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Butch Stewart

The Story of Sandals: Life’s A Beach and Ready for Business

Trade finance Essential Fuel for Caribbean Trade Growth

Tessanne Chin The Voice of a Region




16 6

Message from the Chairman of the Board


Message from the Executive Director


Message from the Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean

pulse of the caribbean 12

Understanding the State of Play: The region’s economic performance and the role of Caribbean Export


Enhancing Regional Growth Through Trade


Guyana: The Next Economic Tiger?


Trinidad and Tobago: Moving Beyond the Petro-Economy


Jamaica: From Debt to Development?


OECS: The Quest for Economic Resilience

trade & export hot spots 26

The Unexploited Gateway to Brazil


Expanding Caribbean Exports to Fast Growing African Economies


Satisfying the German Demand for Caribbean Specialty Foods


Company to Look Out for: 10 Saints Brewery Company Limited

our competitive advantage



Agro-processing: What’s Our Unique Selling Point?


Company to Look Out for: Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Limited


The Caribbean Services Sector and the Opportunities Under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA


On the Right Track: MVP Boosting the Business of Sport


One-on-One with Two-Time Olympic Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce


The Caribbean: Sun, Sea, Sand and Sport


The Creative Industries: Exploring Opportunites


The Voice of a Region: Tessanne Chin’s Rise to Prominence


Designing Haiti


Company to Look Out for: MAG’ ART


Creole Music Reaps Benefits for the Dominican Tourism Industry

clearing the hurdles 82

Evaluating the Main Challenges to Caribbean Private Sector Development


Dilemma of Difference


Trade Finance: Essential Fuel for Caribbean Trade Growth


Regional Food Safety in Focus: Insights with Technological Solutions Limited


Company to Look Out for: Baron Foods Limited


Building the Bridge to Mutual Recognition of Caribbean Professionals


Attracting Investment to Enhance Trade

exporters’ insights 106

The Story of Sandals: Life’s A Beach and Ready for Business


Driving Success: The Automotive Art Strategy for Growth and Sustainability


Recipe for Success: Rainforest Seafoods on Serving the Region


Company to Look Out for: SMAKS Luxury Group Limited

exporters’ tool box 122

Caribbean Export’s Suite of Services


Directory of Key Contacts for CARIFORUM Exporters

appendix 129

Tabular Country Profile of each CARIFORUM State

credits Produced by


Sales and Advertising

The Caribbean Export Development Agency

Neysha Soodeen

1st Floor Baobab Tower

Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB22026

Toute Bagai Publishing

Murl Walcott

Tel. +1(246) 436-0578

MACO Magazines

Fax. +1(246) 436-9999

26 Kelly Kenny Street, Woodbrook

Port of Spain, Trinidad

Design and Layout

Tel. +1(868) 622-0519

Jason Waithe


CARICOM DEVELOPMENT FUND (CDF) The Barbados-based CDF was launched in 2008 as a development

gone to the Public Sector while 45 percent have been applied to

and sectors” within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by

close partnership with the public, private, non-Government and other

fund with a mandate to support “disadvantaged countries, regions providing grants and loans to Member States to ameliorate disparities and dislocations resulting from the implementation of the CSME.

enhancing competiveness in the Private Sector. The CDF works in

development agencies to optimize the use of the Fund’s resources for the benefit of the Member States.

The core activity of the CDF is its Country Assistance Programmes

At the end of August 2014, the CDF had approved US $46.05

these Member States. Fifty-Five percent of all approved CAPs have

$19.8 million to these Member States.

(CAPs), aimed at mitigating temporary economic constraints facing

million for all eight eligible countries and disbursed a total of US


SAINT LUCIA: US $6.10 million for private sector financing,

DOMINICA: US $7.14 million for agricultural export development

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS: US $3.99 million for financing SME’s, agricultural

GRENADA: US $ 3.76 million for energy efficiency in the tourism

ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: US $7.47 million towards

GUYANA: US $7.32 million towards upgrading farm access roads

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: US $4.02 million for the redevelopment

development in the Private Sector

and financing to private sector entities

sector and financing private sector enterprises

for agricultural development

agricultural development and export promotion

development and energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector

airport construction works at the Argyle International Airport

of the Lower St John’s Cruise Terminal and completion of the Learning Resource Centre

First Floor East SKYMall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael Phone: 246-436-1849 Fax: 246-435-4037 Web:

message from The Chairman of the Board As members of CARIFORUM, we welcome

providing potential investors with an insight

the launch of the region’s first trade and export

into the Caribbean business landscape.

publication: Caribbean Export OUTLOOK by the Caribbean Export Development

Our common quest for regional export

Agency (Caribbean Export). This is a timely

growth remains a powerful yet exciting

publication, which is intended to help fill the

challenge. Lessons learnt must be shared

information gap experienced by our region’s

and the innovativeness which resides in all

exporters as they venture beyond their borders

of us must be harnessed. We need to take a

in search of new trade opportunities.

close look at the things we do well, recognize where best we can add value, and determine

The world of international trade is ever

the goods and services that can be packaged

changing and increasingly competitive.

and branded with our “Caribbeaness.”

Companies continually offer new products and services through innovation, countries

This publication is a valuable step in the

increase market access via trade negotiations,

right direction, providing an effective

and the establishment of new technical

platform for the dissemination of useful

barriers to trade cause manufacturing to

trade information, and updates on regional

become a truly international process with

trade issues. We hope that it will stimulate

a global value chain here to stay. Faced with

awareness and help generate the necessary

a myriad of challenges and trade dynamics,

discussions on the way forward for the region,

CARIFORUM exporters, who are sufficiently

as an important member of the international

informed with up-to-date pertinent trade data,

trading system.

are naturally best positioned to secure long term trading success. They are able to harness

It is my hope that the regional private sector

information to enhance their international

will make full use of this publication, which

competitiveness, seek niche opportunities, and

represents the compilation of some of the

gain inspiration from regional success stories.

best trade research efforts of relevance to CARIFORUM. Congratulations are

Caribbean Export OUTLOOK is intended

extended to the staff of Caribbean Export

to provide this necessary level of information

who conceptualized this publication and have

to facilitate the navigation of international

made it possible. We all cheer the start of what

trade by our regional exporters, whilst

is set to be a longstanding tradition. Christopher Lewis The Chairman of the Board The Caribbean Export Development Agency


message from The Executive Director The Caribbean Export Development Agency

that the region can capitalize on, while

(Caribbean Export) is pleased to publish this

readers can learn more about sectors such as

inaugural edition of the Caribbean Export

the creative industries and agro-processing

OUTLOOK. Throughout its existence,

under the section covering Our Competitive

Caribbean Export has endeavoured to serve

Advantage. Caribbean Export further

the CARIFORUM private sector through a

identifies a number of cross-cutting issues

number of initiatives designed to increase

and challenges facing exporters in Clearing

competitiveness to enable businesses to enter

the Hurdles, which is followed by Exporters’

new markets and take their brands to the world.

Insights, where we take you on a journey with some of the region’s most successful exporters

In order for Caribbean countries to take full

to highlight some of the strategies they have

advantage of the opportunities available under

used in moving their businesses beyond their

the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership

local markets. We conclude the publication

Agreement (EPA) and other trade agreements,

with an Exporters’ Toolbox, which contains

we must increase the availability and use of

valuable business contacts for exporters.

high-quality information on markets of interest and ensure that it forms the basis of all trade-

We hope that this publication will raise

related decision making. There are currently

awareness of key issues affecting the private

no other regional publications dedicated to

sector; provide information for planning

providing trade-related information written

firm-level and national-level export strategies;

specifically for the private sector. The purpose

engage stakeholders, whether policy makers or

of producing this annual publication is to give

trade promotion organisations, to improve the

exporters timely and relevant information

export environment for firms; and contribute

that will ultimately enhance their export

to the discussion on the way forward for


regional export development and promotion.

The first section in the publication, Pulse of

This publication will also highlight to the

the Caribbean, provides an understanding

world that we in the Caribbean produce

of the current economic situation facing

quality goods and services that epitomize the

CARIFORUM States and a vision for

essence of who we are as a people—passionate,

regional growth through increasing trade and

diverse and exquisite. The Caribbean is ready

exports. The Trade and Export Hotspots

for trade and I invite you to read and share our

section highlights select country markets

OUTLOOK as we continue to champion

and opportunities within those markets

and support the region’s private sector.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton Executive Director The Caribbean Export Development Agency


message from The Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean It is a pleasure for the European Union (EU)

Since 2011 under the 10th European

to say a few words in this inaugural issue of

Development Fund (EDF), the EU’s support

the Caribbean Export OUTLOOK and

to Caribbean Export has been focused on

we take this opportunity to congratulate

assisting the region in the implementation of

the Board members, Executive Director and

the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

staff of the Caribbean Export Development

signed in 2008. It goes without saying that EPA

Agency (Caribbean Export) for the initiative

implementation remains a priority for the EU.

to put this well-needed information into the

The CARIFORUM-EU EPA is the only one of

public domain.

its kind and we truly believe that it will make a difference—not only in EU-Caribbean trade

Caribbean Export continues to make an

relations but also the region’s success on the

invaluable contribution to the growth and

international trade stage.

development of the private sector in the Caribbean. The EU has had a longstanding,

There can also be no doubt that the EU

successful partnership in private sector

remains committed to the continued thrust

development with Caribbean Export

in making the Caribbean a viable and

spanning over 18 years.

vibrant region for international trade and investment. We have invested a considerable

The involvement of the EU in advancing the

amount of financial and human resources

growth and competitiveness of the regional

in this regard, and look forward to further

private sector over the past 18 years is

successful collaboration with our partners

indicative of the recognition that a dynamic


private sector is the basic prerequisite for

Export, as well as other regional and national

economic growth, job creation and poverty

organizations and other international donors.

reduction. Regional and global economic integration through trade liberalization and

I would therefore like to end by congratulating

the proliferation of bilateral and multilateral

Caribbean Export once again for this milestone.

trade are central pillars of EU development

I would also encourage the private sector to take

policy in the context of EU-Caribbean

advantage of this unique opportunity which


is unprecedented in its scope and provisions. Thank you. His Excellency Ambassador Mikael Barfod Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean


pulse of the caribbean


understanding the state of play:

the region’s economic performance and the role of Caribbean Export BY PAMELA COKE-HAMILTON

Despite overall global economic recovery

exchange earnings, employment and overall

in 2013, the Caribbean region remains

socio-economic development. Today, while

mired in the struggle to emerge from the

agriculture still contributes significantly to

worldwide recession that started six years

the GDP of some member states (Guyana

ago. A quick scan of regional economic data

21%, Belize 12% and Suriname 10.9%) the

reveals the unhealthy figures that continue

majority of countries in the region have

to plague country reports and do little to

diversified away from agriculture and are now

Caribbean finds itself with the challenge

increase investor confidence in the region.

heavily dependent on the services industry

of not only fighting for the survival of

With unemployment as high as 20% in some

(Source World Bank). In 2010, services

such a vital sector, but also charged with

Eastern Caribbean countries and high debt

contributed an average of 77% towards GDP

the responsibility to further develop niche

to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratios in

for 13 CARIFORUM States (Source UN

sectors and explore new export market

Jamaica (146.2%) and Barbados (109.7%),

Main National Accounts aggregates). At the

opportunities for its goods and services.

the region is at a pivotal point in its historical

individual country level, the importance of

and economic development (Source RBC

services is even more apparent. A snapshot

Since the 2008 signing of the Economic

Caribbean Economic Report June 2014).

of statistics showing the contribution of

Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the

While regional governments are battling

the finance and business services sector in

Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and

credit rating downgrades and implementing

Barbados, for example, shows how integral

Pacific States (CARIFORUM) and the European

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

it is to the country’s national development.

Union (EU), regional exports to the EU have

programmes, the private sector is caught in

The sector employed 17, 800 persons and

increased and mainly included primary products

the middle as the business environment has

accounted for BDS $921.4 million worth of

such as oil, mineral fuels and distillation

drastically changed, resulting in the closure

exports in 2013 (Source UNCTAD).

products. By 2013, total CARIFORUM exports

of some companies and the retrenchment of


to the EU were valued at US $ 5 billion (Source

workers. There is therefore an urgent need

However, despite the importance of services

ITC). However, non-traditional exports to the

to support the private sector in mitigating

to regional economies, governments are

EU in 2013 grew by 15% between 2009 and

the negative effects of the crisis while also

again faced with global threats to one of its

2013 and totalled US $3.2 billion. There is still

strengthening its internal capacity to export.

niche services—the financial services sector.

much work to be done in increasing exports

This sector, which is the second largest

from the Caribbean to the European market.

The Caribbean has historically been

contributor to GDP in the Caribbean region,

Through its work programme, Caribbean

dependent on export earnings to contribute

has come under increased scrutiny through a

Export has been working assiduously to ensure

to economic and social development.

number of developed country led initiatives,

that this happens.

Under the Lomé Convention, the region’s

including harmful tax competition, anti-

agricultural products enjoyed preferential

money laundering standards, tax base

Currently implementing the 10th European

treatment in its trade with the European

erosion and profit shifting and exchange of

Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private

Union (EU), which augured well for foreign

information standards. In light of this, the

Sector Development Programme (RPSDP),


Caribbean Export has worked on a number

carry innovative products. Bearing in mind

there are still a number of areas that have to

of initiatives that are designed to enhance the

that nearly 7,000 companies exhibit at

be addressed if we are to continue on the

competitiveness and export capacity of regional

ANUGA, that is an amazing feat.

trajectory of attaining increased exports from

small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

our countries. Some of these (addressed under

and to increase trade and exports. The range of

As a result of our participation at ANUGA,

Clearing the Hurdles) include high energy

services offered by the Agency can be viewed

SMAKS Luxury Group Ltd. from Trinidad and

costs, limited access to capital, non-compliance

under the section, Caribbean Export’s Suite

Tobago was able to secure a major distributor

with international standards, and limited market

of Services. Our work has spanned a number of

for the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, and

contacts in export markets of interest. Addressing

priority sectors from agro-processing, to fashion,

Denmark) for their teas and Chai Rum. Orders

these issues requires the collaborative efforts of

music, and renewable energy and throughout we

from the prestigious InterContinental Carlton

policy makers, financial institutions and donor

have been privileged to work with companies that

Hotel in Cannes, France have been delivered

agencies to ensure that we can create solutions

demonstrate high levels of quality, innovation

and teas are already being served. Orders have

to the challenges facing the private sector. In this

and workmanship. Their stories are highlighted

been received from Italy, France, Switzerland,

regard, public-private dialogue will be critical in

at various points in the publication under

and the UK. Another company, 10 Saints

achieving this objective.

Companies to Look Out For.

Brewery from Barbados, received orders from buyers in Italy, Germany and France and is

Overall, the region must continue to explore

Caribbean Export is particularly proud

still engaged in discussions with prospects in

the sectors which offer us a competitive

to highlight the facilitation of Caribbean

Poland, Russia and Spain. It is our firm belief

advantage in trade. We must strengthen

firms to participate in the largest food and

that in our region, there are products that are

firms in these sectors while ensuring that

beverage trade show in the world—ANUGA,

ready for international markets. It is our role

the enabling environment under which they

which took place in Cologne, Germany

as an export promotion agency to offer them

operate is “business friendly’’ and conducive

in October 2013. Of the 11 Caribbean

the right type of support and guidance that

to business start-up and expansion.

firms that attended, three of them (Banks

will advance the region’s overall economic

Holdings Ltd. from Barbados, Marie Sharp’s


Fine Foods Limited from Belize, and Baron

The current state of play economically demands that we up our game in the area of

Foods Limited from Saint Lucia) received

While we acknowledge that the RPSDP has

trade if we want to emerge a stronger region,

the coveted Taste13 Award, which was

already made a contribution to increasing

one that can earn its living capitalizing on

bestowed upon 54 companies deemed to

exports and enhancing firm competitiveness,

the creativity of its people.



enhancing regional growth through trade BY SIR RONALD SANDERS

Much doubt currently exists over whether, in the present circumstances, trade can be expanded both within the Caribbean region and globally to enhance regional growth. A quick snapshot of the balance of trade deficit of 13 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries with the rest of the world makes depressing reading. The Bahamas and Haiti are excluded since they have not committed to the Caribbean Single Market and, therefore, the CARICOM Secretariat (which is the source of these figures) does not compile records of the trade of these two countries. In 2010, CARICOM’s balance of trade deficit with the world was US $2,600,326,524. By 2011, the deficit had increased to US $3,136,289,308. Only two CARICOM countries enjoyed a trade surplus– Trinidad and Tobago US $4,475,070,938 (2010) and US $5,321,850,194 (2011) and Suriname US $686,278,857 (2010) and US $878,276.061 (2011). Were it not for the performance of the latter two countries, CARICOM’s balance of trade deficit with the rest of the world would have been larger. Within CARICOM, Trinidad and Tobago is the only country that enjoys a balance of trade surplus. In 2010 the surplus was US $1,934,847,203 and in 2011 US $1,884,684,217. In terms of all exports between CARICOM countries, Trinidad and Tobago consistently averages 68 %. The preeminent position of Trinidad and Tobago in CARICOM’s trade is due to its exports of oil, gas and petroleum products. It also benefits from the advantage its private sector companies enjoy from cheaper costs of energy that reduce their costs of production and make them more competitive within CARICOM. It is telling that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARIFORUM 14


countries (CARICOM plus the Dominican

reached US $4.75 billion in 2013. Yet, many

The starting point to expanding trade both

Republic) and the European Union (EU) has

of the 14 independent CARICOM countries

regionally and globally is the implementation

produced no great benefits to the Caribbean

are currently experiencing very low or no

of the Caribbean Single Market. This

region. Exports of goods from Caribbean

economic growth, extremely high ratios of

includes removing all restrictions on the

countries to the EU have remained stagnant,

debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and

movement of goods, services and capital,

dropping from US $5.8 billion in 2007 to

declining foreign exchange earnings. Countries

and the right of establishment by nationals

US $5.7 billion in 2011. With regard to

with very low or no growth in percentage

and companies across all CARICOM

trade in commercial services, CARIFORUM

terms in 2012 were Dominica -1.7, Jamaica

countries. It is very doubtful that the

members exported US $6.2 billion in 2009

-0.5, Barbados 0, Saint Lucia 0.5, Grenada

requirement for free movement of people

declining to US $6 billion in 2011. It is said

0.6, Trinidad and Tobago 1.5 and the Bahamas

will be achieved anytime soon, except among

that the Caribbean private sector has failed to

1.8. Belize and Guyana were the only two with

the seven members of the Organisation of

take advantage of the opportunities the EPA

reasonable growth at 5.3 and 4.8 respectively.

Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), but the removal of all other restrictions could spur

offers, but the private sector has complained of severe restrictions on market access. In

In 2013, only four countries were exceptions

production integration, i.e., the combination

any event, the existence of the EPA has not

to those with unsustainably high debt-

of natural resources with capital and know-

resulted in greater exports of Caribbean goods

to-GDP ratios. They were: Haiti 21.3%,

how drawn from many Caribbean countries

and services to Europe.

Suriname 29.2%, Trinidad and Tobago 30.6%,

in the establishment and operation of

and Bahamas 56.3%. Of the others, Jamaica

Caribbean enterprises that are competitive

A protracted negotiation between Canada

138.9%, Grenada 115%, St Kitts and Nevis

internationally and within Caribbean

and CARICOM countries for a Free Trade

104.9%, Antigua and Barbuda 92.9% and

markets against external competitors.

Agreement (FTA) floundered at the end of

Barbados 92% have the highest debt-to-GDP

June 2013 and the arrangement under which

ratios. At the lower end of the unsustainable

The reality of Caribbean trade is that protected

many regional goods entered the Canadian

high debt-to-GDP ratio are Guyana 63.9%,

markets in the EU, Canada and the US are

market duty-free is now over. Canada was

Dominica 74.95%, Belize 75.5%, and St

history; the era of strong competition in trade

one of the few developed country markets

Vincent and the Grenadines 76.4% (source

has arrived and small inefficient manufacturing

with which CARICOM countries enjoyed

IMF and World Bank). It should be noted that

and agricultural sectors in individual countries

a trade surplus. In 2012, the value of the

in the case of Haiti, while its debt-to-GDP

cannot survive. However, trade can still enhance

trade surplus was US $735.1 million with

ratio is low, it has the highest rate of poverty

regional growth if CARICOM countries and

only a portion benefitting from duty-free

at 77% of its population. Other countries

the DR act together to jointly develop existing

treatment. But, CARICOM’s exports to

with high levels of poverty are: Belize 41.3%,

and potential agricultural, mineral, industrial

Canada represent only 4% of its total export

Grenada 37.7%, Guyana 36.1%, and St

and services products which can be produced

of goods–Caribbean governments might,

Vincent and the Grenadines 30.2%. These


therefore, have calculated that they could walk

figures alone should be strong reasons for

away from it. Not so with the United States

CARICOM governments to swiftly involve

What is required is a well-organised meeting

which accounts for more than 50 % of regional

the private sector and financial institutions

of Caribbean entrepreneurs, the Caribbean

trade. The failure to conclude an FTA with

in acting to reduce the enormous food import

Development Bank, national development

Canada, largely because it had no development

bill by greater trade amongst them in food

banks and visionary commercial banks

component and Caribbean governments fear

grown within the region.

with high-level government representatives

loss of revenue from the removal of tariffs on

to ascertain the opportunities that exist for

Canadian imports, portends great difficulties

Inadequate intra-regional transportation,

greater inter-regional and global trade. This

in negotiations with the United States–the

packing and storage facilities, and

meeting will also facilitate the creation of

Caribbean’s biggest trading partner–when the

dependence on high cost fuel oil and diesel

single Caribbean-owned companies that

present benefits under the US Caribbean Basin

remain huge obstacles to trade in all goods

could operate across borders to produce

Trade Partnership Act ends.

and they can only be overcome by private

products that could be traded competitively,

sector investment, access to capital from

and to identify where the capital could be

On top of all this, the Caribbean has an

development and commercial banks, and

raised to finance these operations through

astronomically high food import bill that

government facilitation.

joint private sector-government backing.

Sir Ronald Sanders is a Consultant, Senior Fellow at London University and former Caribbean Ambassador and trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation.



Guyana: The next economic tiger? BY DR PETER CLEGG



Guyana is the third smallest country in

years to strengthen ties. For instance, a partial

growing levels of trade, aid, and foreign direct

South America, located on the north-eastern

abolition of visas was agreed in 2003; a new


coast of the continent. Its total population is

border-crossing was established in 2009 when

also small, around 800,000 (giving Guyana

a bridge was built over the Takutu River; and in

However, there are concerns that Guyana’s

one of the lowest population densities in

February 2013 a joint Working Infrastructure

development is being undermined by its internal

the Americas), with 90% living within 10

Group met for the first time to discuss a

problems of weak state capacity, corruption,

miles of the coast. Although Guyana is the

series of projects to aid economic integration.

and discrimination. For example, Transparency

third poorest country in the Americas, it

Relations with Venezuela and Suriname are

International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions

has a tremendous stock of natural resources,

also deepening, despite continuing border

Index ranks Guyana 133 out of 174 countries

and it is highly anticipated and projected

and maritime disputes with both countries.

assessed (the second most corrupt country in

that Guyana’s economy has reached take-

Venezuela provides significant opportunities

the Caribbean after Haiti). While the World

off phase and high growth and sustained

through Petrocaribe (the oil supply and

Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness

development are now possible.

development programme), while there is

Report 2012-2013 identified corruption as the

significant “back-track’’ or informal trade with

second largest barrier, after crime and theft, for

Agriculture, the traditional economic sector,

Suriname. Guyana also has growing interests in

doing business in Guyana. In addition, Ralph

remains strong, while mining and forestry

several regional organisations that incorporate

Ramkarran, a former stalwart of the governing

are expanding quickly. Mining, mainly of

Latin America, including the Union of South

People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), claimed

bauxite and gold, contributes around one-

American Nations (UNASUR).

an awareness “of enough verifiable cases of

fifth of GDP and Guyana has seen healthy

corruption’’ to be satisfied that it is “pervasive.’’

growth in these industries in recent years.

UNASUR, which, in addition to South

The mining of manganese, uranium, and rare

American states also includes Guyana and

The associated threat of drug trafficking

earths is also being explored. It is expected,

Suriname (considered Caribbean countries

is also a concern. In its 2013 International

based on current exploration, that significant

although geographically located on the South

Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the US

quantities of oil will soon be found in the

American mainland) was created in 2008

Department of State noted, “The influence of

Suriname-Guyana basin. Meanwhile, logging

and has a mandate to bring the countries of

narcotics trafficking is evident in the political

in the tropical rainforest that covers around

the region closer together via infrastructural

and criminal justice systems…Traffickers are

75% of the country’s land area has increased

development. Other initiatives include plans

attracted by the country’s poorly monitored

appreciably with the granting of concessions to

for a single market by 2019 and the promotion

ports, remote airstrips, intricate river networks,

several Asian companies. Owing to the growth

of regional security. Owing to the clear policy

porous land borders, and weak security sector

in the gold sector, in particular, the national

agenda of UNASUR, a deepening institutional

capacity.’’ A further concern is the perceived

economy has strengthened. Guyana grew by

structure, and a substantial allocation of funds,

marginalisation of the indigenous Amerindian

an estimated 5.4 % in 2011 and 4.8% in 2012,

the organization could provide an important

community whose land is being exploited in

and it is predicted to grow by 5.5% in 2013 and

avenue through which Guyana extends its

the quest for overall economic development.

6.0% in 2014, thus recording the highest rate

links into South America as well as affording

of growth among CARIFORUM countries.

Guyana the privileged role of the bridge

It is evident that the government of

between South America and the Caribbean.

Guyana has undertaken significant reforms

The strengthening domestic economy is being

Beyond the region, Guyana maintains close

and strategic changes to enhance the

well supported by Guyana’s increasingly

ties with the United States. Guyana trades

competitiveness of Guyana’s economy. It is

vibrant foreign policy overtures. The

more with the US than with any other

also clear that more work needs to be done,

relationship that Guyana has with Brazil is

country. Further, China and India are both

but all indicators show that the country is

important and efforts have been made in recent

taking an increasing interest in Guyana, with

heading in the right direction.

Dr. Peter Clegg is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.



Trinidad & Tobago: Moving beyond the petro-economy BY DR PETER CLEGG



Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is emerging

and volumes are increasing. Another market

Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. In

slowly from a period of stagnation precipitated

is Latin America, particularly Argentina and

2013 Trinidad and Tobago was ranked 92 out

by the global economic downturn and

Brazil. Along with the exploitation of new

of 148 countries. The government is alert to

weakness in the country’s petroleum sector.

markets there are growing diplomatic links

the problems but addressing them will take

According to the Economic Commission for

with these regions. Other reforms include a

concerted action.

Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

number of new incentives from January 1,

the economy contracted by 4.4% in 2009,

2014 to encourage further investments in the

A further challenge to the government is gang-

grew by 0.2% in 2010, but fell back again in

energy sector; a new corporate governance

related crime. A recent report by the Council on

2011 by 2.6%. However, in 2012 recorded

code to promote more transparency and better

Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), a Washington-

growth was 1.5%, and it is estimated at 1.6%

company practices; amendments to the pension

based US think-tank, highlighted the problem,

in 2013 and projected to be 2.1% in 2014.

system; and the passing of the CARIFORUM—

and in another report the UN Development

European Community Economic Partnership

Programme (UNDP) concluded that a 1%

Growth in 2013 was assisted primarily by the

Agreement Bill. Further, the government has

reduction in youth crime would boost tourism

non-petroleum sector, whose contribution

implemented a Public Sector Investment

revenue by US $35m per year. As such, the need

to overall GDP was 60.2%--its highest share

Programme to increase capital spending.

to address gang crime is extremely important.

services were most important, followed

Another area in which the government has

In 2011 a state of emergency was introduced

by manufacturing and agriculture. The

attempted to undertake reform is in relation to

from late August to early December, and

petroleum sector, meanwhile, was projected

the petroleum subsidy. Trinidad and Tobago

although 448 persons were arrested under

to experience only very slight growth in 2013

has long provided assistance to local consumers

the Anti-Gang Act during this period not

(0.5%), but this would be the first expansion

so fuel costs can be contained. The subsidy has

a single gang member was charged and

of the sector in the last three years. Increased

grown in recent years and the Kamla Persad-

convicted. Indeed, concerns have been

production of natural gas, liquefied natural

Bissessar administration has tried to reduce

expressed in the local media and elsewhere

gas (LNG), and methanol together with

the current payments and the arrears on the

about the low detection and conviction rates.

higher export prices for oil and gas were the

account, with moderate success. However, in

In response the government has begun to

drivers behind the growth. Inflation and

a report published in October 2013 the Inter-

introduce a range of anti-gang measures,

unemployment are low, and while the country

American Development Bank (IDB) advised

including a watch list of gang members who

is running a fiscal deficit that is feeding into

that Trinidad and Tobago should remove all

receive contracts from the State; the creation

higher levels of public sector debt, both are

fuel subsidies as they are undermining labour

of a Criminal Gang Intelligence Unit; joint

manageable in size.

productivity and the development of a non-

patrols by members of the Trinidad and

energy business sector. The IDB argued that

Tobago Defence Force and the police; and

In order to strengthen the fundamentals of

“Most of it [subsidies] goes to inefficient public

civil assets forfeiture legislation to cut off

the economy, the government is instituting

enterprises, more than 130 overlapping social

gang access to funding.

several important policy reforms. One is the

programmes, and the fuel and electricity

gradual re-directing of LNG exports away from

subsidy.” Trinidad and Tobago’s gasoline at the

Overall, it is clear that Trinidad and Tobago

the United States, which is becoming more

tank costs about 25c (US) per litre– this is one

has tremendous economic advantages and

self-sufficient, towards other markets. One

of the lowest prices in the world. Some of the

future potential, but more needs to be done

such market is Asia. China began importing

competitiveness problems can be seen with its

to improve aspects of the economy and to

natural gas from Trinidad and Tobago in 2009,

below par position on the World Economic

reduce crime.

since 2005. Within the non-petroleum sector,

Dr Peter Clegg is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.



Jamaica: From debt to development? BY DR PETER CLEGG

The economy of Jamaica is in great

the IMF in February 2010 for a Standby

However, much more work needs to be done

difficulties and has been for some time.

Loan Agreement worth US $1.27 billion.

and the underlying tension between the very

Jamaica is one of the most indebted

In return, the government committed to

high and barely sustainable debt burden on

countries in the world with debts totalling

reducing the level of debt and interest rate

the one hand, and encouraging growth on the

US $19 billion, equivalent to 140% of Gross

costs and reforming the financial sector.

other has to be addressed.

Domestic Product (GDP). Servicing of

Still, the IMF agreement stalled and the

the debt accounts for about 50% of total

last disbursement authorised by the Fund

Debt continues to displace much needed

budgeted expenditure, and 45% of the

took place in January 2011. The present

investments and prevents long-term growth.

2012/13 budget was financed by borrowing.

People’s National Party (PNP) government

Nevertheless, any serious attempt to reduce the

Further, growth has been sluggish for several

returned to the IMF and agreed to a four-

debt through public spending cuts also damages

years, with a 1.5% decline in 2010, 1.3%

year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) worth

Jamaica’s growth prospects. The particular

growth in 2011, but another decline of 0.3%

US $932 million in May 2013.

focus on spending cuts is unfortunate as the

in 2012. Unemployment and poverty levels

country has been running primary budget

are high, and the external current account

The PNP believes there is no alternative.

surpluses for the last 20 years. As the Center

deficit has widened. The International

As Finance Minister Peter Phillips argued

for Economic and Policy Research argued

Monetary Fund (IMF) noted that low

in February 2013, “Quite frankly ... this is

in 2011, the most important factors causing

economic growth, declining productivity,

essentially a matter of the survival of the

budget targets to be missed are “lower-than-

and reduced competitiveness were key

Jamaican nation as a viable nation state.’’

projected revenue and higher-than-anticipated

problems, but also linked these to Jamaica’s “unsustainable debt burden.’’


interest payments—not increased spending.” To secure the EFF, the government is pushing through a series of difficult reforms,

Under these conditions, it is not surprising

Serious attempts are now being made to turn

including a debt swap, tax raising measures,

that several key sectors of the economy

the economy around. However, recalibrating

and reducing the public-sector wage bill. Eight

have been under-performing. In 2012 these

the economy and reducing debt levels is a

months into the agreement the IMF stated

included mining and quarrying, which fell by

real challenge. The last Jamaica Labour Party

that “overall policy implementation is strong”

9.1% (contributing 2% to GDP); construction

(JLP) government signed an agreement with

and that performance targets were being met.

dropped by 3.8% (contributing 7% to GDP);


and transport, storage and communications

by The Executive Board of the IMF. Over this

public debt and strengthening of its revenue

contracted by 1.6% (contributing 11%

four-year period, the economic reform was


to GDP). Other sectors grew positively;

supported by a US$932 million arrangement

agriculture, forestry and fishing grew by 2.6%

under the Extended Fund Facility. The

Another and quite different source of crucial

(contributing 7% of GDP), while hotels and

completion of the review enables an immediate

support for Jamaica is being provided by

restaurants grew by 1.8% (contributing 6% of

disbursement of an amount equivalent to

Venezuela. Venezuela provides about one-

GDP). The first quarter 2013 data suggested

US$68.8 million to further aid in the long

third of Jamaica’s total oil consumption at

that the goods producing sectors (agriculture,

road to economic recovery for the island.

a discounted price under the Petrocaribe

mining and quarrying, and construction)

initiative. In addition, since 2005 Jamaica

declined while the service sectors remained

Jamaica’s economic performance has

has received US $2.4 billion in the form of

flat. For example, tourist arrivals saw little

been consistent with the programme, and

long term loans based on its oil purchases.

improvement year-on-year.

structural reforms are progressing. Based on

Funds have been invested in improving the

the aforementioned review, fiscal performance

country’s physical infrastructure, investing in

So the macroeconomic position of Jamaica

continues to support the debt reduction

renewable energy resources, and supporting

is extremely challenging, but there are hopes

objective. Moreover, the external accounts

the operation of several public bodies.

that the IMF-backed reforms will provide

are improving, economic growth is continuing

some relief. Foreign exchange inflows from the

with an expected growth rate of over 1% over

Very importantly, resources have been allocated

IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American

the 2014-2015 period, inflation is trending

for the refinancing of Jamaica’s domestic

Development Bank will help. It is also expected

down to about 8 % and is accompanied by

public sector debt. Jamaica has reportedly

that IMF support more generally will inspire

steady growth in employment. Jamaica has

accessed Petrocaribe funds for recurrent

greater confidence in the economy.

not however fully recovered from years of

expenses not limited to debt servicing. So the

poor economic performance and as such,

Jamaican economy is being supported in a

In September, 2014, Jamaica completed its

must continue along its path of fiscal

variety of ways and the IMF predicts that it

5th staff review of its economic performance

discipline, modernization and reduction of its

will grow by 0.4% in 2013 and 1.2% in 2014.

Dr Peter Clegg is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.



OECS: The quest for economic resilience BY DR. PETER CLEGG

The six independent countries of the

and Barbuda and Grenada 90%; and the other

The fiscal deficit dropped from 18% of GDP

Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

countries all above 70%. In January 2013, Sir

in 2009 to just over 1% in 2012 while the debt

(OECS) are undertaking significant reforms

K. Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern

ratio fell from 102.5% of GDP to 89%. The

in an attempt to improve their economies.

Caribbean Central Bank, warned the region

IMF also noted that the economic recovery

Over the past several years, all countries have

was “now at a tipping point.” He argued “we

is “picking up speed’’—growth is estimated

been hit hard by the global financial crisis.

must prepare for significant adjustments to our

to be 1.7% in 2013 and 3.2% in 2014.

current policies and modes of doing business.”

However, the IMF cautioned that “significant

From 2009 to 2012 the OECS economy


challenges remain” and it recommended that

contracted by 7.6%. Performance was

These changes are starting to happen. Several

further reforms were necessary including the

undermined by a lacklustre tourism sector;

countries, particularly Antigua and Barbuda,

elimination of tax exemptions, a broadening

especially cruise ship tourism, manufacturing,

with assistance from the International

of the tax base and civil service reform. Indeed

construction, and agriculture. The result has

Monetary Fund (IMF), are narrowing their

countries across the region are trying to

been high unemployment and growing fiscal

fiscal deficits. In June 2013, the IMF described

improve their fiscal and debt sustainability. For

deficits. In 2012, for example, Dominica had

Antigua and Barbuda’s three-year agreement

example, Saint Lucia has widened its tax base

a deficit equivalent to 12% of GDP. In terms

with the IMF as a success. The IMF said that

and increased revenue via the introduction of

of total public debt as a percentage of GDP, St

the country had “successfully completed” the

value added tax (VAT). Grenada, meanwhile in

Kitts and Nevis has a figure of 130%; Antigua

programme despite “considerable challenges.’’

March 2013, suffered a debt default and is now


implementing an IMF-supported economic

spending by most governments. Only in

So there are hopes that domestic restructuring

reform programme.

Antigua and Barbuda and in St Vincent and the

and a more benign international economic

Grenadines, where major works are underway

environment will help OECS countries recover

The reforms being initiated across the OECS are

for airport construction, was there modest

some of their economic strength. According to

coming at a time of moderate recovery in key

growth in the sector.

the Economic Commission for Latin America

sectors of the economy. The improving situation

and the Caribbean (ECLAC) there will be a

in North America is an important contributing

The continued support of China, Taiwan,

recovery in 2013, perhaps with growth of

factor. According to the Caribbean Tourism

and Venezuela will also be important. In

2%, but this masks significant variations in

Organisation tourist arrivals from the United

relation to cooperation with Venezuela, four

performance. Saint Lucia and St Kitts and

States to Saint Lucia and Grenada increased by

OECS countries, Antigua and Barbuda,

Nevis are expected to see GDP growth of

almost 11% compared to 2012, while tourist

Dominica, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and

around 2.5%, but Grenada and St Vincent and

numbers from Canada to Antigua and Barbuda

the Grenadines, are part of Bolivarian Alliance

the Grenadines will barely reach 1%.

rose by over 28%. However, it should be noted

for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

that the recovery in tourism across the OECS is

Also, every OECS country benefits from the

Indeed, serious underlying challenges remain,

still quite weak. In terms of agriculture, there is

Petrocaribe initiative, whereby signatories can

particularly in relation to the high levels of

evidence of some revival after the devastation by

purchase Venezuelan oil at a discounted price.


Hurricane Tomas in 2010, and the more recent

At a time of economic hardship and relatively

infestation of Black Sigatoka disease which

high oil prices the assistance from Venezuela

If OECS governments are forced to cut

affects bananas. The sector grew by about 5%

is very important indeed, and despite

deeper into their budgets there is a risk that

in 2012, with Grenada and Saint Lucia doing

concerns over the medium-term viability of

the cherished and long-standing economic

particularly well. Likewise manufacturing saw

Petrocaribe because of Venezuela’s recent

welfare model that has underpinned Eastern

growth of 3.4%, but construction contracted

economic problems its government has given

Caribbean development for several decades

in part because of the reductions in capital

commitments that support will continue.

will become unsustainable.

Dr Peter Clegg is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of the West of England, Bristol. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.


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trade and export hotspots


the unexploited gateway to Brazil BY LINCOLN PRICE

Billions of dollars are being invested by the US in Brazil. Here’s how regional firms can capture their share.



of products. Other top exporters in 2011 were

The Brazilian economy recorded a strong

to Brazil was Trinidad and Tobago, accounting

performance during most of the 2007-12

for over 98% of export sales in 2012. Guyana

The Bahamas, St Kitts and Nevis, Jamaica and

period, with real GDP growth averaging 3.6%

and Suriname have attempted to spur trade

Barbados. Suriname ranks as the seventh highest

a year. Growth benefited from strong domestic

with Brazil through trade contracts called Partial

exporter to Brazil, with Guyana outperforming

demand which also reflected lucrative import

Scope Agreements (PSAs).

Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada in the Brazilian market. The trade deficit between

demand. These PSAs provide limited duty-free or reduced-

Brazil and CARICOM has deteriorated from

CARICOM-based firms generated US $705

duty treatment for a specific list of products,

US $377million in 2001 to US $1.7 billion in

million in sales to Brazil in 2012 compared to US

versus a comprehensive trade agreement which

2012. (Table 1.)

$22 million in 2001. CARICOM’s top exporter

would provide broad duty relief for a wide set

Table 1: CARICOM-Brazil merchandise trade performance (US $m)

6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009






























Source: TradeMAP retrieved November 1, 2013.

In 2012, Brazil’s top 10 merchandise imports from CARICOM were: 1. Liquified natural gas

6. Portland cement

2. Anhydrous ammonia

7. Undenatured ethyl alcohol

3. Methanol

8. Melamine

4. Hot rolled bars/rods of iron/steel

9. Other essential oils

5. Aluminium oxide

10. Kaolin and other kaolinic clays, whether or not calcined

It is important to note that CARICOM’s

However, if the fifth additional protocol of

CARICOM-based firms can consolidate their

top 10 exports to Brazil were not covered

the Brazil-Guyana PSA is approved, many of

positions and seek to grow market share. A

by either PSA from Guyana or Suriname.

Guyana’s and CARICOM’s key merchandise

number of trade opportunities are proposed

The PSAs do not cover most of Guyana and

exports to Brazil would be covered.

for Guyana- and Suriname-based firms and

Suriname’s most competitive products nor

for other CARICOM member states through

do they cover the current exports from the

Product Opportunities

rest of CARICOM. As a result, Guyana and

CARICOM can exploit a strategic window

based on the import demand in Brazil as

Suriname are not adequately exploiting their

to penetrate the Brazilian market through

well as the global export capacity of firms in

trade opportunities with Brazil and therefore

targeting the Olympic Games during 2016.

Guyana and Suriname, even though currently

the PSAs between Brazil and both CARICOM

The 2014-2016 period can also be explored

no trade to Brazil was observed up to 2012

members are not having the desired impact.

as a market entry period, after which

in these particular product areas. (Table 2.)

these countries. These opportunities are



Table 2: Market Opportunities in Brazil for CARICOM products Product

Brazil’s Total Imports 2012

CARICOM’s Exports to Brazil

CARICOM’s Global Exports

Opportunities for Guyana Sauces

US $24mn


US $5.2mn

Rum and tafia

US $1 mn


US $161.5mn


US $3.5mn


US $3.2mn

Carton boxes

US $43mn


US $9mn


US $2.6bn


US $68.3mn

Chewing gum

US $2mn


US $0.7mn

Opportunities for Suriname Mineral/aerated waters

US $0.4mn


US $72.6mn

Toilet paper

US $6.6mn


US $10.9mn

Tableware and

US $58mn


US $1.3mn

Beer made from malt

US $45mn


US $63mn


US $17mn

US $0.5mn

Mixtures of juice

US $3.8mn

US $5.5mn

kitchenware of plastics

Source: International Trade Centre tradeMAP Database, retrieved December, 2013

The export opportunities targeted above

other CARICOM member states can exploit.

agencies; peripheral political importance by

represented over US $200m in potential

The specific markets in Brazil are suggested

Heads of Government; and sluggish intra-

merchandise export sales to Brazil

in the conclusion to this article.

CARICOM merchandise trade. The study

based on import patterns in Brazil and


revealed that the main factors impacting the

CARICOM’s global exports. These sectors

Trade Challenges

were selected based on the import demand

Firms interviewed in a recent study by

market information.

in Brazil observed between 2001 and 2011.

Caribbean Export proposed a number of

trade financing.

Additionally, the export competitiveness of

reasons for the poor market penetration in

matchmaking support.

these sectors was assessed as well as the brand

Brazil. The reasons cited, amongst others,

differentiating potential. These export sectors

included poor transport logistics; poorly

Respondents were generally unaware of

provide opportunities outside the Trinidad

implemented trade agreements between Brazil,

most of the trade support institutions

and Tobago-centred energy cluster which

Guyana and Suriname; estranged trade support

outside of their own national institutions.

decision to export to Brazil included access to:


They generally saw the provision of trade

Development Bank Compete Caribbean

market is now seen as too competitive for small

development services as the government’s job,

Business Climate reform programme to fund

niche exporters in Guyana and Suriname

and were not willing to pay for these services.

an 18-month trade development programme

and the infrastructural improvements has

All persons polled support the establishment

focussing on customs cooperation; a trade

improved access into this market for the rest

of a quick response mechanism to address

promotion desk exchange programme; and

of Brazil.

their trade concerns in the Brazilian market.

business matchmaking.

It is suggested that CARICOM immediately

CARICOM firms should see Brazil as several

markets to crack based on the self-sufficiency of

pursue the following actions:

distinct markets rather than one seamless market.

the Brazilian private sector in those economies,


Expedite a quick response Market

Boa Vista is the largest Northern Market in Brazil,

and the dense red tape. However, these markets

Intelligence system currently being developed

while Manaus is the centre of an industrial plan

cannot be ignored as they are the fulcrum

by Caribbean Export;

through the Superintendência da Zona Franca

of a significant public sector investment


Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are difficult

Incorporate sauces; pasta; aerated

de Manaus (SUFRAMA) to improve the free

programme for infrastructure improvements

beverages and beer into the Caribbean Kitchen

zones competitiveness and transform it into an

associated with the FIFA World Cup in 2014,

programme currently being executed by

industrial district for the southern continent.

and the IOC Olympic Games in 2016.

Caribbean Export;

Bahia is seen as a market with significant affinity


to the Caribbean, and is perceived as the base for

The multiplier effects estimated in a study

the African Brazilian population.

by Ernst and Young put the total economic

Assist in the establishment of

trade desks in the Guyana Private Sector

impact at US $120 billion. President Rousseff

Commission and the Suriname Business Forum to serve as information and

Boa Vista and Manaus were viewed as middle

also announced an additional US $66 billion

matchmaking centres for CARICOM firms

term markets in a 2003 Guyana Marketing

infrastructure spend in Brazil for the next

interested in trading with Brazil;

Corporation (GMC) Northern Brazil

15 years to further enhance infrastructure


Engage the CARICOM Regional

study. The study was not very optimistic

developments in the economy. The bulk of

Organisation for Standards and Quality

on the near term possibilities, but seemed

these investments will be targeted at Sao Paulo

(CROSQ) concerning digitisation and

to suggest that these northern markets were

and Rio de Janeiro, with Manaus also figuring

translation (from Portuguese to English and

opportunities for Guyana based on their

strongly in the improvements.

vice versa) of technical regulations (including

inaccessibility to the rest of the country. The

labelling rules) in Brazil;

report suggested that Guyana intensify road

It is suggested that CARICOM-based firms


Engage COPA Airlines Ltd to assess

and other infrastructural projects and target

position themselves in Brazil through

willingness to engage in missions where

greater business matchmaking opportunities

Suriname and Guyana to benefit from some

journalists can visit the markets of Guyana

in Belem, Boa Vista and Manaus. It is

of the “trickle down” effects of this US $120

and Suriname;

now suggested that Belem is not a strong

billion wave of economic activity in Sao Paulo,


opportunity for trade development as this

Rio de Janeiro and other provinces of Brazil.

Engage the Inter-American

Lincoln Price is a Jamaican-born Economist and Statistician with over 16 years experience in Market Research, Business Negotiations and Strategic Planning in the public sector, private sector and academia. Previously employed at the CARICOM Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) as the Private Sector Liaison, his responsibilities were geared at maximising the benefits of trade agreements for the region’s private sector.



expanding caribbean exports to fast growing

African economies




Africa’s economic growth accelerated in the

economic benefit countries reap when the

and lifestyles are resulting in increasing

years following 2000, making it the world’s

share of the working-age population rises

consumer preference for convenience,

second fastest-growing region after Asia. Over

relative to children and old people, implying

processed and packaged food products.

the last decade, six of the world’s 10 fastest

lower support costs for dependants and an

growing economies were African. While

increase in disposable income.

resources contributed less than a third of total

Within the food sector, there is differentiated demand at the top and bottom ends of the

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the

The upshot of these trends is that they

income spectrum. In South Africa, the most

2000s, the most significant contributors to

afford discretionary spending for a wide

basic fast-moving consumer goods, such as

growth are changing, with a more apparent

range of consumer goods and services. Since

soaps and cleaners, are buoyed by large-scale

reliance on domestic demand. The African

2000, consumer spending in Sub-Saharan

social grants provided by the government,

market opportunity is concentrated, with 10 of

Africa has grown at a steady 4% per year,

expanding by an average of just over 17%

54 countries—including Ghana, South Africa

reaching nearly US $600 billion in 2010,

between 2012-2016. At the upper end of the

and Nigeria—accounting for 81% of Africa’s

and is projected to reach US $1.4 trillion by

scale there is an aspirational drive to increase

private consumption in 2011.

2020; with the largest increases expected in

spending on status purchases such as high-end

lifestyle/ home-goods, clothing, food, mobile

goods and services and premium alcohols.

telecommunications and entertainment.

There is a visible shift from traditional beer

The countries of the Caribbean Forum of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states

to spirits, and premium spirits specifically have

(CARIFORUM) have already begun to take

The telecommunications sector has

demonstrated strong volume growth amongst

advantage of these growing economies. With the

undergone profound changes during

middle class consumers. Entry barriers lie

discovery of crude oil in Ghana, Republic Bank,

the past decade, with the opening of

less with technical barriers, than with the

a substantial player in the oil and gas sector in

the sector to competition, the creation

resources required for building new brands

Trinidad and Tobago, and in mortgage markets

of national regulatory authorities, the

through marketing and advertising. Moreover,

throughout the Caribbean-has incrementally

privatization of incumbent operators

intense competition for consumers’ disposable

increased its stake from 8.9% to 40% in the

and the emergence of the first private

income, high freight costs from the Caribbean

Ghana-based HFC Bank, making it the largest

operators-all of this resulting in a boom

and price sensitivity in the food product market

single stakeholder. However, many more

in mobile telephony. Mobile phones have

are important determinants of the potential for

prospects still exist for the Caribbean in Africa.

far outstripped computers as a means of

market entry by CARIFORUM firms.

accessing the Internet. Social networking is the leading purpose for which the Internet

However, existing exports prove that


is used, followed by online music/video

perceived challenges are not insurmountable.

content. The implication of increasing

GraceKennedy has increased its exports to

mobile Internet usage is that employing

Ghana, with soft drinks and canned meat

As African economies grow, so does the

Information Communication Technologies

products accounting for the bulk of sales.

middle class, resulting in the continent now

(ICT) as a means of building markets has

The similarity in flavour profile of West

having the fastest growing middle class in the

improved the potential distribution of

Indian and West African cuisines has

world. Thirteen percent of the population are

goods and services in the three mentioned

contributed to the surge in sales, and having

currently categorised as stable middle class,


started exports to Nigeria in late 2013, the

and this number will grow to 42% (1.1 billion)

company has identified other West African

by 2060. By 2016, some 11 million South

countries such as Cameroon as potential

African households are expected to have


annual incomes of R89, 500 (US $10, 000).

Food retailers benefit first from increased

export destinations.

earnings, since consumers move from an

South Africa’s major retailers such as

Further, Africa boasts the world’s youngest

informal retail environment to a formal

Shoprite, Spur, Pick n Pay, Woolworths, and

population, with two-thirds of its total

one. In South Africa, food sales have shown

Truworths are focused on a varied growth

population under 25 years of age; and it is

significantly steady growth, accounting for

strategy consisting inter alia, of converting

the only continent that will double in size,

54% of all sales in 2011; in that year, the

informal trade into formal retail with

reaching 2 billion people by 2045. South

country’s aggregate retail sales surpassed

particular attention to expanding into the

Africa has one of the youngest populations

R1 trillion for the first time in history, and

rest of Africa, making South Africa a major

globally, with the average age of the population

are likely to hit R1.46 trillion by 2016. In

retail competitor. This presents a unique

estimated at 24.9 years. In Ghana, the total

Ghana, retail food sales have grown about

opportunity for CARIFORUM food and

median age is 17.9 years and Nigerians

10% annually in the last 10 years and there is

beverage manufacturers to reach an increased

between 20-40 years account for 47% of the

a high demand for imported food products,

number of Africans through establishing

country’s population. Evidence points to the

particularly consumer-ready products. In

relationships with large South African retailers

potential for a “demographic dividend”, the

all three countries, changing demographics

expanding throughout the continent.




of promotion in large territories given logistics

consumer market, their spending power

and exchange rates. The risk of piracy remains,

translates into an opportunity for luxury and

These above trends have led to broadening

owing to weak institutional and governance

experience-based tourism exports. The affluent

access to global culture and an increasing

frameworks. Of the three countries, South

middle and upper classes are exhibiting their

demand for cultural and creative goods and

Africa has implemented a strong music rights

increased purchasing power in major tourism

services. There is increased usage of digital audio

administration regime, but in Nigeria and

destinations and experience-based holidays

platforms including online radio, MP3 players,

Ghana enforcement institutions are inadequate

might be marketed around regional music and

and podcasting, and a concomitant increase in

or absent.

cultural festivals. Tourism exports present a

digital sales. The potential for cultural exports

challenging but not impossible proposition.

and collaborations is robust, and unique cultural

Existing policy recommendations for product

products and services with a compelling story-


innovation through a single-destination

including the African-Caribbean connection

Africa is one of the fastest-growing markets for

platform could be considered in this context;

and historical cross-pollination between

air travel behind Asia and the Middle East. Of

however this necessitates the improvement

African and Caribbean musical styles-can

the three countries, South Africa has a more

of intra-CARIFORUM air accessibility and

fare well with the correct promotional strategy.

robust outbound tourism market, owing to its

strengthened marketing and brand positioning.

However, most musicians do not earn a

larger middle class, stronger economy and more

living from recorded music but rather from

stable national airline. There was a 24% growth

Although qualified by inherent risks of

performances or working in other creative

in outbound travel and tourism recorded in 2011

market entry, African markets experiencing

enterprises (theatre, film, commercials),

and the number is expected to continue growing

consumption-led growth present some unique

making this sector the most important.

to 6.9 million by 2017. For the majority of the

opportunities for CARIFORUM exports, and

population, outbound tourism is a price-based as

goods and services with competitive advantage

Bootstrapping artists would face challenges

opposed to an experience-based choice and much

could find a market amongst the continent’s

exploiting the music market not least because

tourism remains limited to local and regional

increasingly moneyed consumers. Premium

of the costs and restrictions of doing business

destinations. For these market segments, cost,

alcohol, food and beverage products certainly

and touring in foreign territories, including

distance, time and low information are barriers

bear promise, but also to a lesser extent do travel,

attaining visas and work permits. Also the lack

to entry for CARIFORUM tourism exports.

and cultural tourism and services. In sectors where Caribbean firms hold strong expertise,

of a professional live music circuit, and limited bandwidth could impede marketing efforts.

Although the highest earners and the affluent

fast-growing African economies might just be

Artists would also need to consider the costs

still account for a small proportion of the

among potential non-traditional export markets.

