begin exporting some of its manufactured goods to Cuba in a matter of months, Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce Donville Inniss said today.
The Minister made that announcement midway through a tour of BMEX 2016, on which he was joined by Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley and two other Opposition Members of Parliament – Santia Bradshaw, and Kerrie Symmonds – in a show of bipartisan support for the productive sector.
Inniss and Bradshaw agreed on the need to further expand the market far beyond the island’s borders.
Inniss spoke of recent trade missions earlier this year to Guyana, St Lucia, and Grenada, remarking, “Only last week I concluded a tour with some Barbadian entrepreneurs in Cuba.
“That went very well. The Cuban market is not an easy one to penetrate . . . . It is not a market you just walk into like that”.
However, the minister revealed that since last year the Barbados Investment Development Corporation had been conducting market studies in Cuba.
“[Therefore] I expect over the next three months that we will be able to announce specific products that will be entering the Cuban market from Barbados.
“We want to be in there now. We’ve had a long formal relationship with Cuba, and I believe that we have a great opportunity now to expand our trade arrangement, both ways,” he added.
Though he did not discuss products, Inniss said his delegation to Cuba represented a cross-section of manufacturers and service providers.
He said some of the manufacturers had previously made attempts to enter that market on their own and were expected to make individual announcements in due course.