Barbados is to play host to several American businesses on a six-year commercial service trade mission to the Caribbean to be organised by the US Embassy, Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Linda Taglialatela has revealed.
She made the announcement in talks with Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland at his Warrens office.
Ambassador Taglialatela told Sutherland that the trade mission, to be held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Needham’s Point, St. Michael, from May 31 to June 5, is to offer between 80 and 100 US companies the opportunity to explore markets in the Caribbean, namely Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.
She added: “It will also provide opportunities to local and regional micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to establish relationships, partnerships and joint ventures with US companies.”
The trade mission will also feature sessions on access to finance, logistics, disaster resilience and recovery and export compliance.
Sutherland declared that the mission was timely.
“It comes at a time when Barbados celebrates We Gatherin’ and while the ministry is continuing its efforts to provide opportunities for small businesses to develop and grow, especially in new and innovative areas, such as renewable energy,” he said.
The Minister for Small Business told the ambassador of the Government’s mandate to create a fossil-free economy by 2030, noting there were many opportunities for businesses to provide services in this area.
Sutherland said: “The mission would, therefore, give small local businesses opportunities to partner in these areas; to give them the ability to compete in the global market space.”
In addition to the trade mission, the diplomat and the minister discussed how the US could support three pro-business initiatives – the Financial Literacy Bureau, the Electronic Single Window and the Barbados Trust Fund Limited.
The meeting also touched on the issue of pork imports. While denying there was a ban on the importation of pork, Minister Sutherland told Ambassador Taglialatela that there must be opportunities for local pork producers to remain competitive in the marketplace. He said Government had invoked the CARICOM Treaty, the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, “tto ensure local pork producers could have their fair share of the market”.
Permanent Secretary Esworth Reid attended the talks along with the embassy’s Economic/Commercial Officer, Rachel Meyer; Political Economic/Commercial Assistant Jonelle Watson; and US Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs of the State Department, Cynthia Kierscht.