Cleopatra McDonald is a trade lawyer and consultant with several years’ experience in trade policy formulation, review and negotiations. She has worked as a trade advisor on the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the European Union and the East and Southern Africa Group, and as a legal expert on shortterm trade and development projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.



satisfying the German demand for Caribbean specialty foods BY DR RAINER ENGELS



The general food retail market in Germany

When seeking to enter the German market,

should seek to collaborate with such traders

has two severe disadvantages for Caribbean

potential exporters should note that buyers

in order to successfully enter the market.

exporters: the quantities needed are far beyond

generally expect high quality products at low

Such market research is critical in order

the capacities of Caribbean companies and

prices. However, Caribbean exporters face

to determine which product segment of

the prices are far below levels which would

several challenges, sharing many features of

the market you wish to supply and hence

suffice. Therefore the only opportunities in

other small states’ size-related macroeconomic

which type of specialized traders may prove

the German food market are niche markets.

vulnerabilities, such as lack of economies of

to be the most suitable business partners for

The three fastest growing niche markets are

scale, capacity constraints, export diversification

exporting into Germany or the EU.

products from organic agriculture, fair trade

and exposure to natural disasters.

labelled products and vegetarian food. Caribbean countries’ smallness constrains

Organic Market Trends

The agro-processing sector has played

the achievement of economies of scale and

Globally 37 million hectares (ha) of the

a critical role in the diversification of

economic specialization. States also face

production surface area are allocated towards

the Caribbean’s agriculture sector, with

rising losses caused by natural disasters from

organic food. In 2010, the European market

the process of making jams, jellies, fruit

0.9% of annual GDP in the 1980s and 1990s

for organic food was valued at €20 billion

nectars and other beverages well established

to 1.3 % of GDP in the 2000s. Overall, the

with major markets such as France and Italy

within the region. There is an estimated

region has demonstrated declining export

valued at €3.4 and 1.6 billion respectively

number of over 300 agro-processors in the

competitiveness over the years (IMF, 2013).

during 2012. For Germany alone during

CARIFORUM region who are mainly located

In light of the above, competition based

the 2011 to 2012 period, the value of this

in Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican

upon price would be difficult for Caribbean

sector increased from €6.64 billion to 7

Republic, Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname

firms particularly wanting to enter the low-

billion with the share of organic farms in

and to a lesser extent in Barbados, Belize

priced German food market. Therefore

Germany during 2012 accounting for 8 % of

and Saint Lucia.

it is important to have a unique product

total farms and 6.3% of production surface.

which may justify higher pricing, with a Both the capacity as well as the opportunity

special story that could be sold along with

Demand for organic food within European

may be available to build upon the existing

the product as part of its marketing and

markets may be exhibited by the per capita

and growing trade relationships between the

branding appeal e.g. “Organic Caribbean.’’

expenditure trends for such products. For

European Union and CARIFORUM states.

example during 2011 (as seen below) up to 177

This may be explored by further export

All three identified export categories of

euro per capita was spent that year. The quite

activity of CARIFORUM agriculture and

organic, vegetarian and fair trade have

low value for Germany is due to low food prices

agro-processing products particularly into

specialized traders who supply local shops

even for organic food, a market characteristic

the German market.

and retailers. Caribbean exporters who are

which is important to note for prospective

interested in supplying the German market


Table 1: 2011 Expenditure on Organic Food for Select European Markets


2011 Value (EUR per capita)

















German Organic Market Opportunities

Relevant EU Importing Requirements/Regulations

As such it is important to note that most

Total German organic food imports ranged

The EC Regulation (EC) No. 1235/2008 (which

minimum legal standards of the EURO-Bio

between 5% and 20% of total turnover,

was amended in 2012 by EC Regulation (EC) No.

logo for organic products. Consequently,

depending on the product group. In 2012,

508/2012) identifies the list of control bodies

only between 40% and 45% share of organic

Germany’s production surface area for the

and authorities considered competent to carry

products are certified under the minimum

organic food sector; of 1.043 million ha or

out controls and issue certificates for “third

legal requirements of the EURO-Bio labelling

2.577 million acres (ac), was observed to be

country’’ exporters such as from the Caribbean

system. Nevertheless it may be quite feasible, as

growing slower than organic food turnover,

for the purpose of equivalence. As it relates to

well as cost effective for Caribbean companies

demonstrating a growing trend of import

organic products, all control bodies recognized

seeking to enter this market to first pursue

activity to satisfy local demand. During the

by the EU Commission to conduct such product

certification under the minimum standards

2009 to 2012 timeline, the percentage share

certification, may be found listed within Annex

of the EURO-Bio labelling system.

of organic food in total food expenditure

IV of the EC Regulation (EC) No. 1235/2008

by German final consumers amounted to

which contains the detailed rules relating to

6194.4 billion euro. This value represented

the arrangements for the imports into the EU.

Vegetarian Products

an average of around 3.6% of total food

Further details on this regulation as well as

Graphically depicted below is the growth in

expenditure increasing steadily each year by

contact information of certifying bodies may be

the turnover of vegetarian semi-prepared food

approximately 0.2%. Aside from bananas,

found listed under Annex IV p.3-45 . According

within the German retail market. While the

organic products from Latin America into

to the rules a “Certificate of Inspection” would be

category of vegetarian products is difficult to

Europe included items such as sunflower

required for every shipment to the EU.

define (e.g. egg and milk products are accepted

producers opt to be certified beyond the

by some of the vegetarian consumers, in some

kernels, soy beans, flax seeds, onions, apples (20% of apple imports are from Latin

The EURO-Bio logo represents the very

cases even fish), the diagram below shows that

America). These products are certified by

minimum level of EU standards that are

this segment is characterized by steady growth

recognized control bodies according to the

acceptable for imported organic products.

of products which replace meat products such

European regulations.

This label provides confidence that the goods

as sausages or burgers.

produced are done so entirely in line with the EU organic farming regulations and according at least to a minimum level of EU standards .

Table 2: Total turnover of vegetarian semi-finished food in the German retail market

(EUR, thousands) 57.958 60 43.456



40 30






+27% 10


0 2008





Total Turnover of vegetarian semi-finished food in retail (EUR, thousands) Source: IRI Information Resources



Caribbean exporters interested in tapping

their goods while only having to satisfy

develop market opportunities. They do this

into supplying this market need only to

German/EU SPS measures for vegetarian

through locally- based liaison officers which

satisfy sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS)

fresh and processed foods.

provide training, guidance on certification and

measures for this type of product. The sector

facilitate relationships with buyers.

is not a protected one in Germany; therefore Caribbean exporters may sell their products

Fair Trade

Liaison officers additionally provide

at the higher price point associated with

Fair trade is an alternative approach to

advisory services to farmers and workers,

vegetarian labelled goods such as ready-made

conventional trade based on a partnership

as well as training and information to help

(pre-cooked) convenience meals without

between producers and traders, businesses

them comply with the fair trade standards,

animal by-products. An attractive approach

and consumers and complying with some

strengthen business capacities, and deepen

to entering this market would be to deliver

minimum social standards. The Fairtrade

fair trade impact. There is a growing trend of

specifically to companies which currently

Labelling Organisation coordinates fair trade

EU imported products being labelled under

supply vegetarian buyers. Interested

labelling at an international level from their

both fair trade and organic food regulations, as

exporters should research the current

office in Bonn, Germany. They set international

observed below. This reflects the more recent

trademarks associated with these types of

fair trade standards, organize support for

understanding of sustainability as linking social,

products and find a suitable business EU

producers around the world, develop a global

ecologic, economic and cultural elements. The

partner for market entry. The advantage of

fair trade strategy and promote trade justice

largest seller of fair trade products in Germany

seeking to enter this market is that exporters

internationally. The organization also helps

is GEPA, a fair trade non-profit organisation,

may benefit from a higher price point for

producers to gain fair trade certification and

which holds 19 % market share.



Table 3: 2012 Total Fair Trade Products Turnover and Percentage Share of Organic Products Product Group

% Share of Products also Categorized as Organic



21,139 tons



9,322 tons



937 tons



143 tons



304 tons



796 tons



2,236 tons


Ice cream

3,444 tons



200 tons



799 tons



613,000 l tons



257 million pieces


2,563,000 pieces



40,000 pieces

In 2012 total fair trade products turnover in Germany was 533 Million EUR (World 5 Billion EUR)

Becoming Export Ready for Europe

information about the programme

The German organic, vegetarian and fair

please contact the Caribbean Export

trade food markets present varying export

Several opportunities have been identified for

Development Agency.

opportunities for export-oriented Caribbean firms. In order to leverage these growing

entry into the German market for organic, vegetarian and fair trade products. Based upon 2.

The Services of the Europe-Africa-

trends by EU and German buyers, Caribbean

this, the next step for Caribbean producers and

Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee

products must first meet the expectations

exporters would be to determine how to get their

Pesticide Initiative Programme (COLE

and legal standards which regulate the EU

products ready to enter the EU market.

ACP PIP). The organization has developed

market. Crucial services are available to

several Crop Protocol and Good Practice

assist Caribbean companies in meeting these

Within the Caribbean region several business and

Guides which are compliant with

export regulations. Once this is achieved, the

export development services are available, such as:

EU regulations including pesticide

Caribbean firms only need to market and

maximum residue limits (MRLs). Such

brand a product which can uniquely appeal

The Productivity Network (ProNET)

regulation guides have been developed

to the German consumer.

A business and export development

for products such as avocado, mango,

programme available within the

dasheen, coconut, cassava, and potatoes

CARIFORUM region. For further

among others.


Dr Rainer Engels is the Executive Project Manager at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)EPA Implementation support Project. He is a specialist in quality management, technical barriers to trade, innovation and agricultural trade politics in the public sector. Dr Engels has undertaken 35 short term missions which bestowed him with a wide range of experiences working in various regions of Africa, Asia, the Near East and southern Europe.


Red Tape

Red to Carpet


To date, the agencies that have initiated activity

Industry, Investment and Communications

Ministry of Trade, Industry, Investment and

in support of this move include:

in a forum that is aimed at confirming and supporting the team approach to action planning,


expediting and facilitating collaboration.

Trade Licence Unit;

New Government agencies have been formed

Animal Production and Health Division;

to lead initiatives that will attract foreign direct

Plant Quarantine Services;

“Red tape to red carpet” has evolved into a

investment. All are revitalizing the approach

Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division;

comprehensive multi-media programme

to business and seeking partnerships between

exporTT Ltd—the export company of

aimed at communicating the changes taking

Trinidad and Tobago;

place across Government agencies in support

Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of

of a business-like attitude. It includes the use

Industry and Commerce;

of traditional media (press, radio, television,

private and public sector; between global and local producers.

Initiatives like this publication, the re-focusing

Ministry of Legal Affairs;

billboards); and explores new social media such

of the primary investment promotion agency

Work Permit Secretariat at the Ministry

as Facebook and youTube. The corporate press

of National Security.

advertisement has been placed in key local and

– invest TT Ltd - and the aggressive outreach of new companies like the International Financial

regional business magazines. InvesTT Limited’s

Centre and CreativeTT are aimed at evoking

The vision is to create an expectation of

One Stop Shop and Facilitation Department are

positive responses from Trinidad and Tobago, and

premium service on the part of the citizens

the key deliverable for the promotion of the red

from the world. They say, we are streamlining our

of Trinidad and Tobago; and exceed the real

carpet treatment to the investor.

approaches, we are eager to do business.

expectations of the businessman or investor, local or international.

Some significant specific outcomes are efficiencies and reduction in the time elapsed between

We are, you might say, on red alert. Red, now, is the colour of vibrancy, movement. Across



ministries, the move is on. It was recently given an identity by the Minister himself. Senator the Hon.

application and registration or

The vision is to create an expectation of premium service on the part of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago; and exceed the real expectations of the businessman or investor, local or international.

Vasant Bharath holds portfolios of

certification results. For example, time taken for procurement of a construction permit should be reduced. Some processes which should be achieved in shorter time frames include:

Trade, Industry and Investment. He believes

Within the Government agencies, employees

the goods declaration service (via Customs and

that to effect change, one must at times be

are motivated to provide service to the private

Excise); registering a property; and enforcement

prepared to move in leaps and bounds. To

sector, in the spirit of collaboration. Leading

of contracts, or dealing with bankruptcy and

assure customers, local and international, that

the reform process is Randall Karim - Director,


the country is open for business, indeed serious

Policy and Strategy of the Ministry of Trade,

about efficiency and good governance even as

Industry, Investment and Communications. He is

A couple counties in California— Silicon Valley

it sweeps away unnecessary bureaucracy, he

responsible for multiple stakeholder engagements

and Orange County –have “red tape to red

declared the move “from red tape to red carpet.”

all aimed at brainstorming solutions for reducing

carpet’’ initiatives. These have evolved over time

bureaucracy and other issues. Once solutions are

to include measurable objectives, incentives and

The “red tape to red carpet” campaign is based

presented, the process drives early adoption of

annual awards which celebrate the efforts of

on the trend towards enhanced collaboration

plans and programmes which may include better

Government and other agencies in continuous

among Government ministries and agencies. It

communications, computerization and efficiency

improvement, to do better faster. In time, “red

reflects the efforts to do better faster even as it

targets among others.

tape to red carpet” will be a significant element

drives improvements in service delivery across all

of the Trinidad and Tobago brand.

interactions in Trinidad and Tobago. Hopefully,

Karim leads an action-oriented group comprising

a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement is

representatives of all the active subscriber

(Information provided by Yolande Agard-

being created. It is new branding that indicates

agencies (listed above) with clearly defined targets

Simmons - Manager, Communications

energy, urgency and efficiency in the country’s

and delivery dates. He reports regularly to the

and Events, Ministry of Trade, Industry,

business interactions.

executive management of the Ministry of Trade,

Investment and Communications)


Ccompany O MtoP A N Y T LOOK lookO out for: OUT FOR: TRADE & EXPORT HOT SPOTS

10 Saints Brewery Company Limited




Company Name

Product Summary:

tropical spices and citrus notes. A smooth rum

10 SAINTS Brewery Co Ltd

10 SAINTS, named after the 10 Saint

finish completes the taste sensation.

parishes of Barbados is the first specialist


independent brewing company in the

Export Markets

Caribbean. Combining the rum heritage

The United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany,

of Barbados with the skills of our master

Poland, Russia and several Caribbean markets.

Chief Executive Officer

brewer, 10 SAINTS has produced a range of

Shipments to the United States of America,

Glyn Partridge

small batch production beers uniquely aged

Canada and Brazil should begin this year.

in rum casks. Our “original” export brew is

Years in Existence

a refreshing lager style beer, oak aged for 90

Major Exporting Achievements

2 years

days resulting in a rounded palate. It is golden

We are the only specialist craft premium beer

amber in appearance with the aroma of lightly

produced in the Caribbean and as such have


roasted malt and “oakiness” delivering a full

accessed top outlets in major European cities

Speightstown, Barbados

yet refreshing flavour of vanilla balanced with

such as Mahiki’s night club, London which



is frequented regularly by royal princes and

Market Entry Strategies

London’s A list celebrities. Our quality and

Identify the right partner and ensure

Support Received by Caribbean Export

unique process is reflected in our premium

expectations are understood and agreed-that’s

We participated in ANUGA and received

pricing; 50% and above all Caribbean beers

the critical factor.

orders from Italy, Germany, and France. We

sold domestically and exported. In addition,

also have a pending listing in a supermarket

we have won several beer awards and other

Greatest Exporting Lessons Learnt

chain whom we met at the show. Additionally,

accolades. One great achievement was having

In Barbados it’s really the fact that Barbados

we have ongoing discussions with several

Chelsea owner and multi billionaire Roman

is NOT a part of the CARICOM duty free

prospects in Poland, Russia and Spain.

Abramovich and his guests drink 10 SAINTS

agreement. We are subject to punitive

on his yacht when they visited Barbados

import duties (70% plus) when attempting

and the further request that 10 SAINTS be

to export to the lesser developed economies

General recommendation on support needed by exporters:

stocked in Chelsea football club.

which really kills that prospect. This

Fight for a genuine duty-free area within

combined with a small domestic market

CARICOM, remove non-tariff barriers and

makes Barbados a very tough place to

bureaucracy and improve shipping efficiencies.

establish an export operation.


our competitive advantage



what’s our unique selling point? BY BEVERLEY ALLEYNE

Carambola, Barbadian aloe, guava, mango, lemongrass—the region is endowed with natural treasures and has the potential to penetrate international food and nutraceutical markets.



Kiran Akal summed up the essence of the

quality and sanitary programmes; and

Caribbean’s agro-processing industry like this:

strategic marketing.

“We have these super-desirable products in the West Indies—Trinitario cocoa, tropical

Testimony to the international potential

lemon grass, orange peel, anise, hibiscus,

for the distinctive Caribbean flavours is the

nutmeg, sorrel. These things are available in

recent success of at least three companies

other countries, but we have the best. It’s a

from the region at the ANUGA Fair held in

question of terroir.”

Germany in October 2013. ANUGA is the world’s leading food fair for retail trade, food

Akal is Chief Executive Officer of Trinidad

service and catering. Banana Ketchup from

and Tobago’s SMAKS Luxury Group, which

Baron Foods Ltd, Tiger Malt from Beverages

markets a tea collection.

Caribbean Inc and Marie Sharp’s Fruit Flavours from Belize were all winners of the

The mélange of races and cultures that

coveted Taste13 Award.

constitutes the Caribbean, born out of a history of colonization, has resulted in a more

To the question of terroir, much of the

colourful existence than other territories may

Caribbean’s food crops have their genesis

be able to claim. The very term “Caribbean”

in the colonial history of the region—from

is synonymous with “exotic,” “flavourful,”

the corridors of Africa and Europe to the

“hand-crafted,” and “vivacious.’’ The

Pacific. Ackee, for instance, was imported

uniqueness of the Caribbean brand is what we

into Jamaica from West Africa in the 17th

have to offer the world and we should leverage

century. However, while it can also be

this to include our agro-processed goods.

found in Haiti, Cuba, and Florida, ackee has ostensibly become Jamaican, so that

While we have already made some inroads in

ackee and saltfish is the country’s national

exporting our agro-processed food products

dish. The historically highly demanded Aloe

internationally through such brands as

barbadensis (Barbados aloe) was inserted into

GraceKennedy, Walkers Wood, Baron

the international pharmacopeia because of its

Foods, and Banks Beer, the Caribbean still

particular quality.

sits on untapped agronomic treasures. The region is endowed richly with fruits and

So, what are some of the untapped Caribbean

vegetables, which provide the raw material

treasures? Aside from the traditional sugar,

for an exciting array of exportable products.

banana, rice, and nutmeg crops, the region

The degree to which we are able to own and

produces exotic fruits, vegetables, roots and

combine the flavours and characteristics of

spices such as gooseberries, several varieties

these endowments, with apposite packaging

of apples, mangoes, plums and hot or flavour

and presentation, will be the extent to which

peppers, carambola, soursop, Barbados

we are successful in international markets.

cherry, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, and pimento, to mention a few. Much of these

Significant and strategic investments will be

remain unfamiliar to the rest of the world,

necessary in the areas of product development

but have not been investigated to the degree

research (linked closely with market

the peanut was by George Washington Carver.

intelligence); equipment and technology;

His research led to a cornucopia of items, such



as peanut butter, oils, hair and skin products,

scientifically demonstrated how these flours

been internationalized. The correct packaging

as well as the proliferation of nut-flavoured

could replace or blend with traditional wheat

and presentation would be needed to assure

baked goods, snacks and drinks.

flours to create new lines of healthy cuisine

adequate shelf life and transportability of

from the Caribbean in the baked goods food

such items as guava cheese mixed with new

A new health-conscious consumer is looking

category. This product category is one of the

flavours as mango, jamoon, carambola or

for gourmet cuisine without having to sacrifice

largest categories in both the United States and

soursop, to imagine a few.

flavour for health. Further, the increase in

the United Kingdom markets.

food allergies and gluten intolerance has

Traditional extracts such as vanilla and

given rise to the need for healthy alternatives.

And what of jams and jellies? Feedback from

almond could be extended to mango, for

Research has deemed many familiar items,

the UK market indicates an untapped niche

instance, or even nutmeg or guava. These

such as wheat-based products, bleached

for banana jam from the region. As a native of

alternatives widen the scope for new and

flours and pastas, as unhealthy because of

Britain, I grew up eating banana sandwiches.

creative products to emerge. Note that guava

over-processing, hydrogenation, genetic

They were to the average British child what

(guayaba) is a favourite of the Latin-American

modification, or high-glycaemic factors.

the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is to the

community for desserts and treats.

American child. Gooseberry and golden-apple The Caribbean has the potential to bring to

jams are delightful too, by the way.

international markets healthy flour alternatives


Beyond food, Caribbean agro-processed products could include dyes, nutraceuticals

made from sweet potato, breadfruit, and yam,

Traditional Caribbean confectionery can also

and supplements. In Jamaica, Bio-

for example, once it can be practically and

be exported to the degree that chocolate has

Tech R&D Institute Ltd has already


adventurously invested in nutraceuticals and

SMAKS, for instance, has made a concerted

that are, or will be, available in the markets.

pharmaceuticals derived from the indigenous

effort in this regard by naming some of its

These shops would be distinct from ordinary

medicinal plants of Jamaica.

tea blends “Barbados Silver,” “Antillean

supermarkets and retail outlets because

Green,” “Trinidad Breakfast,” “Tobago

they would be responsible for education

The possibilities can be as creative as our

Afternoon,” and providing very high-quality

and promotion through product launches,

imaginations. What is necessary is a belief in

packaging that speaks to the hand-crafted

sampling sessions, demonstrations, and other

the Caribbean’s value in the marketplace and

nature of their exotic teas. Grace Kennedy

fun but effective tools.

a can-do attitude, backed by the necessary

International appeals to authenticity in its

capital investment into research, technology

catch phrase, “Genuine Caribbean taste

They would develop and build networking

and marketing. This can certainly be gleaned

enjoyed worldwide.”

relationships with distributors/retailers, to work

from those Caribbean exporters who have

in tandem with them rather than in competition,

successfully positioned themselves on the

An additional new marketing approach that

so that sales could be channelled through these

international scene. At the core, they have

could prove invaluable to promoting the

mechanisms. They would have strong Public

all embraced the “Caribbeanness” of their

region’s products is a Caribbean food channel

Relations and media campaigns. They would all

products. Their marketing strategies and

on the international networks, complemented

have uniformity and consistency in imagery or

tools have infused the stories of Caribbean

by the establishment of Caribbean shops in

branding so that a Caribbean shop could easily be

history and culture, and captured those

strategic markets, established solely for the

identified. This is an idea for further rumination,

evocative elements that resonate with the

purpose of diffusing Caribbean cuisine

but could very well be the foundation that

international markets.

and promoting the agro-processed products

supports the building of a Caribbean brand.

Ms. Beverley Alleyne is a Senior Business Development Officer of the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation. She has over twelve years’ experience in the business of export development and promotion, managing a cross-section of large and SME exporters.



marie sharp’s fine foods limited

Company Name


sauces uses the potent red habanero, while both

Marie Sharp’s Fine Foods Limited

Stann Creek Valley, Belize

cactus and citrus-based hot sauce use the yellow and green habanero. Marie Sharp’s products are



Product Summary

HACCP certified, FDA approved, and certified

Marie Sharp’s is a proud manufacturer of all

for health food stores in the USA. Marie Sharp’s

natural Habanero Pepper Sauces, Fruit Jams and

lives up to its slogan “Proud Products of Belize.”

Chief Executive Officer

Jellies, Habanero Pepper Jellies, and snacks in

Mrs. Marie Sharp

Belize. Marie Sharp’s Habanero Pepper Sauces

Export Markets

are carrot-based, citrus fruit based, and also

Japan, USA, Taiwan, Canada, China, Germany,

Years in Existence

cactus-based, each one with its own unique

United Kingdom, South Korea, Mexico,

33 years

taste. Marie Sharp’s carrot-based habanero

France, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.



Major Exporting Achievements

team of Caribbean Export. Marie Sharp’s has

ANUGA Taste13 Award 2013, Fiery Food

Support Received by Caribbean Export

Show award in the USA in 2001, Award for

Caribbean Export has been very instrumental

supported by Caribbean Export. One of the

Food and Beverage at ANUGA 1997.

in many initiatives that have led Marie Sharp’s

workshops which focused on “Intellectual

to export to new markets and expand existing

Property Rights” was very crucial to equipping

Market Entry Strategies

markets. Through Caribbean Export’s export

the company with information on exporting

Most of our market entry has occurred after

development initiative Marie Sharp’s was

from the Caribbean region to the globe. The

attending food shows. After persons taste our

chosen to be part of the “product placement”

Caribbean Export workshops provide great

products they are astounded by the quality

in the Fiesta market chain in Texas. This began

benefits for exporting companies and soon-to-

and flavour of Marie Sharp’s. Also tourism in

with a few case samples and now Marie Sharp’s

be exporters to be better prepared for what lies

Belize has also directly impacted our exports

is selling by pallets every three months to Fiesta.

ahead when Caribbean based products enter

around the world. Many tourists take back

In addition, there has been an increase of Marie

new markets around the world.

our products as gifts and they then become

Sharp’s sales into US markets due to attendance

known in those particular countries.

at the New York Fancy Food Show. At the Fancy

Key Support Needed by Exporters:

Food Show Marie Sharp’s was able to display

Greatest Exporting Lessons Learnt •

also participated in various other workshops

interest financing.

products, provide tasters, and do product

Practise what you preach; don’t make a

giveaways. Since that show we have seen a steady

Access to lending institutions for low

Export Readiness workshops for new

promise and then don’t do it.

11-13% growth in US sales since 2011. The same

or soon to be exporters with a focus on

Quality, Quality, Quality!

applied for ANUGA 2013 Show in Germany,

topics such as market entry, marketing,

Have a business mind-set or approach to

where Marie Sharp’s won the prestigious Taste

pricing, negotiations, HACCP, ISO

all business related activities.

13 award for excellence and quality. The radio

certification, etc.

Be different and better than the rest.

and TV coverage given was exceptional for both

Online/internet presence.

Success is not overnight; it can take years

Marie Sharp’s and the Caribbean region. At

Tradeshows/trade missions.

to establish a brand and products.

ANUGA, Marie Sharp’s participated with other

Market placements of high potential

Intellectual property rights protection

Caribbean companies as the Caribbean Pavilion,

export ready products in major ethnic/

is a must!

under the vision and direction of the dedicated

diaspora supermarkets.



the caribbean services sector and the opportunities under the CARIFORUM-EU EPA BY LUCILLA LEWIS & FLORENCE LOUIS-EDUOARD



The services sector accounted for almost 71%

suppliers that can enter the EU markets.

of global GDP in 2010. Trade in services has

In addition, the Protocol on Cultural Cooperation provides for greater cooperation

increased from US $1.5b in 2000 to US $3.9b

For both the CSS and the IPs there are conditions

on all cultural fronts. It facilitates those who

in 2008 and US $4.3b in 2012, representing a

of entry which must be met, e.g. there is the

wish to enter the EU for other cultural

weighted average annual increase of 15.7%. While

provision for an economic needs test by the

activities, including collaborating with

the services sector in the CARIFORUM region

intended host country in the EU before entry is

creative persons. It provides a framework for

continues to grow in line with these global trends,

granted to IPs and CSSs from the CARIFORUM

temporary movement and training of artists

trade in services from the region comprises a very

region. Further details on entry requirements are

and other cultural practitioners in performing

small portion of total international trade.

laid out, generally in Articles 83 to 85, in sector

and visual arts, and contains special provisions

specific Articles of the EPA and in Annex IV.

on the audio-visual sector.

Partnership Agreement (EPA), which is based

With respect to entertainment services, artists

Historically, and as a result of EU-wide

on reciprocity and transparency, provides an

and cultural practitioners are granted access

policies, market access commitments have

enhanced framework for trade and economic

to the European markets . The cultural sector

not been allowed in the audio-visual sector in

development between the EU and the

and entertainment services in particular are

any preceding trade agreement between the

CARIFORUM region. The signing of the EPA in

addressed through two instruments in the EPA.

Caribbean and Europe. However, the EPA

2008 marked the inclusion, for the first time, of

These are as follows:

Protocol on Cultural Cooperation provides

The CARIFORUM - European Union Economic

commitments of access for service providers and

possibilities for collaboration with European

investors as well as provisions for development of


Market access commitments by 26

producers in order to facilitate access into the

e-commerce based on international best practice.

European states for entertainment

EU for CARIFORUM audio-visual material through special mechanisms.

services from CARIFORUM states

Within the EPA, CARIFORUM States opened

that are governed by the rules of the

65 to 75% of their services markets focusing on

Services and Investment chapter and

Article 5 requires parties to the Protocol

sectors with the greatest impact on development

the general provisions of the EPA.

to encourage negotiation of new, and

and where investment and transfer of


A Special Protocol on Cultural

implementation of existing co-production

technology is appropriate, for example, business


services, management consultancy, maritime

agreements between one or several Member States of the EU and one or several signatory

transport, entertainment and tourism. With

In the case of the EPA’s market access provisions,

CARIFORUM States, including through

respect to the European Union, 90 % of its

Caribbean firms are allowed to invest in

granting of preferential treatment and support

services markets were opened up, allowing for

entertainment activities in Europe. For the

through organization of festivals, seminars

more favourable opportunities and market

first time, the EU and its States granted legally

and similar initiatives. Article 6 builds on the

access for CARIFORUM export of services to

binding provisions on market access for the

provisions in Article 5 by requiring the parties

the European Union.

supply of entertainment services through the

to the Protocol to encourage the promotion of

temporary entry of natural persons for up to

their respective territories as locations for the

Concomitantly, the EU has granted market access

six months. This is categorized as Contractual

purpose of shooting cinematographic films and

in 29 sectors to Contractual Service Suppliers

Service Suppliers (CSS) under the EPA and covers

television programmes, including cooperation to

(CSS) from the Caribbean. Services providers

the following activities:

allow temporary importation from the territory

in these 29 sub-sectors are therefore allowed to

of one party to the territory of the other party,

CPC 9619 Entertainment services (other than audio-visual)

the necessary technical material and equipment.

sectors include legal advisory services in respect


Theatrical producer, singer group,

In particular, co-produced audio-visual

of international public law and foreign law (i.e.

band and orchestra entertainment

products and services involving European and

non-EU law); accounting and bookkeeping


services, architectural services, urban planning


Services provided by authors,

domestic productions and meet the audio-

and landscape architecture services, engineering

composers, sculptors, entertainers

visual content rules in all EU states and in the

services, computer and related services,

and other individual artists.

CARIFORUM region. Through the Protocol,

advertising services, management consulting


Ancillary theatrical services not

artists and other cultural practitioners (who

services, chef de cuisine services, fashion model

elsewhere classified.

are not involved in commercial activities in

services, education services, health services and


Circus, amusement park and

the EU) will be able to enter the EU space to

entertainment services.

similar attraction services.

collaborate on specific projects and training

stay in the EU for up to six months in a calendar year to provide their services. The 29 sub-

CARIFORUM creative teams will qualify as

96195 Ballroom, discotheque and dance

exchanges. These persons will be allowed to

instructor services.

stay in the EU for periods up to 90 days in

temporary entry by Independent Professionals


Other entertainment services not

any 12-month period. This is of significant

(IPs) or self-employed persons without quotas

elsewhere classified.

importance to the CARIFORUM private sector

The EU has also liberalized 11 sectors for

or economic ceilings on the number of service

in the context of the modern knowledge-based 51


economy being pursued by the region.

EU residents subjects including Caribbean

both health tourism and exports of computer

cooking, Caribbean culture and so on, both in

and information services from the region.

Services providers from CARIFORUM States

the CARIFORUM region and in the EU. An

Given the region’s emerging reputation as

have already shown evidence of great dynamism

Institute for Learning of Caribbean Culture,

a wellness destination and the increasing

and potential in these liberalized sectors.

for example, to include dialects, music, flora

cost of health care in Europe and globally,

and fauna, could be established either in the

the potential for growth in exports of health

EU or in a CARIFORUM State, as a joint

services by region is tremendous.

Selected Sectoral Indications Computer and Information Services

venture investment with CARIFORUM and EU interests.

There is already evidence of intra-regional

Location of such educational and health facilities would also stimulate and nurture

activity with firms in Barbados and Jamaica

In addition, access granted under the EPA by

market demand in the EU for cultural services

providing computer software solutions

several EU Member States at different levels

from the CARIFORUM region.

and related services to businesses in other

of education from primary to university,

CARIFORUM States. Off-shore data

though with varying levels of exceptions,

Cultural Services

processing companies and call centres are

should allow instructors from the region to

The Cultural Industries Sector in

also well established in the region and create

seize opportunities to teach at institutions in

CARIFORUM region includes song writing,

sources of employment for many citizens. All

Europe or in the region through movement

live performance and recording of music,

EU Member States have granted market access

of natural persons (mode 4), and through the

local production of audiovisual products and

for computer and information services.

internet platform (mode 1).

location filming, arts and crafts, multimedia

Education Services

Health Services

of cultural services to value added in the

As a destination for foreign direct investment,

The Health/Medical Tourism Services sector

region varies from being very significant

the region has seen increasing evidence

offers several opportunities in relation to

in some including Jamaica and Trinidad

of higher education facilities from the

development of businesses which offer natural

and Tobago to not so significant based on

United States being established as Foreign

remedies and spa facilities in the health and

available statistics in some of the other

Affiliates (FAs) in the region. In such cases,

wellness tourism niche in the region. There

States. All States have identified cultural

the education services provided to the non-

has been a trend towards location of health

industries as having tremendous export

resident students and the living expenses of

rehabilitation and wellness centres as Foreign

growth potential through FTAs being

the students are exports of education tourism

Affiliates from developed to developing

entered into including the EPA.

services for the region. The EPA provisions

countries, including to some CARIFORUM

can result in similar trends in attracting

States. In such cases the expenditure by non-

Every CARIFORUM State has an annual

Foreign Affiliates from EU Member States.

resident “patients” is classified as receipts from

Carnival, and several other annual festivals

The EPA offers opportunities in the provision

tourism for the host country and of course has

which all embrace and provide marketing

of training, as well as domiciles for offshore

a multiplier effect as well.

opportunities for most of the cultural services

and literature. The contribution of exports

education/training institutes and the


listed above, and which are more and more,

provision of general administrative services

In addition to evidence of direct investments

being showcased as tourism events. Under the

to support offshore education institutes.

in offshore rehabilitation clinics in several

EPA, there is the opportunity for the regional

For example, businesses/investors in the

CARIFORUM States, there is also increasing

private sector to partner with the national

region can pursue opportunities through

evidence of use of technology at those facilities

festival promotion agencies in CARIFORUM

establishing commercial presence (mode 3) or

by medical practitioners located in different

States and with counterparts in EU markets

otherwise partnering with investors in Europe

parts of the world to undertake real time joint

towards organizing one major annual cultural

to establish training institutions to teach

patient management. This offers promise for

event reciprocally. Also, to make promotion


of these festivals more cost effective, service

and operationalise a regional scheme for

alleviation, may need to be revisited. Private

certification and conformity assessment;

sector financial institutions would also be

Build awareness, strengthen the

well advised, within the framework of their

joint venture investments with investors from

information and communication

mandatory financial prudence guidelines,

the EU; a forum for forging such partnerships

infrastructure and develop a coordinated

to allocate a limited share of their, often

knowledge management system;

reported, excess liquidity to establishing

Strengthen institutions such as the

creative financial instruments for financing

providers in the region could develop more fringe activities around the festivals through

could be included as an agenda item at the annual event to be organised or developed.

CARICOM Regional Organization

enhancement of export competitiveness of

In addition to festivals several of the region’s

for Standards and Quality (CROSQ)

businesses in the region. When co-production

performing groups and artists especially in the

Secretariat, The Dominican Institute

treaties are completed between individual

field of music are already penetrating markets

for Quality (INDOCAL) and the

EU Member States and Caribbean States

in the US, Africa and the EU.

National Standards Body (NSBs)

or region, it will also become possible for

from an organizational level, as well

Caribbean audiovisual producers to access

Importantly such services/activities developed

as to develop a regional framework for

funding for creative projects. CARIFORUM

and cultural activities exported through CSS

market surveillance.

States, in the spirit of the provisions of the

or IPs must continue to meet international standards.

EPA must support private sector initiatives At the regional level also, the trade support

to secure co-production treaties.

agencies need to continue to invest resources

Sports tourism

in twinning businesses/professionals with

There is also an urgent need to provide

Export earnings from sporting events have been

relevant institutions/agencies in the EU and in

market research information to performing

evident in the region through movement of

providing the necessary market intelligence.

artists in the region in order to link them

natural persons, e.g. when Usain Bolt of Jamaica

The Caribbean Spa and Wellness Association

with producers in the EU. The region also

returned home with earnings for outstanding

(C-SWA) should endeavour to provide

needs to better document and package all

performances at the 2012 Summer Olympics

technical assistance to its national chapters

aspects of its cultural heritage in a manner

in the UK. More resources need to be allocated

e.g. to the recently formed Dominica Spa

that allows development of a certified

to developing and maintaining of sporting

Health and Wellness Association (D-SHWA)

teaching syllabus in these areas.

facilities in all CARIFORUM States. In most

and embark on a campaign to encourage

CARIFORUM States this is the responsibility

establishment of similar chapters in all other

The Protocol on Cultural Cooperation

of resource strapped public agencies. The EPA


(discussed above) stipulates that artists and

makes provisions under which investors in the

cultural practitioners have to be registered

EU may be induced into partnerships with

Joint regional promotion campaigns

and/or certified across the region. This

local investors in developing much needed

targeting EU markets need to be organized

condition should be addressed through the

sporting facilities.

on a more regular basis, possibly twice

establishment of a regional registry of artists

annually, with alternating sector focus

and other CSS and IPs who succeed in accessing


and with different segments of the private

EU markets with their services, and also those

The highlighted market opportunities

sector taking a lead role. The issue of access

who attempted and failed and the reasons

can exist only if international standards

to suitable capital for addressing business

why they failed. Furthermore, transparency

are met. The private sector is urged to get

development challenges must be addressed

in application of entry requirements across

involved in making the necessary business

with increased urgency as the region needs

borders in all States that are party to the EPA

investments to continue to meet and

to continue to enhance its competitiveness

must be ensured by the national authorities to

maintain international best practice and

as a destination for foreign investors and to

facilitate hassle-free travel by CSSs and IPs to

certification standards. Under the technical

enhance business viability generally. This

provide their services.

barriers to trade component of the 10th EDF,

will require strong support from national

projects being implemented seek to: • • •

business support organizations as well as

All these efforts will require increased

Strengthen the metrology infrastructure

regional agencies such as the Caribbean

investments in developing the enabling

within the region;

Export Development Agency.

environment to nurture the existing

Strengthen and harmonise the

entrepreneurial spirit in the private sector.

standardization infrastructure;

Also, the approach and instruments available

Considerable funds have been allocated

Operationalize regional schemes

to the development banks in the region, to

under the 10th EDF for this purpose. The

for accreditation, certification and

carry out their mandate of contributing

region must ensure that the desired results

conformity assessment; and develop

to economic development and poverty

of these resource allocations are met.

Ms Lucilla Lewis possesses several years of experience in undertaking social and economic research particularly on challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS). She has worked in the areas of trade policy and related capacity building assignments. Ms Lewis holds an MSc in Economics and is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC). Ms Florence Louis-Edouard is a Senior Trade expert with 10 years’ experience in trade and export development, regional integration, private sector development, projects design and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building, trade in services and trade negotiations, among others.



on the right track: MVP boosting the business of sport BY STEPHANIE BISHOP

Image provided by MVP Track Club



With the motto “Whatever you do, do

winning Olympic medals.

well,’’ four men with a vision started a club in 1999 at Wolmer’s Boys’ School

“People didn’t believe that what we were doing

in Kingston Jamaica, which would

was feasible, and they felt that anything we did

eventually bourgeon into one of the

was going to spoil that legacy. So the buy-in

Caribbean’s most successful athletic

from investors was never there,” James said.

ventures. To overcome these hurdles, MVP had to be

The starting blocks

innovative and strategic in its approach to

Paul Francis, Stephen Francis, David Noel

recruitment. “We had to target second-tier

and Bruce James established the Maximising

athletes because the top-tier athletes had also

Velocity and Power (MVP) Track and Field Club

bought into the view that they needed to get a

because they wanted to see Jamaican athletes

scholarship to the US to be a world-class athlete.”

develop and progress beyond high school. By 2001, MVP was beginning to face financial Bruce James, President of MVP said, “We felt

challenges. “Although we were attracting a few

that we had quite a bit of success in producing

athletes here to join us, we didn’t have a way

athletes who would get scholarships to

to maintain it,’’ James explained. “They were

universities in the United States. However, we

training on a dirt track at Wolmer’s, and a lot

found that they did not develop as well as we

of them were now missing the opportunity

thought they should have.’’ He added,“ Our

to go to university. So we had to find a way to

expectation was that when they left high school

sustain what we had.”

they would continue on a certain trajectory, but instead they plateaued.’’

It was then that business partner and coach Stephen Francis decided to approach the

Prior to the formation of MVP Track and Field

University of Technology (U-Tech) with an

Club, the business environment for athletics

offer they couldn’t refuse. He would offer his

in Jamaica was primarily a system that shipped

IAAF-certified training skills for free, with the

athletes out to overseas universities to train and

condition that the university allowed MVP

study after high school.

athletes to train at the grounds and enroll in classes there.

James and company had consistently proven that they were good enough to train athletes

As a result, Asafa Powell became one of

up to that level, but what was needed was

the club’s first recruits in September that

a structure to take those athletes to the next

year. James said, “I believe that if we did not

level—while keeping them in Jamaica.

have the opportunity to train at U-Tech, we


would not have been able to attract or recruit athletes like Asafa. So 2001 was a watershed

Jumping the Hurdles

year for us.”

The transformation envisaged did not come without challenges. Jamaica already had a rich through the process of completing high school

Transitioning from Sport to Business

in Jamaica, receiving scholarships to the US,

During the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Jamaican

competing in the World Championships and

athletes who lived and trained outside of

sporting history with athletes who had gone



Image provided by MVP Track Club

Jamaica earned 100% of the medals the

sports beyond recreation to a viable business

Competitive Advantage

country received. By the 2008 Beijing

venture. The club showed Jamaica and the

That model has garnered MVP undeniable

Games, 80% of the medal winners were

region that Jamaican coaches, managers,

success in the club’s 14-year history. James

living and training in Jamaica. They included

and facilities could be the very best in the

also cites two reasons for their continued

Usain Bolt, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Shelly-

world. This is continually demonstrated in

achievements both on and off the track:

Ann Fraser-Pryce, Asafa Powell, Sherone

the breaking of world and Olympic records

their team and infrastructure. “A track and

Simpson, Melaine Walker and Shericka

and the winning of medals.

field club, or any sports club, can only be


as successful as their coaching staff, and “Anyone in the region can do what we did.

we have the very best in the world. We

“I can’t say that MVP was responsible for

Certainly now there is a proliferation of

also have a structure that works, meaning

Usain Bolt staying in Jamaica, but I dare say

clubs as a result of what MVP has done, and

that in addition to great coaches and great

that because we were able to establish the

other Caribbean countries can follow suit.”

athletes, we have an infrastructure that

club, the possibility of being able to stay in James is also of the view that this transformation

for serious consideration.”

can extend beyond athletics to include other

MVP is an all-inclusive track club that seeks

sporting disciplines, as long as the right model

to handle the everyday affairs of athletes,

is in place and managed appropriately.

such as accommodation, academics, and

MVP also created an opportunity to take


supports them.”

Jamaica became an option and was now up


meals for student-athletes, and financial,

region. According to the Jamaica Tourist

our success to promote the different tourism

tax and legal advice for the professional

Board, approximately 1.3 million tourists

products to the various countries.”


visited Jamaica in 2012. It is a widely held belief that these figures would increase

“In other clubs, athletes may have a different

exponentially, with the development of a

Steps to Success

relationship for every aspect they encounter

national sports tourism policy that sets the

Today, MVP Track and Field Club has

outside of athletics, but here at MVP we

parameters for enhancing the collaboration

approximately 100 students on its training

handle everything in one place so that

between tourism and sports, which effectively

roster, of whom 40 are professional athletes.

our athletes can concentrate on training

harnesses the Jamaican sport product.

In addition to Jamaican athletes, the club also

without the added distractions.”

has an enrolment of athletes from Barbados, James remarked that the Caribbean is on the

Trinidad and Tobago, France, Germany and

right track as a “natural tourist destination,”

South Africa.

On the right track

and given the innate and incredible sporting

James believes that athletes have made a

talent of our region’s athletes, “someone can

James offers the following advice to sport

significant impact on the country’s brand.

find a way to marry our great sporting history

entrepreneurs: “The first step is self-

“When our athletes run across the finish line

with our unique tourism product.”

confidence: you have to believe you have the

and are successful, they are adding positive value to ‘Brand Jamaica’.’’

ability to do something. Next, dream big: you He added, “I really believe that our

don’t just want to train an athlete to make

contribution to sports tourism is ensuring

Olympic standards. You need to believe your

This is also translated into the economic

that our [regional] athletes are the very best

athletes would break records. Don’t set low

viability of sports tourism within that

in the world. Then the tourism marketers

targets. Finally, teamwork: work with a group

country and potentially throughout the

and the public relations machines can use

of competent people who you can trust.”

Stephanie Bishop is a Communications Advisor at the Caribbean Export Development Agency. She is a development communications specialist with over 10 years professional experience and holds a Masters in International Affairs.

Image provided by MVP Track Club



one-on-one with

two-time olympic champion shelly-ann fraser-pryce BY STEPHANIE BISHOP



When you consider the dominance of

in 2010 and, most recently, the IAAF Female

With my Foundation, we especially want to

Jamaican athletes in short sprints during

Athlete of the Year.

help student athletes because I know how difficult it can be to follow your dreams

the 21st century, it’s hard to believe that before 2008 no Jamaican had ever won an

Undoubtedly, there is much more to Fraser-

while facing challenges. We found that some

Olympic 100-metre gold medal. That year,

Pryce than what the world sees on the track, so

of the best athletes are coming from the

however, everything changed when a virtually

Caribbean Export sat down for a one-on-one

inner city or single- parent homes and that

unknown five-foot, 21-year-old named Shelly-

with the Caribbean sprint queen.

they are struggling to link education with

Ann Fraser helped Jamaica sweep the short

sports because the resources are not there.

sprints, along with country mates Usain

What has your professional athletics

So I decided to start the Foundation to create

Bolt (100 and 200 metres) and Veronica

journey been like since joining the

lasting change, through education and sports,

Campbell-Brown (200 metres).

MVP Track and Field Club?

in the lives of student-athletes. We also want

Six years after becoming the first Caribbean

Since joining MVP in 2006, the journey

woman to win the Olympic 100- metre sprint,

has been very successful. I have been able to

Fraser-Pryce has gone on to successfully defend

train with some of the world’s best athletes

Digicel, Grace Kennedy, Nike and Sagicor have

that title during the 2012 London Olympics,

such as Asafa Powell, Brigitte Foster-Hylton,

been fantastic sponsors and I hope that more of

becoming only the third woman in history

and Sherone Simpson, and it has given me

corporate Jamaica can get involved, because when

to win two consecutive 100-metre events at

a tremendous amount of respect for these

they help these students, they help Jamaica.

that level. In 2013, she also became the first

athletes, and how hard they work. This has also

female sprinter to win gold medals in three

given me the drive to perform at my very best.

to extend it beyond athletics to include

sprint events in a single World Championship.

netball, football, tennis, cricket, et cetera.

In addition to my Foundation, I have a hair store called Chic Hair. It caters to the

Because of her speed and petite frame, she is

My coach, Stephen Francis, is also a very

woman who wants to change her look, or

called the “Pocket Rocket.”

wonderful coach. He is very intelligent and

adapt to the weather. Something adaptable

tenacious when it comes to paying attention

yet fashionable; we are also branching out

Fraser-Pryce won her first international medal

to the details and making sure we get things

(in December 2013) to include a full service

during the Central American and Caribbean

right on the track. Our management team is

beauty salon.

(CAC) Junior Championships in Barbados

also fantastic, as they manage every aspect

in 2002. This was just the beginning of an

of what we do here at MVP, in addition

What are some of the challenges

illustrious career in athletics spanning over 13

to working with my agent for local and

that young athletes face, female in

years, and she has amassed some 16 medals.

international meets.

particular, on the global stage?

Coached by the International Association

Outside of athletics, with which other

As females, we face a lot of challenges in

of Athletics Federations (IAAF)- certified

activities are you currently involved?

athletics. We go through so much more

Stephen Francis, Fraser-Pryce is a member of

than our male counterparts, yet we have to

the Maximising Velocity and Power (MVP)

Apart from track and field, there is my

rise against those challenges, while trying to

Track and Field Club, in Kingston Jamaica.

passion the Pocket Rocket Foundation. This

meet them at their level. The males get more

has been a dream that I wanted to fulfill

attention than the females in athletics, but

In addition to her honours on the track,

for a while. I waited until I won that gold

we are enduring some of the same training.

Fraser-Pryce was also named the first

medal (in London) because it came with so

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

much more that was able to help me in this

Further, we are competing on the track

National Goodwill Ambassador for Jamaica


amongst ourselves, but we are also competing



Image provided by Pocket Rocket Foundtion

Image provided by Pocket Rocket Foundtion

to be on the same level as the men. We can

As an accomplished athlete, what

understand not getting the same amount of

recommendations do you have for

pay because the men are breaking records

developing the sports tourism industry

Track and field is just a stepping-stone in the

every year, and the female records are so far

in the Caribbean?

process, but it gives me the platform I need to put the resources in place to get things done and

out there, it’s like we’re chasing a ghost! Yet we still aspire to be like them and this is why

I think more needs to be done about sports

help as much as I can. I especially want to be in a

I think we still deserve the recognition.

tourism in Jamaica. We need to capitalize on

position to help young girls realize their dreams

“Brand Jamaica”. Have our athletes endorse

and passions, because passion breeds success.

What advice would you give for

the Jamaican products. When we go abroad,

overcoming some of these barriers?

we see an abundance of Jamaican shirts and

For me, training is my safe ground. It really is

merchandise but we are not maximizing on it

my passion and I enjoy it. So I want our young

It is important to work hard and be dedicated.

here in Jamaica especially given our success in

people to be able to follow their dreams.

Honestly, we are not alone in the challenges we

other sports such as cricket and football, not just

face today, as the athletes before us endured

athletics. The same can be said for the Caribbean,

the same thing but overcame because of their

if there is a system put in place to showcase our


athletes and our sports persons not only can it

Passion: don’t think about the money just

help our tourism industry but also potentially

think about the love for what you do.

Given all the success you are currently important lesson?

What is your equation for success?

become a major economic stimulator.

attaining what has been the single most

Commitment: when you think you can’t Where do you see yourself professionally

go anymore, that is when you give your all.

or personally in five years?

Push for those last 10 seconds whether it is

Whatever you want to achieve is attainable if


may run for (the office of the) Prime Minister.

for getting that promotion, that degree or

you learn to follow good advice and instructions.

I am one of those God-fearing persons who

Sometimes you may feel that you have all the

believe that my purpose in life is to help and to

answers, but it is important to put your ego aside

support others as much as I can. I want to work

Confidence: believing in yourself, knowing

and listen to those who genuinely want to help you.

with children and who knows. Who knows? I

your ability and work towards your dreams.

crossing the finish line for gold.





December 27, 1985


Kingston, Jamaica


5ft. 0 in. (1.52 metres)




100 metres, 200 metres


MVP Track and Field Club

Personal Records

10.70 (100m), 22.09 (200m)





Olympic Games




World Championships




CARIFTA Games Juniors (U20)




CAC Junior Championships (U17)




World Athletics Final








COMPETITIONS 2012 London Olympics

100m, 200m, 4x100m relay

2008 Beijing Olympics


2013 Moscow World Championships

100m, 200m, 4x100m relay

2011 Daegu World Championships

4x100m relay

2009 Berlin World Championships

100m, 4x100m relay

2007 Osaka World Championships

4x100m relay

2009 Thessaloniki World Athletics Final


2008 Stuttgart World Athletics Final


2013 IAAF Diamond League

100m, 200m

2012 IAAF Diamond League

100m, 200m

2005 Tobago CARIFTA Games

100m, 4x100m relay

2002 Barbados CAC Junior Championships

4x100m relay

AWARDS/HONOURS IAAF Female Athlete of the Year


UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador


Grace Goodwill Ambassador


ENDORSEMENTS Nike, Digicel, GraceKennedy

CHARITIES UNICEF Jamaica, Pocket Rocket Foundation

Stephanie Bishop is a Communications Advisor at Caribbean Export. She is a development communications specialist with over 10 years professional experience and holds a Masters in International Affairs.



the Caribbean: sun, sea, sand and sport BY JOELLEN R. LARYEA

All images provided by Caribbean Premier League



T20 cricket has reignited the imagination and draws crowds back to the stadiums for fast-paced games. Think of what it can do for tourism and the economy!

When people think of cricket in the

broadcasters and sponsors alike. Global

Caribbean, often it conjures up images of

interest has grown significantly and this

children playing on the pristine sandy beaches

high-energy game has a natural home within

against a backdrop of turquoise water with the

the Caribbean, synonymous with vibrant,

sun shining endlessly against it.

colourful Carnivals and a party atmosphere. High energy is exactly what was experienced

That’s a rather romantic image of yesteryear,

at every CPL T20 game that was played during

as today you are more likely to find children

the summer of 2013. “There is nowhere

playing football on the beach and basketball

in the world that I have ever experienced

in the parks.

an atmosphere like what we had at CPL,” said CPL Chief Executive Officer Damien

For quite a few years, regional and even

O’Donohoe in a recent interview.

international cricket had been played in the West Indies, more often than not, to half-

The T20 series hosted more than 250,000 fans

empty stadiums, but the inaugural Caribbean

across six countries and 36 million viewers

Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 (T20)

worldwide. Approximately US $4.868 million

competition finally reignited the imagination

was spent in and around the stadiums, which

of disgruntled fans.

could result in an economic impact of US $91 million when hotels, travel, food and other

In July and August of 2013, the Caribbean

services are taken into consideration.

witnessed sold-out stadiums, captivated crowds and international investment far

These figures cannot be taken lightly,

surpassing what the organisers had ever

especially in view of the ratio of regional

expected. The CPL represents for the region

visitors to international tourists attending

a great opportunity to exploit sport tourism,

the games. As much as 90% of league has

which is a fast growing sector of the global

been funded from within the region, with

travel industry.

Digicel as the global sponsor and Guyana’s Limacol as the title sponsor. The success

It was in September 2012 that the West

proves that there is spending power within the

Indies Cricket Board announced that it had

region, O’Donohoe said, and “with the right

finalized an agreement with Ajmal Khan,

structure and the right team, we can deliver a

founder of Verus International, to fund the

world-class event in the Caribbean as the CPL

league which operates under a franchise

is second only to the Indian Premiere League.”

model comprising six teams—the Antigua Hawksbills, the Barbados Tridents, the

It is the production of world-class events in the

Guyana Amazon Warriors, the Jamaica

Caribbean that will support the development

Tallawahs, the Saint Lucia Zouks and the

of the sports tourism sector. The precedent

Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.

has been set with the CPL and the goal should be to continue developing this product to

T20 was introduced in 2003 as a new format

further stimulate regional expenditure and

for the game, a fast and furious version that

to attract greater international investment to

has become an instant success with cricket

support the local economies.

fanatics, and has also delivered significant value to multiple partners—team owners,

The CPL has already seen investment from





Hollywood stars Gerard Butler and Mark

the flesh. Such celebrity status translates

The CPL is now tasked to build its brand

Wahlberg, who have stakes in the Jamaica

into an immense opportunity for the CPL

to capture the minds of tourists and those

Tallawahs and the Barbados Tridents teams

as well as other sports. Carole Beckford,

interested in the Caribbean. The CPL has

respectively. Long-term Caribbean investor,

publicist for Usain Bolt, noted that at least

the potential to grow beyond the Caribbean

owner and founder of the Virgin Group Sir

450 elite Caribbean athletes are featured on

shores. About 1200 cricket clubs have been

Richard Branson has invested in the Antigua

television year-round—from Jamaica’s Bolt to

identified in New York alone, indicating

Hawksbills and is a tournament sponsor.

the US Virgin Islands’ basketball superstar

there is a strong interest in what many

Tim Duncan. It is estimated that 12 million

would consider non-traditional markets. The

Such celebrity endorsements, combined

international sports tourism trips are made

Indian Premiere League (IPL) was valued in

with the opportunity for the CPL to be seen

each year, a niche which represents 14% of

2010 at US $4.13 billion by the UK-based

by as many as 80 million via ESPN, give

the global travel and tourism market which

brand consultancy Brand Finance, and

rise to endless possibilities when it comes

is expected to grow around 6% annually over

although we can’t compare the CPL to the

to boosting sports tourism, international

the next four years.

IPL because of the sheer size difference, the

business, attracting foreign direct investment

global cricket market is huge and available

into the Caribbean, and the exportation of

Sporting events are being made more

for the Caribbean to seize a sizeable portion

our goods and services.

appealing to attend, with producers listening

to significantly contribute to the region’s

to the needs of their audience and providing


Increased media exposure of sporting events

greater levels of comfort. CPL T20 has been

is critical to raise the profile of sports. Live

truly cemented as a Caribbean family event,

With the support of the governments and

coverage will always be preferred by viewers,

with grandparents, parents, children and

tourism boards, the CPL can assist in putting

and thus the time zone difference presents

women (24% of the audience) attending the

the Caribbean in the homes of 80 million

a challenge for the target markets that are

matches. O’Donohoe noted that no costs were

people worldwide, greatly increasing the

most interested in the main international

spared to ensure the overall experience was

potential for avid cricket fans travelling to the

sporting events. For example, UK fans are

positive, with spectacular firework displays

region or even vacationers who simply want

sleeping whilst sport in the Caribbean is being

and entertainment to support the cricket.

to enjoy a different side of Caribbean life.

The CPL’s scheduling during the height of

After watching the scenes of jubilation, and

played. Still, an increasing number of sports fans want to experience live events.

Carnival season enables other events, such as

the electrifying atmosphere witnessed in 2013,

The media have the ability to create national

festivals and concerts, to be created around it,

who wouldn’t want to come to the Caribbean

and international icons of professional

further enticing visitors to the region. Sporting

and experience the music, the culture, the

athletes, which engenders greater demand,

events bundled with the entire creative sector

food, the Carnival, the people and, of course,

as fans want to see their sporting idols in

makes a very attractive destination.

the home of the best cricket in the world!

JoEllen R. Laryea is the PR, Communication and Marketing Advisor at The Caribbean Export Development Agency and offers a wealth of international experience having worked with leading brands Nike, Sony and Apple.



the creative industries: exploring opportunities BY ERICA K. SMITH

Creative industries can be defined as

the cultural industries accounted for 4.9% of

as festivals and concerts, particularly since

“those requiring creativity, skill and talent,

total employment.

in the Caribbean the relationship between

with potential for wealth and job creation

music and the many carnivals is deeply

through the exploitation of their intellectual

Thus, within CARIFORUM the main focus

rooted and inter-twined. Local carnivals

property ” and include advertising, software

has been on the cultural industries, with the

act as an impetus for the creation of new

development and architecture. Film, music,

aim of taking advantage of the region’s rich

musical content and provide opportunities

publishing and the visual and performing

diversity of cultural expressions. Examples

for live performances locally, regionally and

arts can be defined as cultural industries, a

of this can be seen in the region’s music and

even internationally. Revenue can also be

sub-set of the creative industries.

fashion industries which can be considered the

generated through performance royalties,

largest and most internationally recognisable

to a lesser extent.

According to UNCTAD , international trade

industries that fall within the culture sub-set.

in creative goods rose from US $198 billion

The global music copyright royalties market is

in 2002 to US $454 billion in 2011. In the

Regional Music

worth approximately US $7.7 billion, of which

Caribbean, exports of creative goods in 2008

In the past decade, the level of exports from

the Caribbean generates around US $4 million.

were US $548 million while imports stood

the music industry, specifically CD sales, has

The management of regional Collective

at US $1.2 billion.

fallen dramatically; so too for the rest of the

Management Organisations (CMOs) believes

world. However, whilst the sale of digital

that the level of royalties currently collected

The World Intellectual Property Organisation

music has compensated for this decline in

in the Caribbean represents only half of what

(WIPO) commissioned a number of studies

other markets, the region has not experienced

the market is worth.

between 2007-2013 to ascertain the economic

this shift. In fact, with the exception of, for

contribution of the copyright-based industries,

example, CRS Music and Media in Barbados,

The Caribbean faces some tough challenges

which would include cultural industries

very few Caribbean rights holders are active

as it relates to growth of the music sector.

such as film and music publishing. The

on the major digital distribution platforms

results showed that these industries made a

which generate a considerable percentage of

Recessionary economic conditions have

substantial contribution to the GDP of many

their overall revenue.

depressed the domestic live performance

Caribbean countries ranging from 3.3% in


market as evidenced by the sharp decline in

Dominica, to as much as 8% in Saint Lucia.

Another key area for rights holders to generate

the number of performances in hotels and

Moreover, in St Vincent and the Grenadines

revenue is through live performances such

nightclubs. Artists have also reported fewer


opportunities for regional and international

in order to overcome the obstacles that are

Quite often the region’s focus is on

performances, coupled with stagnant

preventing the advancement of the regional

participation in carnival-type activities in

performance fees that have not significantly

music industry.

the diaspora markets, such as Notting Hill

increased since the 1990s .

Carnival in London, UK and the Labour Day Talent scouts from the international music

parade in New York, USA; however, these

It is important to note that the live

industry often expect artists to have a solid

types of free street events, unlike festivals

performance market impacts the possibility

local audience. Artists are encouraged to

with gate receipts, do not generate substantial

of achieving international success. Based on

take advantage of opportunities to perform

revenue or royalties in these countries for

the flow of performance royalties (live and

locally as this contributes to their overall

many artists and do not facilitate the exposure

radio), overall, the UK market has remained

skills development and can expand their

of a diversity of Caribbean genres.

the strongest market internationally for

repertoire, since they would need to

Caribbean music, and despite fluctuations,

compose new material for their markets in

With the scores of tourists from Europe

there has been a net export of royalties.

order to keep live performances alive and in

visiting the region annually, significant

demand. International royalty earnings have

efforts must be made to penetrate the

In Barbados, based on royalty statements

demonstrated little diversity over the years,

buoyant and abundant festival stages of the

provided to the local CMO, the highest value

and it can therefore be argued that this is an

UK, France, Sweden and Germany, in view

of royalty earnings per annum for the top three

indication that new music is not penetrating

of their mature markets and receptiveness to

songwriters was during the late 1990s and early

the international market.

compensate generously for performances and

2000s. During this period, royalties were as

royalty fees. Therefore, efforts should instead

high as US $100,000 when there were several

This focus on the development of the local

be redirected to attending the major trade

bands touring internationally, and regularly

market may translate to increased diversity of

fairs, the World Music Expo (WOMEX)

releasing music. Consequently, a decline in

music available throughout the year and the

and Babel Med Music for promotion and

performance activity in the domestic market

building of a solid domestic fan base. Upon

networking opportunities with festival

is likely to result in a decline in the level of

achieving this success, artists should then look

directors in order to increase participation

earnings from the international market.

toward the regional market for performance

opportunities in festivals.

opportunities at carnivals, for example, which This correlation between local performance

will again add to the expansion of their fan

However, radio airplay remains the most

and international success must be recognized

base and generate further income.

important form of exposure providing





tremendous promotional value, and an

US $1.5 million. In the case of jewellery,

relationships in Haiti and negotiating

important source of royalty revenue both within

figures from 2006 indicated Jamaican

manufacturing agreements that would support

the Caribbean and internationally. Therefore,

exports of US $2.1 million. However, this

the increased production required to grow

artists should work toward gaining exposure

figure is inclusive of items imported and re-

international presence. In addition, Caribbean

on European airwaves in particular where the

exported through duty-free shopping, which

designers could also benefit from the Trade

demand for Caribbean music is relatively strong.

could suggest that locally produced Jamaican

Preference Programmes that are in place for

This task, while difficult, can be achieved by:

products were insignificant . Most recently, in

Haitian Textiles and Apparel with the United

seeking collaboration with European artists

2014, it was reported that the Trinidad and

States, under which apparel imports from Haiti

to do joint works; sponsoring radio shows

Tobago fashion industry employs more than

or 17 other Caribbean countries qualify for

which feature Caribbean music and building

11,000 people either directly or indirectly,

duty-free access.

a network of European radio programmers to

generating just under US $4 million annually . Another means for designers to address

whom music can be distributed. Across the region the premier showcase

capacity issues is through the licensing of

Developing the live music market at the

for Caribbean fashion has been Caribbean

designs which removes the need to enter

domestic, regional and international level

Fashion Week (CFW) held in Jamaica,

manufacturing agreements. However,

cannot be ignored as it has an important role

providing a platform for regional designers

this requires good technical design skills,

to play in the overall growth of the Caribbean

to display to a global audience. The success

the ability to present portfolios and very

music industry. Internationally, the primary

of CFW has influenced the establishment

importantly, an understanding of intellectual

effort should be placed on the European

of similar events throughout the

property rights from a legal and commercial

market for a number of reasons. Europe has an

Caribbean. These events, in addition to

perspective. This in turn requires the

apparent interest in “world� music generally.

the participation of Caribbean designers

capacity to monitor licensees in order to

Evidence of the flow of royalties suggest an

in major international fashion events such

ensure that the design brand retains a good

interest in Caribbean music.Europe also has a

as New York Fashion Week, Miami Fashion

reputation through consistent and quality

substantial number of festivals and of course,

Week, the Gallery during Berlin Fashion

manufacturing. In order for this approach

the access provided under the CARIFORUM-

Week and regionally, Dominicana Moda in

to be successful, there must be high-level

EU Economic Partnership Agreement should

the Dominican Republic, are where regional

training on design, intellectual property rights

be taken advantage of.

designers have been able to promote their

and licensing for regional designers and/or a

brands and generate international interest.

cadre of specialist advisors available.

Individual artists cannot achieve the type of

Designers, such as Heather Jones of Trinidad

activity recommended for increased festival

and Tobago, who have frequently attended

Whether manufacturing or a design only

participation and international airplay on

trade events in Europe, the United States

strategy is adopted, a consistent presence at

their own. At the policy and institutional

and Asia have been particularly successful.

major regional and international events, as

level, the region must consider investment in

well as investment in branding and marketing

a Caribbean Music Export Office, either as

The challenge most regional designers are

is required. But in order to truly expand the

an independent entity or under the umbrella

faced with when it comes to successfully

sector, manufacturing solutions must be

of the Caribbean Export Development

establishing international presence is their

implemented and fortunately, these can be

Agency (Caribbean Export) or similar entity,

production capacity constraints because

achieved regionally. Caribbean Export as the

which is responsible for the recommended

of the limited regional manufacturing that

regional trade promotion organisation with

actions. This type of organisation exists at

is available. Caribbean designers are often

the contacts and market knowledge of Haiti

the national and regional level worldwide

confined to small niche markets that are less

can provide assistance to designers and thus

and the continued absence of such within

likely to order in large quantities. Designers

should be utilized.

the Caribbean is notable.

would need to establish relationships with

Regional Fashion

external manufacturers, in order to fulfil a large

What is apparent in both the music and

international order, should it be requested.

the fashion industries is the need for sound

The global apparel market is estimated

knowledge and understanding of intellectual

to be worth US $1.1 trillion annually .

One country that can be utilized to address

property rights. Particularly, design and

Unfortunately there is limited statistical

this very issue is Haiti, where there are

copyright are the legal basis of the creative

data relating to the economic contribution

comparatively cheap labour costs, and some

industries and thus should be fully embraced

and employment within this sub-sector. It has

large manufacturing companies that could

in all policies and strategies as they play a

been reported thatbetween 2003 and 2007,

support the mass production of goods.

specific and critical role in the expansion of

apparel exports in Jamaica fell by 87% to just

Caribbean designers should consider developing

the regional design industry.

Erica K. Smith has been working in the creative sector for the past 15 years. Her academic background covers intellectual property law, sports law and international business. Her professional experience includes copyright licensing and management, regional and international consultancies in the creative industries in addition to the design, execution and implementation of training programmes.



the voice of a region:

Tessanne Chin’s rise to prominence BY STEPHANIE BISHOP

Image provided by NBC



In September 2013, a delightfully unassuming

Some of Tessanne’s musical influences,

Bryson, and Gladys Knight. She also toured

and completely unaffected songstress from

besides her family, include international

for three years with Jamaican-born Grammy

Jamaica shot to stardom and became one of

acts such as Celine Dion, Tina Turner and

award-winning singer and actor Jimmy Cliff.

the Caribbean’s biggest musical stories for

Michael Jackson, but inspiration also came

However, in Jamaica, Tessanne’s music

that year. Tessanne Chin’s stratospheric ascent

from Jamaican legends Bob Marley, Jimmy

received scant airplay.

from relative obscurity, even in her homeland,

Cliff, Toots, Third World, Marcia Griffith,

to international fame after her triumph on

and Diana King.

NBC’s singing competition The Voice, has

“I will be the first person to admit that I was struggling and at the point in my career

positioned her as the first Jamaican to win the

“I remember when Diana King first came on

where I hit a glass ceiling. It felt like I was on

competition and for a transformative career

the scene, with her big music and big video.

a treadmill running, but not going anywhere.

breakthrough in 2014.

I remember thinking that this is someone I

It was very frustrating, especially when you

can understand and my sister [Tami Chynn]

know the type of artiste you want to be.”

and I would write down every lyric because

Musical Beginnings

we wanted to sing just like her.”

Born in Kingston, Tessanne comes from a

Because Tessanne’s talents weren’t fully recognised in Jamaica, her mentor and

musical background. Her parents Richard

Marcia Griffith and Diana King also paved

longtime friend Shaggy encouraged her to

and Christine Chin formed the world’s first

the way for Tessanne and other female

audition for Season 5 of The Voice as a vehicle

all-female ska band, The Carnations, which

artistes in Jamaica, but growth in an industry

for showcasing her skills.

also featured her aunt Ingrid Chin, and other

historically dominated by men is no easy feat.

family members.

Tessanne, however, never let this reality daunt

“Naturally, I was a bit apprehensive, and I

her dreams.

knew I was going to get some backlash, but I

“It was absolutely awesome,” Tessanne

also knew the reach that this show had, and I

recounts. “I have happy memories of going

“I once heard Tanya Stephens say gender is not

wanted to be a part of it. It was a chance to do

to my parents’ rehearsals, and that was the

a stumbling block or a handicap, so I never

something I’d never done, to get something

first time I picked up a microphone. I think

looked at it that way. I believe that as long as

I’d never gotten.”

what made it so natural was the fact that

you do your best in your craft, regardless of

everyone was involved in the band…it was a

gender, you will succeed. We have so many

Today, Tessanne credits the competition with

real family affair.”

great female artistes in reggae and in other

providing her the platform she needed to

genres, so I believe it is more to our advantage

gain international market access. She is now

as women today in music.”

able to work with some of the biggest names

Undoubtedly, Tessanne’s background and culture significantly influenced her style

in producing and songwriting, including

of music.

industry icons Diane Warren, Toby Gadd,

International Exposure

Claude Kelly and Rock City.

“Growing up in Jamaica, music is the first

Tessanne was named Caribbean Journal’s

thing you hear, and it affected my sound,

Artiste of the Year in December 2013 and also

“The Voice gave me an opportunity to display

but music is more than what you hear. In

received a Gold Medal of the City of Kingston.

my diversity, sing other types of music, and

Jamaica, it is a way of life, the voice of the

Prior to this, the reggae-fusion artiste, opened

show people I’m not just this girl from Jamaica


for famous acts such as Patti Labelle, Peabo

that can sing reggae music. I love my music, I



Image provided by NBC

Image courtesy of Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy

love reggae but this was not the only music I

Tessanne describes the aftermath of winning

“When you work at something for so long and

had a passion for or the only genre I wanted to

the competition as a “beautifully chaotic and

so hard, it feels incredible to see great things

sing. It gave me a voice, as cliché as it sounds,

wonderful time” in her life. Since then, she

happening. I will treasure the experience for

I wanted to be seen as a vocalist first and the

has been involved in numerous projects,

the rest of my life.”

competition gave me that exposure.”

including filming commercials, media appearances, and performances, including a

During the three-month broadcast, Tessanne

concert hosted by the First Lady of the United

sang 13 songs, three of which reached the

States Michelle Obama at the White House.

Top 10 on iTunes. With each performance

Tessanne believes that her achievement on

on The Voice, Tessanne thrilled the audience,

“If someone told me a year ago [this would

The Voice is more than just an anomaly.

stunned the judges, and carried the hopes and

have happened] I would have laughed. Don’t

International markets are accessible for all

dreams of an entire Caribbean region on her

get me wrong, I’m a big dreamer, but nothing

Caribbean artistes, but the right tools are


prepared me for this. It was such a beautiful

needed to ensure the maximum capitalization

and humbling experience to not just be

on opportunities, she said.

“To this day I am still bowled over by

among President Obama and his wife, but

the support. At first, when you’re doing

also all of that wonderful talent.”

something like this, it is solely for you, but


International Market Access Opportunities

“I think social media is so powerful because it has made the world smaller. Today, artistes

then when I saw the outpouring of love on

During the event, entitled “Women of Soul: In

can reach out to millions worldwide. It’s

Facebook and other social media outlets I

Performance at the White House,’’ Tessanne

important to know your brand and continue

realized that I had the chance to do something

was featured alongside an impressive line-up

to push it. I have seen so many people move

positive for my Jamaican and Caribbean

of American music legends, including Melissa

from overnight sensations to celebrities using

people. It’s a humbling feeling and one that

Etheridge, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande,

this avenue; it shouldn’t be any different for

you don’t take for granted.”

Patti LaBelle, Jill Scott, and Janelle Monae.

us here in the region.”


Caribbean musicians are much more than

something you feel and experience in every

tough, but a lot of my strength, apart from

the purview of reggae, dancehall, and soca,

part of your being.’’

God, comes from my husband and my family.”

she added, although these genres have vastly influenced other types of music.

On her recipe for success, Tessanne credits

Next Steps and Keys to Success

hard work and dedication.

“Music is one of our biggest exports, and not

Between performances and promotions for

just from Jamaica. We have something to offer

The Voice, Tessanne is in Los Angeles working

“When you are relentless, whatever you

the world that no one else can, and it’s because

on her debut album for Universal Republic.

work hard at becomes a passion and you

of our culture, our heritage, and our people. It is unique and it is beautiful.”

can’t imagine yourself doing anything else. “I’m full steam ahead with this album and I’m

I don’t have a back-up plan, music is my

fully aware of the momentum behind me so


When people come to the region, it’s for more

I’m building on it, but at the same time I have

than just sand, sea and sun; they come for the

so much love and respect for my fans that I

In her habitually humble way, the Solid

culture and music is a big part of that equation,

want to take my time so I don’t put out an

Agency artiste had words of encouragement

she added. She pointed to the exploits of

album that is rushed. It has to truly be my best.”

for emerging regional artistes. “Take chances

Rihanna and Bob Marley as examples of what the region has already achieved globally.

and believe in yourself and do things in Throughout this journey, Tessanne has had

alignment with what you want to achieve.”

a tremendous support system. “What they have done is not simple, but

And for emerging female performers, she

they are paving the way for other Caribbean

“In this industry, a strong network and

had some extra advice: “Just know who you

musicians to make something that is

unconditional support from family is

are and continue to find out the kind of

organic and that other people can relate

everything. This is what helped my career for

artiste you want to be, because if you don’t,

to. Caribbean music is an emotion. It is

so long. There are times when it gets really

the world will decide it for you.”

Stephanie Bishop is a Communications Advisor at the Caribbean Export Development Agency. She is a development communications specialist with over 10 years professional experience and holds a Masters in International Affairs.



designing Haiti BY JOELLEN R. LARYEA

All images provided by ModAyiti



Since the catastrophic earthquake in 2010,

research will now be available to support

together to design and produce a range of

the world has been gripped by Haiti, and

the development of the apparel, textiles,

clothing, shoes, jewellery, and handbags for

dedicated to assisting in its recovery and

and craft sectors. CHAPES will provide

local and international markets. By means

redevelopment. The Haitian people are

the needed expertise in entrepreneurship

of ModAyiti’s expertise, designers and

known for their resilience and creativity, so

training, project development, management

technicians will be provided with the tools to

it is no wonder that the creative industries

and feasibility studies.

expand and standardise garment production

are being positioned to drive economic development.

using modern sewing equipment. The team has secured funding from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to take ModAyiti a

Haiti’s cultural intrigue will also contribute

In 2012, Haiti proudly staged its very first

step beyond a yearly fashion event. The project

to the success of its creative industries. The

fashion week, also known as “ModAyiti”

will see the creation of a garment workshop

mixture of cultures as a result of colonisation

in Creole, in the centre of the recovering

facility that develops the skills of tailors and

by both the Spanish and French, fused with

Port-au-Prince, just two years after the

technicians who are required to support

African and voodoo influences, has given

earthquake. The event provided local

the growth of a garment manufacturing

birth to a unique cultural heritage. Those

designers the opportunity to be noticed

industry within Haiti. The ModAyiti Apparel

outside of the region are fascinated by the

by international viewers, thanks to the

Centre will provide Haiti’s talented textile

colour, the creativity and flair that David

attendance of international designers, guests

professionals with the space, training, and

believes is “innate in Haitians.” Durcé echoed

and the press. The event was produced by the

resources needed, enabling them to bring their

these sentiments fervently, saying that the

Haitian Centre for Support and Promotion

unique products to an international market.

“difference is in the mind, in the creativity”

of Enterprises (CHAPES) and the Haitian

of people from the Caribbean.

Network of Designers (HAND), which are

The establishment of such a facility is

playing an integral role in the development

significant for not only Haiti, but the region as

Haiti and the rest of the Caribbean’s creative

of the Haitian fashion industry.

a whole. The Haiti Hemispheric Opportunity

sector is a niche poised to be exploited for

through Partnership Encouragement Act

the benefit of the region’s economy. David

Caribbean Export spoke to veteran designers

(HOPE II) and the Haiti Economic Lift

believes that two approaches are necessary

Maёlle Figaro David, President of the Haitian

Programme Act (HELP) passed by the US

for this to occur. One, there is a need to focus

Network of Designers (HAND) and Maguy

Congress allows for quota-free access to the

on developing high-end products because of

Durcé, Vice President of HAND and CEO

American market with generous rules of

the limited capacity of individual garment

of ModAyiti, about the development of the

origin. Regional designers are encouraged

workshops to support large mass production

Haitian garment design and manufacturing

to take advantage of such a facility for mass

orders. Two, increasing volume and building

sector as a means to bolster their economy.

production. Moreover, the proximity of

capacity for mass production is an area the

Haiti to North America allows for lower

ModAyiti Apparel Centre should focus on

HAND is a non-profit association established

shipping costs and time-to-market. Haiti

to bolster the sector; but it is a balancing act

in 2009 to unify Haitian designers and

is well positioned to become the fashion

to ensure that both market segments can be

strengthen their capacity. The designers

manufacturing industry for the entire

pursued simultaneously.

experienced “the same issues when it came

Caribbean region.

to sourcing raw materials, promoting and

One thing is certain; the fashion industry is no

selling their creations to international

Culture and heritage are at the heart of

longer quiescent in Haiti, with the ModAyiti

markets,” said David. Through the partnership

every Haitian designer and this is proudly

Apparel Centre scheduled for completion

between HAND and CHAPES, educational

reflected through their work. Under the

soon, which will increase Haiti’s competitive

programmes, awareness campaigns, and market

roof of ModAyiti, designers will come

advantage in this niche sector.

JoEllen R. Laryea is the PR, Communication and Marketing Advisor at The Caribbean Export Development Agency and offers a wealth of international experience having worked with leading brands Nike, Sony and Apple.




Company Name

Product Summary

Market Entry Strategies:


Apparel and accessories

MAG’ART has made a name through constant exposure at local, regional and international

Email Address

Export Markets

fashion shows. Durce’s debut appearance was

Dominican Republic, Miami, Tokyo

at the Haitian Femme de Democratie in 2003.

Chief Executive Officer

Major Exporting Achievements

icon, MAG’ART burst on to the regional scene

Maguy Durce

In November 2013, Durce was awarded the

at the Islands of the World showcase, in the

first prize Afro K 2013 at the fifth edition of

Bahamas. In 2011, Durce took MAG’ART to

Years in Existence

the prestigious International Competition

Miami Fashion Week and to another level.

11 years

of the Afro Caribbean Fashion, organized

MAG’ART has since graced the runways at

Seven years later, after becoming a local fashion


by the Association Afro K in Paris, the

showcases across the region and in Europe. The


fashion capital of the world. As the winner,

year 2012 saw the inaugural staging of Haiti


she was given the opportunity to present

Fashion Week, organized by ModAyiti of which

her newest collection at London Fashion

Durce is the Chief Operating Officer. The

Week 2014.

event garnered major international attention in



All images provided by MAG’ART

the wake of the devastating earthquake which

national agreements in order to open up to

affected the island in 2010.

other markets and to allow tax exceptions

General Recommendation on Support Needed by Exporters

which can make exporting more feasible for

Firms need support at all stages of the exporting

designers and manufacturers.

process. Initially, they need to understand the

Greatest Exporting Lessons Learnt It is key to target niche markets. As a designer one

demands and specifications of their markets.

would, of course, like to export internationally

Support Received

Once the enterprises have a clear idea of how

and to be present in all markets, but, in order to

Caribbean Export selected MAG’ART to be

to proceed with market penetration, they will

survive, it is important to have a solid and growing

part of its designer delegation to Dominicana

require assistance with marketing in order

fan base that you can constantly cater to.

Moda 2013. The collection was showcased in

to raise awareness about their brand and to

the prestigious Designers’ Mall. Through this

target niche markets. Finally, when the much

Trade legislation has a tremendous impact on

experience, the line not only gained further

anticipated order comes in, firms will be in

what is possible when it comes to exporting.

exposure but very useful industry contacts

great need of support to secure subsidized raw

It is important to be involved in the process

from across the region and the world.

materials to produce in an economically viable

of creating and refining the legal framework

manner. In exporting, governmental support is

in which exporters can effectively operate.

required to create tax concessions and tariffs, so

Equally important is the formation of bi-

that exporting arrangements can be as lucrative as possible.



creole music reaps benefits for the Dominican tourism industry BY COLIN PIPER

In the mid-90s, Dominica was looking to improve its positioning in the tourism industry. This gem, replete with rivers, valleys, mountains and waterfalls, wanted to showcase more than its fair share of nature’s bounty in order to grab mindshare and more foreign exchange from the tourism industry. In 1996, out of a new collective and creative thinking, the Dominica Festivals Commission was established to stage national and annual festivals in Dominica. Dominica, the youngest island of the Caribbean archipelago, had created two musical genres namely Cadence-lypso in the mid-70s and Bouyon in the late-80s. To showcase a wealth of creativity and our Creolite, Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) was conceptualized. Dominica’s leadership role in shaping Creole music was considered a major force in world music and the island’s geographic location, positioned between two major music consuming markets of Guadeloupe and Martinique, would provide the impetus for the growth of this new experience. The festival was positioned to create a new buzz in Dominica and to help increase visitor arrivals by attracting a new and growing group of visitors

All images provided by Discover Dominica Authority



who were looking to consume indigenous

Haitian Kompas kings Tabou Combo; Carimi,

world-class event to attract new audiences to the

musical idioms such as Creole music and the

and the current President Martelli; Louisaina

destination, building local capacity for festival

related offerings in Caribbean popular music.

zydeco group Buckwheat Zydeco, reggae stars

tourism, providing exposure to unknown local

Dominica’s independence was specifically

Shaggy, Beenie Man, Damian Marley, Third

artistes and the island’s rich musical heritage,

chosen as the distinctive period for staging the

World and Steel Pulse; and many top soca

and gaining greater international exposure.

event and to attract music aficionados who

artistes including Destra and Machel Montano,

were searching for these unique musical forms

and Haitian American superstar Wyclef Jean

Since the festival’s inception, it has catapulted

and to experience a cultural milieu that was

have all graced the WCMF stage.

the month of October into the top three of

different and authentic. Careful consideration

stay-over visitor arrivals. Between October 21

was given to the name and make-up of this

In 2008, the Discover Dominica Authority

and 28, 2012, 83.7% (2,606) of the people

festival so as to give it a particular identity and a

was established as the tourism authority,

visiting specifically for the festival of that

comparative advantage against other prominent

and shortly thereafter, a Cabinet decision

year arrived. Prior to the introduction of the

music festivals.

changed the Commission to a Committee,

festival, arrivals in October averaged 3,000

and placed it under the ambit of the Discover

visitors, with a peak of 4,090 in 1990. October

Since 1997, Dominica has staged one of

Dominica Authority. The change took place

was also historically one of the lowest arrival

the most indigenous music festivals in the

to establish a closer and tighter link between

months for stay-over visitors to Dominica.

Caribbean, highlighting the Creole musical

the authority responsible for developing and

idioms of Cadence-lypso and Bouyon from

marketing the destination’s tourism and the

In 1996, October’s visitor arrivals were

Dominica, Kompas from Haiti and Antillean

secretariat responsible for implementing

3,683; in 1997, with the introduction of

Zouk from the French West Indies.

the two marquis festivals of the island—

the WCMF, there was an instant growth

Carnival and the World Creole Music

in arrivals of 28% to 4,715. This growth

To add variety and to complement the infectious

Festival. Since then a third, Jazz’n Creole,

in arrivals in October continued almost

Creole rhythms, the festival has attracted a wide

has been established and will celebrate its

seamlessly for the first 10 years of the

sampling of African, Latin and other Caribbean

fifth anniversary in 2014.

festival, reaching 9,451 in 2006, a 156.5%

music. Since inception, the WCMF has lured

growth from 1996. In 2008, notably also

the most significant artistes and performing

The World Creole Music Festival which

the celebration of 30 years of independence,

talent representing this aspect of world music.

celebrated its 17th staging in October 2013 is

Dominica welcomed 12,126 visitors during

Artistes such as Exile One, creators of Cadence-

fulfilling much of its original mandate. This

October, and just about half (5,883) arrived

lypso; Kassav, the French Antilles Zouk band;

includes increasing visitor arrivals, creating a

during the week of the festival.



Guadeloupe and Martinique, which were

and historical linkages. Visitors from the

is estimated that the festival accounted for

instrumental in the development of Cadence-

Caribbean constitute a significant proportion

up to EC $5 million of economic activity.

lypso music in the Seventies (with a more

of arrivals during the festival, contributing

developed musical infrastructure which

significantly to the successes and helping to

The destination is not the only winner.

allowed the production and distribution

give greater legitimacy and validation to the

Traditional acts have performed and done

of Dominican music to their markets and

authentic nature of the festival.

cultural exchanges to Guadeloupe and

other markets in Europe and Africa), have supported the festival in a variety of ways.

Martinique. Also Dominica’s most recent Dominica has benefited tremendously from

music creation Bouyon music is taking

staging the World Creole Music Festival. The

root in Guadeloupe; and one of the most

The festival has received technical and

festival is firmly entrenched in the calendar

consistent performers of that music Tripple

financial support from cultural and political

of events for the year and you can’t mention

Kay have seen success which coincidentally

institutions in the French West Indies (FWI).

the event without acknowledging the host. So

has occurred during the period of their

It has received the largest numbers of visitors

awareness of the destination is up.

performances at the last eight World Creole Music Festivals. Asa Banton, also

from both Martinique and Guadeloupe each year since its inception; built important links

Visitation during that time of the year has

known as the prince of Bouyon music, is

with media and communications networks

picked up as well and the attendant economic

also experiencing success in Guadeloupe, St

in the promotion and marketing of the

benefits of visitor spend both within the

Maarten, USVI and further afield, buoyed

festival to audiences in the FWI and France;

hospitality sector and trickling down to the

by his performances on the WCMF main

and has helped in giving greater legitimacy

ancillary services is evident; accommodation

stage over the past three years. As many as

to the survival of the festival. The festival has

is in demand, restaurants are busy, car rental

four local bands have been invited to perform

helped to increase business-to-business links

agencies are sold out and even hair salons are

in the Antilliaanse Feesten held annually

between Dominica and the FWI in areas

packed because folks want to look their best

in Belgium, a relationship strengthened by

such as transportation, export and sale of

at festival time.

annual visits to the WCMF by the festival

agricultural produce and in tourism. In general,


the WCMF has helped to increase awareness

Dr Keith Nurse conducted a study that

of Dominica in the FWI and has stimulated

showed the returns to the economy are up

The festival has created spin-offs and

cultural, economic and social connections.

to nine times the government’s investment

investment opportunities, albeit linked to the

in the festival, making it one of the highest

music sector currently. Local entrepreneurs

The WCMF has also impacted on the rest of

“returns on investments’’ festivals in the

have invested in musical equipment and

the insular Caribbean, providing an important

Caribbean. Surveys of WCMF 2012 show

in sound systems and stage and roofing

platform for exposure for artistes and

that patrons to the festival spent up to EC

infrastructure to bid for WCMF and other

contributing to the strengthening of cultural

$200 per person outside of ticket price. It

festivals during the year.

For more information on the Discover Dominica Authority visit


clearing the hurdles

Clearing the Hurdles

evaluating the main challenges to Caribbean private sector development


Access to finance is the biggest constraint for the private sector. Here is how firms can get the support they need.


Growing Pains

country peers. Moreover, the region’s stock of

Constrained by this debt overhang, the

The Caribbean region has grown at lower rates

debt/GDP is about 24% higher than in other

region’s level of investment/GDP is merely

than other small, comparable economies in

small economies, and all of the Caribbean

15% or half of that of the rest of the world.

the past few years. Although the region is

countries, except for Suriname and Trinidad

While the region boasts relatively high levels

expected to grow 2.4% in 2014, against 1.9%

and Tobago, appear in the global list of highest

of capital investment per worker, total factor

in 2013, this will be below that of other small-

ratios of debt/GDP.

productivity growth in the region has stalled,

Clearing the Hurdles

indicating that there are issues affecting the

than their ROSE counterparts. Difficulty in

The World Bank’s Doing Business indicators

efficiency with which the region uses its

accessing finance matters, as the literature

support these findings. Despite differences

factors of production.

shows how credit affects sales growth rates,

across countries, a mapping of the 2013 Doing

regardless of the size of the firm. The age of

Business indicators reveals “Access to Finance”

Given this context of scarce fiscal space for

the firm also matters, as older firms are less

as the second worst-ranked constraint across

governments to even sustain the levels of

likely to innovate, and evidence lower rates

the region, with 14 out of 15 countries

investment required to sustain development,

of sales growth. Most worryingly, Caribbean

ranking 83 and above out of 183 countries

and stationary total factor productivity growth,

firms are less open to trade than firms in other

(Trinidad and Tobago, being the only outlier

the region relies on private sector development

small economies, as only 11% of firms export,

ranked at 23).

and innovation to reignite growth. However,

8% import, and 2.3% trade both ways.

are Caribbean firms prepared to grow? A

Registering property, which affects the

comparison between the characteristics of

In sum, in the Caribbean, 82.5% of firms

ability to access credit through its effects

Caribbean firms with those in other small

compete for limited domestic markets, a

on collateral, is the worst ranked constraint

economies indicates that the average Caribbean

trade orientation that inhibits their growth

common to the 15 countries in the region.

firm does not have characteristics associated

and productivity-enhancing prospects.

The best-performing country (Jamaica)

with dynamism.

Conclusions arising from this analysis indicate

ranks at 105 out of 183 countries. Enforcing

that in order to improve the possibilities of

contracts, which affects access to finance

An analysis of the 2010 Enterprise Surveys

the Caribbean private sector to drive growth,

through its impact on risk, is the third worst-

shows that on average, the Caribbean region’s

efforts should be focused on making finance

ranked constraint shared by the region, with

private sector’s performance between 2007

available, stimulating firms to undertake

the best-performer (Antigua and Barbuda)

and 2010 is lacklustre when compared to

innovation, and increasing pressure on

ranked at 72. Other constraints, such as

the Rest of Small Economies (ROSE). This

productivity by involving more of the region’s

protecting investors, getting electricity, starting

is particularly in terms of sales growth,

firms in international trade.

a business, dealing with construction permits,

employment growth and productivity, even

resolving insolvency, paying taxes and trading

when adjusting for lower rates of growth in

Caribbean firms’ growth prospects are not

across borders show a diverse picture in the

the Caribbean relative to ROSE during those

only affected by the characteristics of the

region, with some countries ranking in the

three years.

firms themselves, but also by the environment

25th percentile, while others in the 75th .

in which they operate. Across most of the The Enterprise Survey data also reveal

region, this environment is characterized

Regional agencies and donors need to ensure

significant differences between the

by very small domestic markets (Haiti and

that access to finance is available to firms and

profiles of the Caribbean and ROSE’s

Dominican Republic being exceptions) and

clusters which demonstrate the potential

business sectors, which could explain these

low national economic growth rates (with

to implement innovative, replicable and

differences in performance. Caribbean firms

the commodity exporters and Dominican

scalable business models with high growth,

tend to be smaller (three quarters have less

Republic being the exception).

export and employment potential. This

than 20 permanent, full-time employees),

must be complemented with enhancing the

older (more than 20 years of operation)

In addition to small domestic markets, the

national and regional environments in which

and less involved in foreign trade than

region’s business climate makes it difficult

firms invest and operate by strengthening

their ROSE counterparts. Moreover, they

to mobilize capital (land, finance), and

both public and private sector institutions

are concentrated in the tourism and retail

imposes significant transactions costs on the

to undertake the necessary reforms to enable

sectors located in middle-sized jurisdictions,

daily activities of the firm. Regardless of firm

private sector growth. Through the Compete

and ownership is predominantly local.

size, the Enterprise Survey 2010 data reveals

Caribbean Program, these constraints are being

that for the Caribbean, access to finance is

addressed through the Enterprise Innovation

These differences matter. Across the world,

the major constraint (34% of respondents).

Challenge Fund and the Business Climate

firm size influences productivity, profitability

Access to finance appears to be significantly

Enhancement Facility.

and survival rates, and a proven relationship

more difficult in the Caribbean than in other

exists between firm size and the cost and

small economies—34% of surveyed firms report

For more information on Compete

ability to access finance. Caribbean firms

it as a constraint, against 24.7% in the rest of

Caribbean, please refer to

report more difficulty in obtaining credit

small economies.

The Compete Caribbean Program is jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), and supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.


Clearing the Hurdles

dilemma of difference BY PROFESSOR DENSIL WILLIAMS

Regional firms produce the same items. That’s one reason intra-regional trade is so low. But that’s not all holding us back.

Tremendous opportunities for commerce

indisputable fact—there are opportunities

do not have a choice but to engage in trade

abound in the CARICOM region. However,

within CARICOM for an increase in the level

as it will enhance the welfare of both sides.

a large number of Caribbean firms have

of intra-regional trade. So why are CARICOM

not been able to exploit these market

firms unable to increase trade in the region?

opportunities. International trade data reveals

produce and trade the same items: sugar,

that intra-regional trade in CARICOM is

While the problems are many, empirical

bananas, rice, light manufactured goods,

among the lowest among regional trading

research has pointed to a few issues on the

tourism. If all the countries are producing

blocs across the globe.

supply side that have hindered increased

the same items, logically, why would they

trade among Caribbean firms. This article

want to trade among themselves? It would

will highlight some of the issues.

be easier for the firms to find other locations

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) group, a regional integration


In CARICOM, almost all the countries

such as North America or Europe and sell

movement of Asian countries, has intra-

Supply side Factors

their outputs because those countries will be

regional exports accounting for 22% of

For trade to take place with any strong

more in need of the items that are produced

total exports; the EU, a regional integration

vibrancy there needs to be complementarity

in the region in order to increase their overall

movement of European countries, has intra-

among trading partners. Trading partners

welfare. So it is no surprise that trade from

regional exports accounting for 55% of total

cannot all produce the same things and

CARICOM countries to North America and

trade, while in CARICOM, intra-regional

expect to trade effectively. One partner has

Europe is much higher than trade within

exports account for merely 13% of total

to have something that the other partner


trade. These figures have underscored an

wants and vice versa. Then both partners

Clearing the Hurdles

The main supply side constraint to exploiting

which resulted from the global financial

Here are some approaches to resolving supply

business opportunities in the CARICOM

crisis of 2008. Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis,

side constraints:

region is the similarity of production

and Antigua and Barbuda, for example,

networks or the lack of complementarity

have witnessed periods of macro-economic

production networks. Firms will have to

among countries. Caribbean researchers

instability, although not as prolonged as

share production networks to limit the

have termed this problem the dilemma of

Jamaica, which have increased the cost of

production of similar goods and to gain

difference (Wint, 1995). Business executives

doing business in those locations.

economies of scale in production. For

will have to think long and hard about how

Deal with the issues of similarity in

example, light manufacturing firms may want to consider doing their manufacturing

by building complementarities in their

Corporate leadership at the enterprise level

production networks.

Studies have shown consistently that

energy is cheap, and then do the distribution

to overcome the dilemma of difference

in Trinidad and Tobago, where the cost of

ineffective leadership at the corporate level

in the wider CARICOM market from a

Several other micro-economic and

also prevents firms from taking advantage of

point of easy access such as Jamaica in the

environmental issues affect the supply side of

business opportunities (Williams, 2007; Wint,

Northern Caribbean and Barbados in the

doing business in the Caribbean and prevent

2003). Corporate leaders who do not have an

Southern Caribbean. Firms will have to

firms from exploiting business opportunities.

international focus and are unable to adapt

decide not to produce the same items. This

These include:

to the changing environment in which their

will require strategic thinking and proper

Unstable macro-economic environment

businesses operate will generally fail to spot

rationalization of plants. Research and

in most of the CARICOM countries.

international business opportunities. And so

development on the production networks

Lack of adroit corporate leadership at

their firms miss valuable chances for improving

in CARICOM will be important to help

the enterprise level.

their value to shareholders and stakeholders.

firms deal with this issue.

• • •

Ineffective business and competitive strategies.

Unstable macro-economic environment

Ineffective business and competitive strategies

Place greater emphasis on business and management training among

A less talked about supply side constraint

Caribbean firms in order to get the

is the lack of appropriate business and

correct talents in the right place.

Macro-economic instability brings

competitive strategies (Barclay, 2005;

Corporate leadership is both an art

unanticipated cost to the operations of

Williams & Clegg, 2008). A number of

and a science and will require astute

enterprises. The larger markets in CARICOM,

Caribbean firms do not practise generic

and visionary individuals to hold

Jamaica and Haiti are generally seen as strong

competitive strategies nor do they have

the key positions of change agents in

consumer markets for the other countries

a strategic plan. They generally base their

these enterprises. Training in the key

of the region. However, the macro-economic

business model on relationships and inter-

principles of management, decision

environment in these markets is generally

connectedness of social and business ties,

making, networking and strategic

unstable because of the high debt burden of

otherwise called networks (Williams, 2007).

planning will help executives to better

the central government, the high level of fiscal

Without carrying out effective and proper

spot and exploit business opportunities.

deficit, high interest rates, high inflation rate,

strategic planning where market dynamics

The business schools in the region must

and the unstable exchange rate.

are taken into consideration and fore-sighting

take the lead in designing curriculum

is used to spot opportunities, Caribbean

that is appropriate to the needs of the

These markets are characterized by macro-

firms will always be behind the eight ball

enterprises in the region.

economic instability which leads to

when it comes to identifying and exploiting

unanticipated cost for doing business. So firms

international business opportunities.

find it difficult to exploit business opportunities

Fix the macro-economic environment, more a task for the national leaders

there because the cost of doing business in these

Overcoming the constraints

than business people. A stronger

larger markets can become burdensome.

Caribbean firms will have to find ways to

focus on generating macro-economic

overcome the supply side constraints to their

stability in all countries is required, so

Smaller markets in the CARICOM region are

growth and profitability. Importantly, they

that firms can be more confident and

also facing serious issues of macro-economic

cannot merely copy and paste solutions from

have greater certitude in doing business

instability because of the high debt burden

other jurisdictions in order to deal with their

across the region. This will help savvy

of their central government operations,

inherent problems. Targeted context specific

corporate leaders to better position

and the reducing foreign exchange inflows.

research will have to be conducted in order

their businesses to take advantage of

Foreign exchange income fell because of

to identify the problem and then design

international business opportunities in

the drop in international business activities

specific solutions.

the regional space.

Densil A. Williams is Professor of International Business and Executive Director of the Mona School of Business and Management at UWI, Mona Campus


Clearing the Hurdles

trade finance: essential fuel for Caribbean trade growth BY LORNE DYKE AND ALEXANDER R. MALAKET


Clearing the Hurdles

International trade is vital for economic

advantageous payment/financing terms:

development, especially for smaller

a market competitive reality with direct

countries with a paucity of endowed

implications for export success at the firm

resources. Despite the imperfections of

level as well as at the national/regional level.

the global system of trade, robust, rulesbased trade creates economic value,

Trade Finance in Practice

raises standards of living and can play

Trade finance, at its core and irrespective

an important role in poverty alleviation

of the particular complexities of a single

and international development. The

transaction, involves some combination of

CARICOM-EU Economic Partnership

four elements:

Agreement (EPA) as well as the Caribbean Single Market & Economy (CSME) have

brought this reality into sharp focus, as well

Secure and timely payment across borders;

as the prospect of a renewed Caribbean-

Timely and affordable financing;

Canada trade agreement (CARIBCAN).

Effective mitigation of risk; and

Provision of financial and transactional

Small and medium-sized enterprises


(SMEs) worldwide have long identified access to financing as an obstacle to growth.

If a buyer and seller navigate all the

Similarly, challenges and obstacles in

complexities and challenges of international

accessing trade finance impede the ability of

business, from legal and cultural issues, to

SMEs to enter and succeed in international

logistics, to product adaptation and beyond,

markets. The scope of the challenge is clear:

but fail in the final step—delivery of the

over 80-90% of merchandise trade flows

promised product and payment for same—

globally rely on some form of trade finance.

the entire transaction is for naught.

This obstacle is amplified in developing and emerging markets.

Documentary letters of credit, also referred to as letters of credit or LCs, are supported by a set of guiding rules first developed by the Paris-

Commercial Considerations in Trade Finance

based International Chamber of Commerce

In a post-crisis environment, still exhibiting

highly consistent across markets, across legal

constrained liquidity, exporters’ ability

traditions and across political systems. LCs

to offer an attractive financing package

also provide the most balanced protection of

for potential buyers, provides significant

the interests of buyer and seller, importer and

competitive advantage. An importer is more

exporter, with banks taking a critical role in

likely today to do business with an exporter

the structuring, interpretation and execution

who offers both a quality product and

of letter of credit transactions.

in 1933, and their use and interpretation is


Clearing the Hurdles

LC Transaction Flow

Sales Contact & Delivery of Goods



Exporter Document Document Verification Exchange of Payment

L/C Application Payment Exchanged For Documents

L/C Issued/Advised (With Confirmation) Settlement/Payment

Issuing Bank

Advising Bank Confirming Bank

Source: Financing Trade and International Supply Chains, Malaket, 2014

An importer requests its bank to issue a

mechanisms that can meet a wide range of

letter of credit—a legal promise by the bank

needs, including risk-transfer between parties,

Open Account and Supply Chain Finance

to pay the exporter. In so doing, the importer

and financing to one or more trading partners

Recent international trade patterns and

provides assurance to the exporter that he or

in a transaction.

practices have seen a marked shift away from

she is relying on the payment undertaking

traditional trade finance instruments, with

of a (theoretically) well-established and

Letters of credit have earned such trust, that

LC’s now accounting for only about 10-20% of

financially solid bank, as opposed to that

there is a perception in some circles that an

trade transactions globally, and so-called “open

of the importer. At the same time, the

LC is “just like cash.” Such misconceptions,

account” transactions now used in the majority

use of an LC assures the importer that

and the nuances and complexity in

of transactions globally. In open account trade,

payment will only be made, once it has been

structuring trade finance instruments,

an importer sends payment at an agreed time

demonstrated through the submission of

suggest the need for careful research, good

(say, on shipment of the goods, or on receipt

agreed documents, that the exporter has

advice, or both. The International Trade

of same), and little or no risk mitigation is

fully met all agreed contractual terms.

Centre in Geneva published How to Access

provided to either party.

Trade Finance: A Guide for Exporting The exporter receives assurance of payment,

SMEs in 2009—a comprehensive guide to

In response to growing open account trade,

and the importer receives the security of

trade finance. Leading international banks,

banks have been working to devise solutions

knowing precisely the conditions under which

as well as government agencies have also

in supply chain finance (SCF), where the focus

payment will be effected. Documentary

published various guides and resources,

is on an ecosystem of trading relationships,

credits provide a variety of features and

many accessible online and at no cost.

as opposed to one importer and exporter at a time. Supply chain finance provides some excellent opportunities for Caribbean SMEs to access trade financing.

Supply Chain Finance

Manufacturing (South Asia)

Supplier Malaysia Services Providers Supplier Brazil SubSupplier Source: Financing Trade and International Supply Chains, Malaket, 2014


Manufacturing (Latin America) Manufacturing (CEE)

Distribution (Regional) Buyer (Importer)

Distribution (Regional) Distribution (Regional)


Supplier China


Supplier Hungary

Clearing the Hurdles

One recent innovation is the “buyer-centric” SCF

institution could work collaboratively with

business. The IDB trade finance programme,

programme, where a large global buyer/importer

national entities and other institutions, such as

established in 2005, has supported nearly

with hundreds, perhaps thousands of supplier

the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

2000 transactions worth almost $2 billion,

relationships across the globe, works with a bank

and the World Bank/IFC, already active in the

with zero losses. Bank activity demonstrates

to provide financing/liquidity to suppliers (often

region. Some harmonisation of trade finance

comparable levels of default or loss experience.

SMEs located in emerging markets) on the basis

programmes and facilities has the potential to

(See International Chamber of Commerce

of the buyer’s borrowing capacity, with a view to

enhance the region’s trade finance capacity and

Rethinking Trade and Trade Finance 2013.)

assuring a healthy supply chain.

capability, complementing trade development initiatives and practices in a synergistic manner.

Twenty-First Century Trade Finance

National/Regional Policies and Trade Finance

Access to trade and supply chain finance should

noted that his company could move 150,000

Caribbean exporters could benefit from

be encouraged and facilitated by national and

cubic metres of liquefied natural gas faster than

linking up with global supply chains, to

regional political leaders to create an environment

it could move 500 grams of paper (through a

gain access to financing through buyer-led

which enables firms to access appropriate levels

traditional trade finance transaction process).

programmes, at substantially lower cost. The

of finance, including adequate risk mitigation in

This costly reality highlights the motivation for

support of a regional financial institution

the conduct of international commerce.

developing more efficient, technology-enabled

A senior UK-based finance executive recently

trade and trade finance capabilities, including

specifically mandated to provide trade and supply chain finance solutions to Caribbean

Trade finance is now understood to be extremely

the increasing use of electronic documents and

companies would be invaluable. Such an

well risk-mitigated and very low risk as a

payment mechanisms.

Positioning the BPO Contract Buyer

Documents Bank Payment Obligation

Documents LC Issuing Bank


LC Advising Bank

Data Obligor Bank

Payment Banking services based on paper document processing

Contract Buyer



Recipient Bank

Seller’s Bank

Buyer’s Bank

Payment Banking services based on electronic trade data exchange


Open Account


Letter of Credit


Seller Documents






Payment Banking services limited to payment processing

Array of risk, financing and processing services to address both crash management and trade finance needs

Source SWIFT/ICC Industry Education Group

The Bank Payment Obligation (BPO), a

trigger payment decisions based on automated

Market needs and conditions are ideal

solution now jointly marketed by Belgium-

matching of electronic data. The BPO offers

today, for political and business leaders to

based SWIFT, and the Paris-based International

a cost-effective option somewhere between

ensure adequate access to trade and supply

Chamber of Commerce, aims to provide a

an LC and an open account transaction,

chain finance for Caribbean companies—

data-driven payment and financing solution,

improving the efficiency of the former and

the essential fuel to sustainable success in

through participating banks, to importers

enhancing the risk mitigation and financing

international commerce.

and exporters prepared to transact, and to

options of the latter.

Lorne Dyke is an international business consultant and Alexander R. Malaket, CITP, president, OPUS Advisory Services International Inc.


Clearing the Hurdles

regional food safety in focus:

insights with technological solutions limited BY STEPHANIE BISHOP

All images provided by Technological Solutions Limited


Clearing the Hurdles

Technological Solutions Limited (TSL) is a

market access. This includes anything from

the companies as it relates to efficiencies,

regionally-based global consulting firm, which

designing the facilities, and training staff, to

compliance, expansion and growth. We

provides guidance in trade-related technical

putting all the production systems in place

strongly advise firms that it is a fraction of

requirements with a specialization in food

that are necessary for firms to meet the market

the cost to ensure that the facility is properly

safety, quality assurance, production system

entry requirements of countries to which they

designed as a first step, rather than having to

design and implementation, as well as an

want to export. We also do a lot of work as it

make these adjustments later.

extensive range of analytical systems. In addition

relates to labelling for companies who export

to international recognition by regulatory

to the EU, USA and Canada. Above all,

We have also come to realize that although

bodies such as the United States Food and Drug

Technological Solutions focuses on building

we focus on the technical side of the

Administration (FDA), TSL is the only company

permanent capacity within regional firms to be

business, this alone is not sufficient. So

in the CARIFORUM region that implemented

able to manage both the technical and business

typically, we work with companies to help

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points

related aspects of operations.

them understand their business objectives,

(HACCP) systems that have been approved by

the markets to which they want to export

the US and the European Union (EU). Now

Has your company partnered with any

their products, the markets within which

in its 18th year of operation, TSL has clients in

firms regionally or internationally as

they are most competitive, and then use

the Caribbean, Africa, Canada, Europe, Latin

part of your operations?

that information to help guide them in their decision making, because all of these

America, and the US. In 1997, TSL was selected by Caribbean Export

factors affect the type of labelling, packaging,

Caribbean Export OUTLOOK sat down

to introduce the concept of Food Safety across

ingredients and shelf life that is required.

recently with Managing Director and Principal

the region, which significantly helped us in

Consultant Dr AndrĂŠ Gordon to discuss the

expanding our business outside of Jamaica.

Most of the issues that people deal with

ability of the regional agro-processing and

We introduced people to good manufacturing

last, we like to examine first, and then

manufacturing sector to meet international

practices, certifications such as HACCP,

work backwards. A lot of companies have a

food safety requirements. Dr Gordon has

and other systems and requirements that

product and then try to sell it. What we do

over 25 years of experience in the African,

were coming on stream globally. Outside of

is start by having the company identify the

Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

Caribbean Export, we partner with the various

specific markets for their products, and work

(ACP) in conducting audits, implementing

Bureaus of Standards across the region. Our

back from there. But, if you already have a

systems and training, and designing layouts

associates are based in the OECS, Suriname,

product we try to identify the markets that

for food production facilities, as well as

Trinidad and Tobago, and Europe.

are best suited to your product, and then we

providing consultation to companies seeking

tailor the technical support that is required

validation and/or certification of their systems

In Europe, we have worked with Landell Mills

to regulatory and other industry driven

of the UK, Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação

standards. He is recognized by the Europe-

from Portugal, as well as entities in France

In addition to poorly designed facilities,

Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee,

and Brussels. We also have a very important

what are some of the greatest challenges

Guelph Food Technology Centre, and FDA and

partnership with Guelph Food Technology

that regional firms are facing in meeting

is a Royal Institute of Public Health certified

Centre in Canada, on whose behalf we

these food safety requirements?

trainer in various aspects of food processing

conduct certification audits, as well as training;

and food safety. Dr Gordon has extensive

and more recently with the US-based NSF

The ability to have good manufacturing

experience in standards development,

International, one of the largest certification

practices (GMP) systems in place is a huge

conformity assessment, analytical services

bodies in the world, on whose behalf we also

challenge. This is something we urge companies

development and delivery and standards-based

conduct audits, to make sure that Caribbean

to focus on first, and then seek certification for

organization development.

businesses have cutting-edge knowledge and

the programme. In order to gain any other type

the same kind of access as international firms.

of certification, firms are first required to have

Tell us about your company and how

for firms to gain entry into those markets.

this GMP certification in place. This allows

you have assisted firms in meeting

In your opinion, what are the first steps

buyers to be certain that your firm has all of

international food safety standards.

that a firm must take in order to comply

the systems and requirements in place, at least

with international food safety standards?

at the basic level. This includes pest control, a

Technological Solutions Limited is in the

proper sanitation programme, staff training,

business of helping companies meet all of the

One of the major challenges we have seen

familiarity with the production environment,

requirements for exporting into global markets,

with businesses is that the production

preventative maintenance and traceability and

meaning we provide the technical support for

facilities are poorly designed. This costs

recall, to name a few.


Clearing the Hurdles

How would you describe the readiness of

Can you elaborate on the other types of

food safety and quality systems are additional

CARIFORUM agro-processing firms as it

assistance that firms may need in order

factors requiring familiarity. Training in

relates to meeting food safety standards in

to meet food safety requirements?

labelling is also extremely important, as the

international export markets?

requirements are constantly changing. The Today, most operations are technologically

second largest reason for rejection of exports

It is a bit of a dichotomy, as many regional

driven, so firms are required to make sure

to the US market is improper labelling, and

companies are in a very good position to

that their staff members are competent,

many firms aren’t aware of this until their

meet the basic standards for food safety.

and not only with general training, but

goods are held at the port of entry.

Oftentimes we think that because we

also that they are trained in the specific

are developing countries that we are way

areas in which they operate. In addition

Can you provide specific examples of

behind the more developed ones. This

to training and evidence of competence,

CARIFORUM firms which have become

may be true in general, but there are many

firms must have good knowledge of their

more competitive and are doing well in

producers operating in the markets that we

products, and its characteristics, because

the export market as a result of complying

want to enter, that have their own issues

buyers are increasingly asking for this type

with international food safety standards?

in meeting requirements as well. By and

of information. Similarly, firms must also

large, several regional exporters would find

understand the shelf life of their products,

In 2001, the Barbados Investment and

themselves meeting the basic requirements

and this must be supported by scientific

Development Corporation asked TSL to work

reasonably comfortably. There are many

evidence, including shelf life studies.

with local sauce producers to help them get

exporters who have very sophisticated


into the international markets. We helped the

operations, but the issue is the systems

Companies also need to be aware of the

members of this sector get their products filed,

they have in place and the maintenance

ingredients, such as allergens, as the wording

optimized their operations, implement basic

of these systems.

of declarations regarding these allergens is

GMPs, and trained their staff as part of our

also critical. Knowledge of process flows and

programme. Following this, between 2001

Clearing the Hurdles

and 2008, the exports from the sauce sector

2002, we worked with the companies in that

We have also worked with firms that are now

quadrupled, and they are now three times what

sector to transform their production systems and

household names, and have successfully met

they were when the process started.

implement HACCP, as well as with the industry

international requirements. Firms like Grace

and the veterinary services division to change

Kennedy Limited; LASCO Manufacturing

In St Vincent and the Grenadines, we worked

the legislation governing the processing of meat,

Limited; and Seprod Limited in Jamaica; as

with Mountain Tops Springs Limited. The

dairy products and seafood, which allowed their

well as Solo Beverages Limited; Cannings

company had never exported and asked

seafood to enter the EU market again.

Foods Limited; a former Neal & Massy subsidiary; and K.C. Confectionery Limited

us to work with them in this regard. We worked to implement GMPs, improve their

We also worked with the canned fruit and

in Trinidad and Tobago. The benefits of

production flows, and train staff. As a result,

vegetable exporters to get Jamaican ackee

following the requirements and ensuring

these improvements not only led to exports,

back into the US market. This required a

that the right processes and programmes

but also resulted in the staff and firm now

transformation of the domestic industry,

are in place are immeasurable.

being in a better position professionally and

changing the regulations, and working closely

financially, as sales have grown in excess of

with the FDA, with whom we continue

A concern, however, is that many firms

10 times. This company successfully changed

to have a collaborative relationship today.

are implementing systems and gaining

its operations and implemented systems that

Access to the US market required scientific

certification, which is good from a marketing

opened up regional and extra-regional export

proof that the traditional ackee product was

perspective, but they don’t actually meet the

markets to their products.

safe, and this will be an increasing need as

requirements of the market they are seeking to

we export our traditional products from the

enter. Firms therefore need to access current

Another example is the Seafood industry in

region. Overall, it was a mammoth effort, but

information, understand their needs, and

Jamaica, which like other Caribbean countries,

it resulted in the exports of that particular

budget adequately to make the adjustments,

were barred from exporting to the EU, because

product increasing from US $4.4 million to

as this is all a part of doing business.

they didn’t meet market entry requirements. In

US $15.2 million over a period of 12 years.

Stephanie Bishop is a Communications Advisor at the Caribbean Export Development Agency. She is a development communications specialist with over 10 years professional experience and holds a Masters in International Affairs.


Ccompany O MtoP A N Y T LOOK lookO out for: OUT FOR: Clearing the Hurdles

baron foods limited

Company Name

Major Exporting Achievements

Baron Foods (St Lucia) Ltd.

One of our major achievements was the attainment of quality certifications. We


established a comprehensive quality




certifications such as the ISO 22000:2005

Chief Executive Officer

and FSSC 22000:2010; these standards have

Ronald Ramjattan

definitely set us apart in the quality arena. Being quality approved has allowed our

Years in Existence

products to be accepted by major supermarket

22 years

chains such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the

All images provided by Baron Foods Limited

UK. Our product, as is regulated by our quality

brand awareness. This ultimately resulted in


programme, adheres to every aspect of the food

increased customer satisfaction and strengthened

Vieux-Fort Industrial Estate,

regulations of any importing country, simply

customer loyalty, which translated into increased

St Jude’s Highway,

because we have pursued and acquired the

repeat purchases, cross-selling of related services,

Vieux-Fort, Saint Lucia

foremost quality standard globally.

and recommendations to others, which is what

Product Summary

Another achievement is the use of private

Baron Foods produces over 150 different

labelling. We have utilised this as a major export

products, which includes spices and an FSSC

tool and have seen this contribute considerably

Market Entry Strategies

22000:2010 certified product range of exotic

to our yearly export percentage. Currently, we

Over the years, Baron Foods has gained

and gourmet sauces, condiments, essences,

are the only Caribbean agro-processor that has

mastery in the area of market entry. Foremost,

dressings and drink cocktails, packaged in glass

penetrated the French island of Martinique

detailed research was conducted to find

bottles for local and international distribution.

utilising private labelling, and we were also

foreign markets where our products could be

The Baron range caters for every palate and

able to secure two separate distributors on the

profitably exported, to identify competitors

delivers a distinctive taste and aroma.

island. We have also been able to successfully

and the necessary marketing adjustments

was needed to build a successful, sustainable

employ private labelling to penetrate the

that had to be made and possible barriers that

Export Market

territories of St Thomas, St Martin, Puerto

existed in that chosen trade arena. Becoming

The Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda,

Rico, and the USA.

internationally certified was also part of our

Barbados, Haiti, St Vincent and the


export platform.

market entry strategy.

Grenadines, Puerto Rico, Guyana, Jamaica,

Furthermore, having copped several major

Anguilla, Dominica, St. Thomas, Martinique,

awards at the 2012 Caribbean Business Awards,

Innovativeness is another fundamental

Guadeloupe, Tortola, Grenada, and St. Croix

namely the Award for Innovation, Manufacturing

instrument in Baron Food’s market entry

North America: United States and Canada

Excellence Award, and Small to Medium Business

strategies. Motivated by the increasing

Europe: United Kingdom, France, Germany,

of the Year Award, we have again demonstrated

competition in global markets, our company

Spain, and Slovakia.

a stellar level of competence as well as raised our

has grasped the importance of innovation,


Clearing the Hurdles

since swiftly changing technologies and severe

design, etc. Subsequently, various policies and

global competition rapidly erode the value in

procedures have been employed to ensure the

existing products and services.

reviewing of regulations for the particular territories that Baron Foods Ltd exports to in

We also formed strategic alliances with

an effort to assure the overall compliance of

companies in other countries (e.g.) Wanis and

our products to exporting countries.

Trin- Jam. This has been a major advantage

America and the Dominican Republic and at ANUGA in Germany; •

Direct exposure to the EU-CARIFORUM EPA agreement.

Key Support Needed by Exporters As an exporter in the Caribbean, we believe

since it enabled our company to access the

Support Received by Caribbean Export

that firms require assistance with branding.

home market of other companies and thereby

Baron Foods (St Lucia) has been a beneficiary

Some are suffering from ailments such as

market our products as being affiliated with

to a few Direct Assistance Grants made

the “Who Are We Today?” syndrome and

a well-known host company.

available by Caribbean Export, which all

are in need of brand development support.

directly contributed to propelling us into the

While few companies in our region can

Greatest Exporting Lessons Learnt

export arena. These include:

provide consistently superior products and

Our company has indeed faced some hurdles

The implementation of the project

service experiences, the various mechanics

when venturing into the export arena.

titled “Increasing of Baron Foods Export

and techniques in establishing a bond with

However, one of the greatest exporting

Production Capacity,’’ where our

customers are somewhat unfamiliar to some

lessons learnt was staying abreast of all

company received assistance in setting up

companies. Furthermore, the up-front costs

a semi-automated processing operation;

involved in developing promotional materials,

Caribbean Export has also assisted us

allocating personnel to travel and other

recent experience was making modifications

in setting up a HACCP certification

administrative costs associated with product

to our product labels to reflect the labelling


marketing make brand awareness an expensive

that is needed before our products can be accepted into the various export markets. A

parameters of the importing country. A

Caribbean Export’s interventions

feat. Assistance in branding to applicable firms

complete redesigning of the labels had to

have also helped to offset expenses

should be a priority. In addition, we also believe

be done to reflect changes in the nutritional

of participating in trade shows and

that firms need assistance in dealing with the

analysis, ingredients information, main panel

exhibitions abroad such as in North

high freight rates of shipping companies.


Clearing the Hurdles

building the bridge to mutual recognition of Caribbean professionals BY ANDREA M. EWART

To facilitate the cross-border movement of

These challenges are addressed through mutual

mechanism for mutual recognition, the EPA

goods, countries negotiate agreements that lower

recognition. Mutual recognition of professional

commitments for the movement of service

the tariffs and non-tariff requirements that can

qualifications allows the qualifications held by a

professionals will be difficult to realise.

prevent or obstruct the smooth flow of goods

professional to be recognised in the country in

across their respective borders. Conversely,

which he or she is seeking to practise, removing

The EPA on Negotiating MRAs

facilitating the cross-border movement of

the necessity for re-qualification.

Market access commitments for the entry

people, particularly professionals, can be more challenging.


of CARIFORUM professionals into the For the most part, mutual recognition of

EU markets, and vice versa, are contained

professional qualifications is accomplished

in Title II of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA.

The receiving country wants to be able to ensure

through the negotiation of Mutual Recognition

Article 85 of the EPA provides a mechanism

that the doctor, engineer, or architect wishing

Agreements (MRAs). As an agreement between

for negotiation of MRAs.

to offer his or her services within its borders is

the European Union (EU), on the one hand, and

adequately qualified. On the other hand, the

the Forum of the Caribbean Group of African,

Article 85 on Mutual Recognition first

sending country wants to ensure that its nurses,

Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM)

stipulates that each receiving country has the

accountants, and other professionals, who have

countries on the other, it was essential that the

right to require that incoming persons hold

already trained and earned their professional

services commitment of the CARIFORUM-

the same professional qualifications and/

qualifications, are not going to be required to

EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)

or experience that is necessary for national

pursue additional years of schooling before

contain provisions for mutual recognition of

professionals. Accordingly, it charges the

being able to practise.

professional qualifications. Without an effective

parties to the Agreement with encouraging

Clearing the Hurdles

the professional bodies to work with their

be cleared on the path to negotiating MRAs.

of MRAs will include both approaches and

counterparts, i.e. CARIFORUM with EU,

Most importantly, the MRA negotiation

incorporate recognition of the equivalence of

to develop recommendations for the mutual

process will require professional associations

existing professional qualifications as well as

recognition of qualifications within their

in CARIFORUM and the EU to reach

of the sending country’s authority to certify

respective fields. Once developed, the

an agreement on each other’s criteria for

the training and to grant diplomas.

recommendations are to be presented to the

authorising the operation of their professional

CARIFORUM-EU Trade and Development

members on their respective territories.

Committee. The Committee will determine

Equivalence At the heart of all these approaches is the

whether: (i) the recommendation is

Negotiating MRAs

search for equivalence, meaning to what

consistent with the EPA; and (ii) the

There will be no “one size fits all” approach

extent do the degrees and other academic

regulatory environments of the relevant

to negotiating the MRAs. Depending on the

qualifications in the respective territories

EU and CARIFORUM States are compatible

profession, an agreement may need to be

mean more or less the same thing.

enough to conclude an MRA. Only then can

reached on such substantive requirements

an agreement for mutual recognition of

as professional qualifications, course studies

For example, a study of the engineering

“requirements, qualifications, licences and

and licensing examinations. An alternative

professions in CARIFORUM and EU

other regulations” be concluded.

approach focuses on conformity assessment

countries would assess such factors as:

procedures, such as examinations and the

The language of Article 85 provides some

process by which the examining/certifying

indication of the hurdles that will need to

bodies are themselves certified. A number

How many years of study does it take to become an engineer in each country?

How are the training institutions 97

Clearing the Hurdles

certified or accredited?

restraint on the professional’s ability to work

Training requirements and compulsory

in the receiving country.

Absence of professional indemnity coverage and of continuing education requirements; and

competencies. •

Was work experience required?

Regulatory Environment

What does it mean to be an “engineer”

As Article 85 of the EPA makes clear, a key

CARIFORUM accrediting agency and

in each country?

factor in being able to successfully conclude an

professional association.





MRA will be the extent to which the regulatory

Other Requirements

environments converge. To what extent is the

Intra-Regional Mobility

Once equivalence is determined, the MRA

profession regulated in each region, through

Both the EU and the Caribbean Community

may also address other requirements. These

licensing or registration requirements?

member states of the CARIFORUM grouping

could include compensation measures, such as

More importantly, to the extent there are

have determined to create regional markets

additional professional or practical experience,

regulatory requirements, to what degree are

for the provision of services. Furthermore, the

or an examination, to address determined gaps

they enforced? Only those persons who meet

regional preference clause of the EPA requires

in education and training. There may also be

the required standards should be allowed to

that the CARIFORUM states extend to each

local knowledge requirements, such as language,

practice that given profession and there need

other any benefits they have extended to the

cultural norms, and professional practices.

to be mechanisms for finding, sanctioning

EU parties. As a practical matter, therefore,

However, these local knowledge requirements

and excluding violators. For some professions

the degree of mobility that exists within each

can be used as a means of excluding foreign

within the CARIFORUM countries, this

region for the respective professions is going

professionals and need to be assessed carefully.

requirement could provide a challenge. Areas

to be a determining factor in negotiating

While it could be quite reasonable to require the

of weakness may include:

MRAs. This may entail that, as they negotiate

foreign professional to have a working knowledge

of the country’s language, mandatory residency requirements in order to obtain the required licence almost always function as a disguised


Lack of legal or regulatory framework in

an MRA with their EU counterpart, some

some States;

professions within CARIFORUM states first,

Lack of capacity for administration and

or simultaneously, negotiate their own MRA

enforcement in some States;

to facilitate mobility within CARIFORUM.

Clearing the Hurdles

In general, two basic approaches can be

Furthermore, the Dominican Republic needs

Time is of the Essence

identified for using MRAs to facilitate intra-

to be incorporated into this process.

When the EPA was concluded in 2008, the

regional mobility of professionals. One approach

inclusion of a services component in a trade

qualifications through the harmonisation on a

Selective Approach to the EU Market

profession-by-profession basis of the education

Given the hurdles to be cleared, an important

agreements containing services provisions

and training requirements across countries.

first step will be for the respective professional

with several countries, including

The second approach avoids any attempt at

associations to investigate the potential to

Colombia, Peru, and Singapore. In 2013,

harmonisation and relies on determining

capitalise on an MRA, once it has been signed.

the Transatlantic Trade and Investment

equivalence. After attempting harmonisation,

This process can begin with identifying and

Partnership negotiations were launched

the EU abandoned this effort to rely on broad

reaching out to potential professional partners

with its biggest trading partner, the United

guidelines by which each receiving EU member

with which to initiate discussions towards an

States. Multilateral negotiations toward

state determines the professional qualifications

MRA. With 27 EU Member States from which

an International Services Agreement have

that are required for practice by a given

to choose, it also involves identifying priority EU

also been launched. These developments

profession and against which it reviews the

countries with which to begin work. Pertinent

promise to erode the comparative advantage

qualifications of a professional from a sending

factors in making this determination include:

that the EPA provided CARIFORUM States

country. Compensation measures may be

achieves automatic recognition of professional

used to address a significant gap between the

agreement was still a relative novelty. Since then, the EU has concluded comprehensive

How open is the profession to doing

with respect to access to the EU services

business with foreign professionals?

market. Despite these challenges, the

requirements of the receiving country and those

Is this reflected in their regulatory regime?

successful negotiation of an MRA between

of the sending country.

What are available or potential market

a specified professional grouping of

opportunities for partnering or for

CARIFORUM and the EU continues to hold


significant promise for the CARIFORUM

Are there cultural and/or language


An effective regime to address mobility of professional qualifications within the CARICOM Single Market has not as yet been established.


Andrea Ewart is a Jamaican national and US-trained customs and International Trade attorney who also consults for Caribbean businesses and governments on World Trade Organization (WTO), Caribbean Single Market & Economy (CSME), U.S.-Caribbean trade relations, trade negotiations, and other trade issues.


Clearing the Hurdles

attracting investment to enhance trade BY SUZETTE HUDSON

Image provided by Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited

It is amazing how the eyes of the world are

endowments, with the tourism industry

And the Caribbean has had to swallow many

constantly drawn to the 7,000 islands, islets

being one of its strongest investment

a bitter pill because of its heavy dependence

and cays of the Caribbean archipelago—small


on the tourism sector.

GDP growth, but whose athletes are the

But tourism remains the region’s ‘Achilles’

Efforts to position other sectors as viable

best in the world, whose musical giants span

heel’ as within this strength lies one of the

investment opportunities remain hamstrung

generations and whose cuisine tantalizes.

foremost challenges that has been at the

by this perception and the limited resources

economies, in terms of population size and


core of the development malaise in the

available to position the region for other

The renowned beauty of the Caribbean

Caribbean— a perception of the region as

investment opportunities. In the wake of

and its people makes the region a mecca for

not necessarily being the place for doing

the latest global recession, investors have

tourism. The region has capitalized on these

business, besides tourism or related services.

been slow to take notice of the Caribbean,

Clearing the Hurdles

the East Coast and permitting large retailers and manufacturers to reconfigure their network of factories and distribution centers so that more inventory can be stored closer to East Coast population centres. This development presents an opportunity for the Caribbean to take advantage of its strategic positioning in terms of northsouth and east-west trade and the natural endowments of several deep water ports in the region. This will allow the region’s ports, suitably outfitted, to serve as logistic centres and transshipment hubs for the increased cargo expected to pass through the region. There has been some jostling in the Caribbean to capitalize on the increased business that will move through the Canal after the Post-Panamax locks have been opened in 2015. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic (DR) are among the frontrunners. For Jamaica, the vision is the transformation of its natural harbour in Kingston into a transshipment and air cargo logistics hub for the Americas, a strategic handling point for bulk commodities and a centre for aviationrelated maintenance, repair and overhaul as well as ship repair and dry docking. The Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative is already underway with the mobilization of several cornerstone or support projects including the Caymanas Special Economic Zone (CEZ) development where the Jamaican Government is set to develop 10,000 acres of the Caymanas Estate lands for purposes directly related to the Initiative such as logistical planning and warehousing. It is expected that a significant economic stimulus will be generated from the construction activities related to the particularly given an increased competition

development of logistics and transshipment

logistics hub, with jobs created in areas

for scarce foreign investment.

hubs and the Caracol Industrial Park in Haiti.

such as mechatronics integration of marine engineering (mechanical, electrical and

Recently, the buzz in the Caribbean has

informatics), ship board professions such

been the widening of the Panama Canal

as electromechanical engineering, port

There are regional developments that present

to allow for the passage of a new class of

operations management, heavy duty

opportunities to position the Caribbean in

supersized cargo ships, known as Post

equipment operations, logistics and supply

sectors other than tourism, diversifying

Panamax ships, which are more than twice

chain management.

the region’s investment offerings. There

as big as the historical cargo shipping fleet.

are projects underway in Jamaica and

The expanded Canal is expected to open in

The Government of Jamaica is also in the

the Dominican Republic for the planned

2015, allowing for lower cost shipments to

process of setting up a Global Financial

But the tides may be turning.


Clearing the Hurdles

All images provided by The Port Authority of Jamaica

Hub to complement the Logistics Hub as

airports, four cruise ports and 12 modern

also considering improvements. And the

it recognizes that goods have to be paid

cargo ports, including the Dubai Ports

significant investment which would follow

for with investments grounded in sound

operated Caucedo Multimodal Port, which

this kind of opportunity could transform

vehicles. The investment promotion agency

is one of the 25 largest ports in the world.

the face of Caribbean economies over the

(IPA), Jamaican Promotions Corporation

next decade, positioning the region for even

(JAMPRO), has been mobilized and is

The DR “Hub of the Caribbean” project

engaging investors for investment in the

envisages the implementation of a strategy

greater investment flows.

multi-faceted project.

which includes the development of port and

The DR and Jamaican Governments have

maritime infrastructure, financial free zones,

already indicated significant interest from

The DR is also engaging investors for its

tourism, shipping and air connectivity.

investors in advancing these plans and,

transshipment and logistics initiative which

Dubai Ports is already attracting shipping

indeed, the air is thick with the anticipation

seeks to position the country as the “Hub of

lines to transship through the DR port,

of a brighter future, not just for the countries

the Caribbean.” The DR’s preparation for the

which is strategically located near the Las

implementing these plans but for the region

Panama Canal’s expansion is founded on a

Americas International Airport, with a

as a whole which stands to benefit from the

historical opportunity, which dates back to

capacity to handle 1,300 ships a year.

spill-over effects.

has been a point where imports and exports

These are only two of the national

Also attracting the attention of investors

converged, not only with the Old and the New

initiatives underway in the Caribbean

is the Caracol Industrial Park in Haiti.

World, but also linking the Old World with

that would position the region in the

The project includes the construction of

Central America and South America. This

transshipment and logistics sector. That

an industrial park of 250 hectares with an

historical advantage is being strengthened by

means the Caribbean would be taking

investment of US $280 million. The full-

the government’s support of the initiative

advantage of “the biggest shift in the freight

service industrial park will entail state-of-

with the benchmarking of DR ports with the

business since the 1950s,” according to The

the-art waste water treatment facilities and

best ports in the world already undertaken.

New York Times (December 2010). This

modern industrial buildings in the northern

The local IPA, the Center for Investment and

opportunity has not been lost on other

part of the country, at Caracol. The project

Export for the Dominican Republic (CEI-RD)

countries in the region, namely Trinidad

is a partnership between the Government

is taking a lead in positioning the country’s

and Tobago and the Bahamas, where the

of Haiti, the United States Government,

excellent system of roads, nine international

ports in Port of Spain and Freeport are

the Inter-American Development Bank and

the Discovery of the Americas. The Canal


Clearing the Hurdles

the South Korean textile companies SAE-A

similar enterprises in China and Central

in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Additional

and will be the largest and most modern

America. The near-shore advantage of Haiti

untapped reservoirs exist in the north and

industrial park in the Western Caribbean

added to the duty free benefits and the more

south of the island. In Barbados and Nevis,

and Latin America. The anchor investor,

flexible sourcing rules under the HELP and

there are plans for waste-to-energy plants and

SEA-A, is establishing a state-of-the-art

HOPE II Acts for Haitian exports into the

there have been expansions in wind farms in

apparel manufacturing complex that is

US market, gives an added attraction to the

Curacao, Jamaica and the DR.

vertically integrated to include on site fabric

manufacturing of textiles in that Caribbean

mills, printing and embroidery facilities.

country. For Haiti, the creation of much-

Connectivity is being aggressively addressed

Considerable investment will be made to

needed jobs will be the greatest economic

with the development of a new airport in

upgrade the infrastructure within that part

impact for a country with an estimated

St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Argyle

of Haiti, including accessible roads, a new

unemployment rate of 40% in 2010.

International Airport, and Caribbean’s

port facility, supply of electricity and the

first airport city or aerotropolis (a planned

construction of homes. The initial phase of

Other investor-friendly developments include

development in which a city-like site

the project includes 350.000 m2 of covered

the region’s push to reduce the high cost of

and commercial centre grow around

industrial space, of which 120.000 m2 will

energy. Grenada, for example, is targeting

an airport), at the Piarco AeroPark in

be made available for lease. By December

investments in the green economy, partnering

Trinidad and Tobago. And then there is

2013, five companies had already occupied

with Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War

the Royal Caribbean International Port

spaces at the Park specializing in apparel

Room to court investors and finalize a road

Castries Project which will be undertaken

manufacturing, paint production and

map focused on improving the regulatory

by the second largest cruise line operating

construction and more than 2,500 direct

environment, energy efficiency in government

in the Caribbean, the Royal Caribbean

jobs have been created in 2013 as a result of

buildings and infrastructure and affordable

International (RCI).

the initiative.

green energy services for major users in the private sector. Dominica has been exploring

Niche sector developments are also taking place

Haiti is strategically positioning the Industrial

geothermal energy with the drilling of two

in offshore education, with the expansion of

Park for the garment/textile industry, a sector

full size wells for a 15MW geothermal power

the St George’s University School of Medicine

in which it had an advantage in years gone by,

plant which is projected to be completed by

in Grenada and the space tourism programme

an advantage that still remains, with wages

the end of 2015. The proposed supply is

in Curacao, with XCOR Aerospace to begin

at about 30% and 50% the cost of those in

for local consumption and export markets

operational flights from Curacao in 2014.

Suzette Hudson is the Senior Advisor, Investment Promotion at Caribbean Export. She has direct responsibility for managing all matters related to the Agency’s role as the Secretariat for the Caribbean Association for Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) and the development and implementation of the Regional Investment Promotion Strategy and Implementation Plan for CARIFORUM.


exporters’ insights

Exporters’ Insights

the story of sandals:

life’s a beach and ready for business BY STEPHANIE BISHOP

For over three decades the name Sandals

the Caribbean dream, an art he fostered for nearly

refrigerators, freezers and other appliances. Today,

has been globally recognized as an epitome

eight years including several as a salesman at the

the company produces and trades everything

of world-class luxury and excellence. As a

Dutch-owned Curacao Trading Company and,

from automobile parts to water pumps.

leader in the Caribbean ultra all-inclusive

before that, a spell studying in England. Then in

industry, the resort is well positioned to stay

1968, he started his first company, Appliance

In 1981, ATL provided the capital required

at the forefront of this market because of its

Traders Limited (ATL), and within less than

to acquire and renovate a rundown hotel in

rich history and optimistic outlook.

two years became the leading distributor of air-

Montego Bay, Jamaica. Seven months and US

conditioning units in Jamaica.

$4 million in renovations later, the country’s first Sandals Resort opened.

The mastermind behind the masterpiece is the illustrious Gordon “Butch’’ Stewart, and

“We were number one within 18 months and this

like his own life story, the genesis of Sandals

was just the beginning, where everything came

Success, however, was not automatic. Most of the

Resorts is unprecedented.

from,” recounted Stewart.

major tour operators already had exclusive deals with some of his competitors, and because of the

Selling the Caribbean Dream

The air-conditioner service and distribution

resort’s close proximity to the airport (Sangster

Stewart has successfully made his fortune selling

company quickly mushroomed, adding

International), guests complained about the

All images provided by Sandals Resorts International


Exporters’ Insights

noise. Further, the business was too small to break even. “We had a lot of enthusiasm, but we didn’t know what we were doing. We lost a lot of money for a couple of years, and if you lose money in the hotel business you lose a lot of money.” Sandals eventually gained traction in the 1980s consumer boom. “It was the era of President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher and I rode the wave.” Even with the economic malaise afflicting consumers and the competition, there was solace at the heart of Sandals Resorts. “In a crisis, the inexpensive stuff sells. The middle stuff is under pressure. But the top market does business.”

Early Expansion A decade after transforming the sublime shoreline of the Jamaica north coast with five Sandals Resorts, Stewart expanded his brand to Antigua and Barbuda.

“Antigua was really the only island aside from

in conquering these challenges.

Jamaica with which I had any experience. I used to visit for a couple of days at a time to unwind

“There are mistakes. When you go into

and I loved it. The Anchorage Hotel with its

business, from my experience, it’s never

99 rooms was for sale so we bought it, added

quite what you think it is. There are always

another 50 rooms, and the rest is history.”

surprises. It’s the cost of experience, the cost of learning, the cost of growth.”

Following Antigua, the all-inclusive brand has opened in Saint Lucia, Bahamas, Barbados, and

Exceeding Expectations


From inception, Sandals Resorts has earned just about every award and accolade in the

“There are certain things we look for when

industry. And with the likes of competitors

expanding such as the overall quality of the

such as Club Méditerranée (Club Med)

country and its beaches. Does it have a stable,

and the Hilton Hotels, this continues to be

democratic government? Does it have a low

a tremendous feat.

crime rate? There is a multitude of different aspects that need to align. Plus of course there’s

“The competitive advantage of Sandals is the

the human factor too. I’m a very emotional

uniqueness of the brand. What differentiates

person and if I’m not personally in love with

us from another all-inclusive is the influence

the place, I find it difficult to sell out in the

of luxury in every aspect of the resort

marketplace. I love every country we operate in.”

experience, hence the introduction of the Luxury Included® concept in 2007. At

Conquering Challenges

its core, this concept was introduced as a

The astute entrepreneur believes that in

commitment to exceed expectations with

business, there will always be mistakes. A

real and tangible points of distinction that

sense of accomplishment comes, however,

customers could experience and that our 107

Exporters’ Insights


Exporters’ Insights

partners could articulate and market with

Corporate Social Responsibility


As a result of his entrepreneurial exploits, Stewart has successfully spearheaded over

The family-owned company transformed itself

two dozen companies that are collectively

from a single resort in Jamaica to one of the

Jamaica’s largest private sector group, and

most recognized award-winning hospitality

the country’s biggest foreign exchange

brands in the world. With over 12,000

earner. Similar patterns of growth are also

employees and two new hotels in Barbados and

evident in the economic impact of his

Grenada, Sandals Resorts are but jewels in the

business throughout the region.

crown of the “King of All-Inclusive Resorts.’’ Through the philanthropic arm, The Sandals In the beginning, Stewart had no hotel

Foundation, the company provides active

experience, but he approached business

support to more than 150 major projects in

with a simple philosophy: “The winning

its host communities. This support ranges

formula is to find out what people want,

from the building of schools to providing

give it to them and, in doing so, exceed their

access to healthcare.

expectations.” “The Sandals Foundation represents a way Today, under the Sandals Resorts International

for Sandals and Beaches to give back to

umbrella, Stewart has established 24

our community through initiatives that

properties in seven countries. In addition

support, uplift and improve the lives of

to Sandals Resorts, the four other premium

the Caribbean people. It is our way of

brands include Beaches Resorts, Grand

better enabling us to take on more of what

Pineapple Beach Resorts, Fowl Cay Resort

needs to be done in the islands where we

and The Private Villas Collection.


“What would I tell someone who is looking to

Stewart’s philosophies about life are reflected

expand? Give it your all. Find your market, pick

not only in his company’s approach to

your staff well and give good direction. Pick your

corporate social responsibility, but also in the

country wisely because some welcome you with

way he conducts business, an underpinning

open arms, while others see you as an intruder.”

that augurs well for any venture.

Company Profile Sandals Resorts is an operator of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and a part of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), parent company Beaches Resort, Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, Fowl Cay Resort and several private villas. Sandals Resorts has 15 properties located in six Caribbean islands: Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia. For additional information visit:

Sandals Resorts Properties Jamaica


Sandals Montego Bay

Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort &

Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island

Offshore Island

Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort

Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma

Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa Sandals Whitehouse European Village & Spa


Sandals Royal Plantation Ocho Rios

Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa

Sandals Carlyle Montego Bay



Saint Lucia

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa & Beach Resort


Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa

Sandals Barbados Resort

Sandals Halcyon Beach


Exporters’ Insights

driving success:

the automotive art strategy for growth & sustainability BY STEPHANIE BISHOP

All images provided by Automotive Art


Exporters’ Insights

Mention the name Dereck Foster, and most

years of entering the automotive paint

entrepreneurs encounter comes from a

people will associate him with leadership,

business in Barbados, Automotive Art had

logistical viewport, namely regional ports,

success and innovation. These attributes are

only one competitor remaining.

customs and air transportation.

“When we started there were over 10 paint

“We live in small countries, yet want to have

also synonymous with the company he cofounded, Automotive Art.

stores in Barbados, but many of them never

some of the most draconian rules in the

Armed with more than 10 years’ experience in

capitalized on the market opportunities that

world, which then becomes a deterrent to

the automotive paint business and the desire

were available. Today there are still a few

manufacturers. Instead of helping countries

to revolutionize the industry in Barbados,

players in the market, but Automotive Art

with the ability to move goods, regionally and

Foster, and his business partner Hugh Blades

holds a dominant share.”

internationally, we are actually harming them.”

largest auto-care retailer of car enhancement


Though the company successfully conquered

products and services.

Automotive Art commenced operations in

the English-speaking Caribbean, the same

established what has become the Caribbean’s

Barbados in 1990 and began exporting two

could not be said for the rest of the region.

A well-oiled machine

years later. The company was able to transform

Automotive Art was restricted to the English-

In order to be differentiated from the

the face of the auto care industry in the island

speaking Caribbean because their German

competition, Automotive Art had to be

within record time, and saw the opportunity

supplier already had distribution in the Latin


to do the same in other Caribbean territories,

American and French-speaking territories.

beginning with Dominica.

This meant finding a new supplier that could

“I saw that the industry was changing,

provide similar quality without the restrictions.

particularly with the introduction of new

“In order to expand across the region, we

high-tech paint systems,” Dereck explained.

needed to find the right partners. Harris

In addition to finding a new supplier, the

“I believed that there was an opportunity to

Paints was an investor in Automotive Art and

company recognised that there was a need

change the industry in Barbados by embracing

they had a factory on the ground in Dominica,

to develop its own brand, the Automotive

this new technology.”

so it made good business sense.”

Art brand. This was achieved with a Dutch

The Automotive Art revolution meant

With expansion outside of CARICOM

throughout the remaining territories, but

transforming the environment in which paint

came the realisation that the company

also later opened the door to the United States

was being sold.

could not manufacture in Barbados and

market. This progress however was short-lived.

supplier, who not only facilitated access

still be competitive. This component was “The automotive paint business, as it was

therefore outsourced to a European firm and

“Shortly after starting our US expansion,

then, was a ‘dirty business’. Everything was

a distribution centre was established in Miami

our Dutch supplier was bought out by a

covered in paint droplets, from the counter

to facilitate logistics.

multibillion-dollar American paint company,

to the customer. Everything and everyone was covered in paint and that had to change.”

who immediately informed us that they were “From there (Miami), we started to export

going to break our contract, and while they

to Latin America. Every country has its own

were happy to continue to supply us for

What followed was a clean, professional-

strengths. For Barbados, manufacturing goods

Caribbean and Latin America, we would not

looking store with a supermarket-type format,

for export, other than niche products like rum,

be able to sell in North America.”

where products were on shelves and fully

is not it. Services and knowledge on the other

accessible to customers. The company also

hand is where we can be globally competitive.”

invested in state-of-the-art computerized

While this development proved perplexing, with research, insight and the right approach,

colour-mixing equipment, which allowed it

Today, the aftermarket franchise chain and

the Automotive Art team secured a new

to produce every car colour on the market.

distribution company operates stores in nine

supplier from Poland, two years later, to

The next step was staff development.

countries and sells products in 62 countries

facilitate their strategy.

around the world through operations in the “We trained our staff in how to use the

USA and Poland. Automotive Art also exports

One of the Polish owners eventually sold

products. This allowed them to produce

knowledge from the Barbados operations, via

his shares to Automotive Art, which led to

better results for our customers, dramatically

a franchise system and head office functions.

its acquisition of 50% stake in the factory.

improving efficiency, and ultimately

This procurement completed the chain from

increasing productivity and lowering costs,

Navigating the challenges

production to sales, and heralded a new

which resulted in excellent profitability.”

Automotive Art faced many challenges in

direction for the company.

exporting regionally, but Foster pointed out The results were undeniable. Within three

that one of the biggest trials that Caribbean

“Now we can take on the world and no one


Exporters’ Insights

can tell us where to go. We have already

worth to the Automotive Art brand.

company hardly needs to introduce itself.

started selling in North America, and while challenging we are making headway.”

In your industry, people will already “I remember having this conversation with a

know your business, its personality,

very successful business person in Barbados,

and the promise you make to customers

Keys to Success

and when I told him the effort that our

is cemented in their experience when

Dereck Foster defines success as a desire to be

management spent on training, he asked me

doing business with you.’’

the best, and with this comes the attainment

how we could spend so much on employees

of wealth, favour or eminence.

and then they leave. I told him, imagine what

“The keys to success for Automotive Art are

Make sure your company is built

would happen if we didn’t [invest in their

to last. Leaders in companies have

training] and they stayed!”

to make decisions daily that could

recruiting good people, and more importantly



produce short-term gains, but have dire

keeping them. Our team is passionate about

In addition to a great team, Foster believes that

consequences for the long-term health

the industry and our company. This translates

there are five essential elements that contribute

of the company. At Automotive Art,

into a good experience for our customers,

to the company’s achievements in export:

the desire is to see the company grow

investors and business partners.”


A great brand is critical to success. It

and prosper long after the founders

defines you and it is of vital importance

have moved on.

Foster added that there is an infinite value

that you nurture it, care for it and protect

in the staff being knowledgeable about

it. Your brand is your reputation.

“I read a great book that speaks about

the company’s products and the services

the difference between companies that

provided. This expertise adds immeasurable

“With a well-managed brand, your

adopt a built-to-last culture—it really

Exporters’ Insights

brought it home to me. The book is

“I do not believe in protection. I believe in

called Built to Last, by Jim Collins and

the free market, that’s how nature operates.

Jerry Porras, and I would like to suggest

If you do something well, you get rewarded,

that every leader hoping to build a great

if you handle your business poorly you

organization read this book.”

close down. Regional governments tend to listen to individuals as opposed to sectors


collectively, but this hinders export potential

automotive aftermarket business in the

as opposed to helping the process. This builds

Caribbean, and one of the few in the

inefficiency not exports. There is too much

world, that has paint as one of its core


include franchise locations and distribution

consistently redefines its approach to

There is also the view that governments need

paints, tyres, tools and wheels. For more

business, from introducing the first air-

to focus on the industries in which they can

conditioned customer waiting rooms to

be globally competitive, taking a “think global-

creating an ultramodern storefront by

act local approach.’’

Franchise locations:

The road ahead

Islands • Guyana • Jamaica • St Kitts and Nevis

“We completely changed the automotive

“The future for Automotive Art is bright,

business, and we were one of the first

and because of our team, I believe that any

companies to brand everything—our

challenges we face now or in the future will

building, vehicles, and staff uniforms.

not be insurmountable,” Foster said.

Caribbean and Americas

few paint companies in the world that

The company is currently focused on the

Canada • Dominica • Dominican Republic

has everything under one brand for

Americas [Caribbean, Latin America and

refinishing a car from body filler to

North America], and the team in Poland is

clear coat, and everything in between.

focused on Europe but the next big market is

Innovation keeps us ahead of the

Africa, starting in South Africa as one of the


continent’s biggest economies.


Undertake comprehensive market

“Our intention for our company is to be


research. This will help in identifying

everywhere. We won’t turn down a customer,

the right target market, competitors,

regardless of where they are from. In fact we

customers, distribution channels and the

are speaking with a customer from Egypt in

best approach for product promotion.

spite of the current problems that country is

business categories, Automotive Art

global standards.

More importantly, we are one of the


currently experiencing, so the possibilities

Automotive Art directly employs over 200 persons in company-operated business; these points. Products include: accessories, batteries, information visit

Antigua and Barbuda • Barbados • Cayman • Saint Lucia • Suriname • Turks and Caicos

Distribution Partners: Aruba • Bahamas • Belize • Bermuda • French Guiana • Grenada • Nicaragua Montserrat • Puerto Rico • St Maarten St Vincent and the Grenadines • Tortola • Trinidad and Tobago • United States of

Botswana • Morocco • South Africa Asia Bahrain • Bangladesh • Iraq • Israel • Pakistan • Saudi Arabia • United Arab

are endless.”


your products are competitive, identify

Foster also believes there is one more big


the competitors you are targeting, their

thing the Caribbean should be exporting—

strategy and how they are marketing in

our lifestyle.

Belgium, Luxemburg • Czech Republic •

“The Caribbean has a great climate, we are

• Hungary • Ireland • Italy • Latvia •

“Ensure you do your research on the market you plan to enter, make sure

that country.” 5.

Company Profile

Continue to innovate. As the only

Find the right partners. Partners that

fantastically located half-way between the

are committed, and share the company’s

US and Latin America, and most countries

vision and the team’s passion are

are independent and relatively stable. We


can be the headquarters for some of the biggest organizations on the planet and the

However, businesses cannot succeed without

home to some of the world’s most pioneering

the right infrastructure and support. Foster

entrepreneurs, because people want to live

believes that governments can do more

in this environment. But we need to have the

to facilitate exports by “staying out of the

infrastructure that supports the knowledge,

way of exporters and not pampering to the

investment, and innovation that these

business communities that say they need

companies and entrepreneurs will bring to

more protection.”

our region.”

Belarus • Bulgaria • CEZET - Netherlands, Croatia • Germany • Estonia • Finland Lithuania • Malta • Norway • Portugal • Romania • Russia • Sweden • Slovakia • Spain • United Kingdom • Ukraine Pacific Australia

Stephanie Bishop is a Communications Advisor at the Caribbean Export Development Agency. She is a development communications specialist with over 10 years professional experience and holds a Masters in International Affairs.


Exporters’ Insights

recipe for success:

rainforest seafoods on serving the region


Jamaican home-grown company is region’s largest supplier of premium seafood. Here’s how how they did it.

All images provided by Rainforest Seafoods


Exporters’ Insights

began as “dabbling in fish brokerage from

Conquering Competition and Challenges

Guyana to Jamaica” and turned it into the

Rainforest Seafoods is dominant in its

Caribbean’s largest supplier of premium

field, but competitors within the islands

Today approximately 20% of their sales comes

quality fish and seafood.

are mainly broad line wholesalers or

from exports and a target of 50 per cent has

distributors who carry seafood as one item

been set for the next three years.

In just over 18 years, Brian Jardim took what

southeast of the US for distribution along the continent’s eastern seaboard.

The journey started in 1995 and Jardim’s

in their portfolio, along with beef, chicken,

motivation was to fill the need in the hotel

lamb et cetera. “Our advantage is that we are

“In order to meet this target, we have

industry where he had been working for more

specialized and we have found the niches

expanded our product portfolio to include

than 10 years.

in our business, but there will always be

value-added products, which should push us

people selling what we have, so we just have

into new and exciting territories.”

The ability to seafood differently

to sell it better.”

“It became pretty apparent that most travellers

A major aspect of the company’s export plans

to the region came for the full Caribbean

The business has its challenges. “Our business

includes breaking into the European market.

experience,’’ Jardim explained. “In addition

is very seasonal, so the capital demands are

“We already have our US Department of

to sun, sea and sand, they assumed that we

extremely seasonal. There is a time of year

Agriculture certification and have exceeded

had bountiful and endless seafood in our

when we buy, and time of year when we sell.

the Food and Drug Administration’s Hazard

offerings, but honestly many of the islands

Many times there was a mismatch, so that was

Analysis and Critical Control Point guidelines

were fished out. And at that time, Jamaica was

probably one of our biggest challenges in the

which has allowed us to start our first exports

trading between the islands to meet their fish

early days, finding capital we needed to meet

to the US from Jamaica. But Europe is in

and seafood demands, because no one island

our demand to supply.”

our sights so we are working on gaining EU

was self-sufficient.”

certification. We are also hoping to get into The ability to earn foreign currency and net

Asia with some of our products in 2014.”

Jardim realized there was a niche within the

income as an entrepreneur goes a long way in

hotel industry to provide quality seafood and

securing investment and capital, Jardim said.

Recipe for Success

premium prices, so together with business

“Your ideas exceed your wallet most times, so

Jardim said that the company’s single biggest

partner Ian Dear, he bought an old restaurant on

you have to start with the financial institutions

strength and reason for success is its outstanding

Montego Bay’s famous “Hip Strip’’ and restored

to sell your idea. However, the fact that we were

team. “Coming from a dozen to nearly 350-plus

the site into Marguerites, a premier dining spot

earning US dollars from a very early stage was

with a shared vision is a big part of our success.

specializing in seafood. The pair then built the

very helpful in the financing process.”

We are still a young company and there is no

now famous Margaritaville next door on the

room for bureaucracy. Everyone has access and

adjoining land, which mushroomed into the

Hooked on Exports

most successful chain of restaurants and clubs

Since selling his interest in Margaritaville in

on Jamaica’s sandy shoreline.

2010, Jardim has been able to concentrate 100

But success does not come without hard work

per cent on expanding Rainforest Seafoods.

and dedication. “We were knocking on doors

“I saw an opportunity and I ran with it. In

the opportunity to bring their ideas forward.”

for a long time, but we were dedicated to our

addition to brokering to hotels and resorts

In Jamaica, that expansion has lead to 15

brand and the potential it had. The strength

in Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,

retail stores and delis, in addition to offering

of a brand is a powerful thing and I think we

and Saint Lucia, I was now providing seafood

catering services. Regional expansion began

have grown exponentially over the last few

to our 12 restaurants and bars in Jamaica. We

with exports to Trinidad and Tobago.

years as a direct result of awareness created

became self-sufficient in our seafood supply.”

around our new products.” “They were the first choice because of the

Today, from its headquarters in Montego Bay

great symbiotic relationship we have with

Rainforest Seafoods may be Jamaican home-

and the recently established state-of-the-art

Trinidad Seafood Limited for more than 15

grown, but increasingly people across the

processing plant centre in Kingston, Jamaica,

years. We bought from them and we sold to

region are recognising the product within

Rainforest Seafoods is able to produce more

them and today they are still one of our best

their hotels, supermarkets and restaurants.

than five million pounds of seafood in its

customers and we are one of their best, so it

distribution system at any given time.

was always going to be a win-win situation

“We have also been able to step up in

for both of us.”

visibility with our active and passive

As Chief Executive Officer, Brian Jardim

advertising: billboards, bus sheds, television

heads a team of 350 employees who ensure

Rainforest Seafoods currently exports to 10

advertisements and social media are a few

the distribution of more than 400 different

countries, which includes nine Caribbean

avenues we have explored.”

references of premium quality fish and

Islands and the United States through their

seafood, from more than 100 recognised global

processing plant in Honduras. The company

Another factor of success is getting the

suppliers, to customers across the region.

also airfreights fresh to brokers in the

business plan right the first time.


Exporters’ Insights

“Bankers love exporters and those earning foreign currency. Investors also find an exportdriven business attractive so strive towards this goal when seeking capital. When you develop your business plan, think about how you can export all or at least a portion of your business.” Jardim also has a list of common pitfalls for entrepreneurs to avoid. “The Chief Customs Officer in every island is a very powerful person. So, do the necessary research and be aware of the red tape and the requirements for export. It sounds easy but many times it will be trial and error.” Regional governments are also urged to establish a clear set of guidelines of what is required within each island so that exporters are able to meet them. “Something as simple as packaging and the way the date is written, or as complex as phytosanitary requirements and food restrictions can become a barrier to entry.” The role of governments and relevant agencies in regional export success went beyond ports of entry, he added. “They need to talk a little more amongst themselves and create a common playbook. We need to stop being so self-consumed as individual islands and work towards a more seamless and bureaucracyfree system because it can impact on our competitive advantage as a country and eventually as a region as a whole.”

Company Profile Rainforest Seafoods processes and distributes over 400 references of fish and assorted shellfish sourced from recognized suppliers around the world and we are committed to acquiring product from sustainable sources that use environmentally sensitive methods. For additional information visit: www. Rainforest products are distributed in the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda • Barbados • Cayman Islands • Dominica • Grenada • Saint Kitts and Nevis • Saint Lucia • St Vincent and the Grenadines • Trinidad and Tobago • United Stephanie Bishop is a Communications Advisor at the Caribbean Export Development Agency. She is a development communications specialist with over 10 years professional experience and holds a Masters in International Affairs.


States of America

Exporters’ Insights

company to look out for:

smaks luxury group limited


Exporters’ Insights

Company Name:

Earl and Countess of Wessex on board the Fort

Greatest Exporting Lessons Learnt:

SMAKS Luxury Group

Rosalie. Following that presentation a request was

In addition to choosing the right partners, it is

made for our teas to be presented to Her Majesty

important to stay focused. Many big companies

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

will try to discourage you because you are


entering their market with a unique product but The company was also one of 50 winners in

don’t veer away from your vision or your goal.

Chief Executive Officer:

2012 Idea to Innovation (i2i) competition

Dr Kiran Akal

organized by the Council for Competitiveness

Quality is also important, when you’re

and Innovation (CCI) of the Ministry of

coming from the Caribbean and looking to

Year Established:

Planning and Sustainable Development

compete in a global market, going medium


in Trinidad and Tobago for budding

to low can be disastrous, especially as it

entrepreneurs and innovators to bring their

relates to any marketing challenges you

Location (s):

ideas to proof of concept. SMAKS was chosen

will face. Finally, believe in your brand and

SMAKS teas are blended in the United

for their newest product Chai Rum.

carry yourself with that confidence when approaching dealers.

Kingdom (UK) and packaged in Trinidad and Tobago.

SMAKS has also made an arrangement with Camper and Nicholsons International,

Support Received:

Product Summary:

the largest yacht brokerage in the world, to

Caribbean Export has played an incredibly

SMAKS is the Caribbean’s premier luxury

become a global brand partner in which the

important role in our export success. It started

tea brand. There are currently eleven teas in

Chai Rum will be poured at some of the most

in 2011 when they gave us the very first break

the SMAKS range: Antillean Green, Barbados

prestigious events organized by this company,

by facilitating our participation in Design

Silver, Bermuda Pink, Caribbean Chai,

including the Grand Prix, in Monaco.

Caribbean in Santo Domingo, and the response

Grenadines Purple, Hispaniola, Parang, Tobago

of the public in general was phenomenal.

Afternoon, Trinidad Breakfast, Trinitario

Chai Rum has also most recently won silver in

Dark, and Trinitario Light. In addition to

the Wine & Spirits tasting competition at the

Following that there were other tradeshows

bespoke teas, the company is also the creator

world renowned Wine & Spirits Wholesalers

and opportunities to attend meetings. In

of Chai Rum, the world’s first tea-infused rum.

of America at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

2012, I was also a finalist in the pilot launch of Break Point and eventually chosen as a

Export Markets:

Market Entry Strategies:

winner in the competition in Grenada with

The company currently exports across the

The first step is assessing the marketplace to

the chance to pitch to judges in London.

Caribbean and within Europe, specifically in

get some exposure and a holistic view of the

We also were awarded a Direct Assistance

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden,

market you intend to enter. Next, identify the

Grant that year and it has helped us with

Switzerland and the UK.

right types of people with whom you wish to

out visibility. With each Caribbean Export

partner. The right partnership is important,

activity, we tried to maximise the opportunity

sometimes it’s not about the big distributor,

that was given to us.

Major Exporting Achievements: The first achievement for SMAKS teas was

but more about connecting with people

winning the pilot launch of Caribbean Export’s

who share your passion and are focused on

I was also involved in ANUGA in 2013, which

Break Point in Grenada in 2012. During the

your niche. Finally, after all the research and

of all the experiences I’ve had with Caribbean

presentation, we were able to present our

networking, just start to distribute and stay

Export over the last three years was by far the

Trinidad Breakfast and Tobago afternoon to the

focused on the end goal.

best. Not only because of the opportunities


Exporters’ Insights

All images provided by Smaks Luxury Group Ltd

for export gained, but because of the sense of camaraderie among the group of Caribbean firms exhibiting. ANUGA was a tremendous success with five contacts being made. SMAKS is in Switzerland because of ANUGA with our Chai Rum. We have on-going discussions with a coffee company in Belgium to collaborate with them and we are also in France at the Intercontinental in Cannes. The company is also planning exports to the UK and we are in discussions with Germany.

General Recommendation on Support Needed by Exporters: Bigger firms need to begin to understand that innovation is important and that working with small entrepreneurs is the way to go. These small entrepreneurs don’t have the bureaucracy that comes with bigger organizations, but they have the speed to move and ideas to innovate. Bigger firms also need to understand that small companies are not their competition, but that they should be embraced. This is the model that is seen globally from the music industry to wines and spirits. Small entrepreneurs also have to be sure that they have a good idea or product and if you think you have this, face the public. Bring it to market and gauge the reaction you receive. Also, be sure to have a vision for your brand: passion, product and personality. After that, there are many government agencies, and regional agencies like Caribbean Export, and international organisations that have initiatives available from which SMEs can take advantage. The important thing is having a product or idea first.


Exporters’ Tool Box

exporters’ tool box


Exporters’ Tool Box

Caribbean Export’s suite of services Caribbean Export seeks to provide CARIFORUM small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with the tools to strengthen their capacity to export by offering a range of programmes and initiatives designed to enable private sector development and export promotion. EXPORT DEVELOPMENT SERVICES CAPACITY BUILDING

Productivity Network (ProNET)

Benchmarking Assessment

ProNET is a modular training programme

Benchmarking provides Trade Promotion

for SME owners who want to grow their

Organizations (TPOs) with a reliable and

business and become more competitive.

objective assessment of their institution, its efficiency, and its performance in relation

Caribbean Export has a range of training and certification programmes, which are

ProNET Train-the-Trainer Programme

to best business practices of TPOs across

intended not only to build firm capacity,

ProNET’s Train-the-Trainer initiative

the world. The assessment identifies areas

but to also increase their knowledge base

is designed to allow management and

for improvement through the use of a

about the global marketplace:

business consultants to further develop

full complement of benchmark measures

their capacity to effectively deliver the

developed specifically for TPOs.

Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS)

ProNET modules. Brand Development and Packaging

Proposal Writing Workshops


The DAGS Proposal Writing Workshops

Study Tours


provide firms with training on grant

Study Tours provide both SMEs and BSOs

The Brand Development and Packaging

proposal construction and methodology

with the opportunity to visit new markets

Workshop was developed to address some

and the process for applying for grant

and benefit from in-market research,

of the weaknesses in regional product

funding. This information can be used not

and learn the best practices from some

branding/packaging and overall product

only for the DAGS but may also be useful

of the most productive businesses and

presentation for the export market.

for other grant funding schemes.

organizations in the world.

Exporters’ Tool Box

Market Intelligence Training Workshops

request, the Agency can provide Market

The Direct Assistant Grant

Market Intelligence Training Workshops for

Pointers on a specific product and target export


private sector firms and BSOs are designed to

market. The tool represents an effective tool for

The DAGS is a reimbursement grant

assist in the capacity building of the regional

presenting data collected on potential markets

funding facility specifically designed to

private sector to procure high quality

in a way which is easy to understand.

provide financial assistance to legally registered firms/individuals/ BSOs with the

market intelligence information through the identification and use of various trade

Market Opportunity Brief

information data sources and platforms.

Market Opportunity Briefs provide key

potential to export their goods and services.

insights on the demand conditions for a

Special Call for Proposals

Regional Trade Information Training

particular product in both traditional and

The Agency also provides special calls for


non-traditional markets. This tool analyses

proposals allowing applicants to submit

The Regional Trade Information Training

various trends such as market size, market

proposals for funding outside of the regular

Programme builds the capacity of regional

growth rate, market consumption capacity,

DAGS facility e.g. Special Call for Proposals-

experts from various BSOs and Trade

wholesale and retail trends, social factors

Food Safety.

Promotion Organizations (TPOs) in trade

affecting demand, supply factors, and

information management.

opportunities for regional companies.

Promotion Agencies (CAIPA)



The Exporters’ Toolkit provides a step by

Caribbean Export offers direct market

Export is deeply involved in the support

step guide on how to export goods and

penetration opportunities for firms through

and strengthening of regional investment

services successfully. It provides templates

branded platforms for specific industries.

promotion agencies.

Design Caribbean

Regional Investor of the Year Awards

INVESTMENT PROMOTION Caribbean Association of Investment As the Secretariat for CAIPA, Caribbean

and resources that can help any business to export regionally or internationally.

Design Caribbean is the region’s leading

The Agency stages the Regional Investor of


contemporary design event displaying

the Year Awards, in collaboration with CAIPA

Caribbean Export provides a range of services

the Caribbean’s finest handmade designs

which invites nominations for foreign and

in the area of market intelligence to equip

and innovative products.(http://www.

local investors who have had a significant

firms with the tools required for effective

impact on regional industries. The Award also

market research, and provides critical

seeks to recognize investors in strategic areas

information used to inform the businesses

Caribbean Essence

of importance to the region, e.g. green energy,

decisions necessary when embarking on

The Caribbean Essence Fashion Showcase is a

research and development, projects that involve

exporting goods and services to new markets.

Caribbean Export project that demonstrates

a high degree of innovation and creativity and

the vibrancy and creative expression for which

those that are championed by women.

Market Intelligence Portal (CE-MIP)

we are known. This is where Caribbean Export

The CE-MIP is designed to be an online

presents the region’s trends in fashion design


platform, which gives the user the ability to

and the amazing potential within this industry.

Caribbean Export seeks to create an

obtain market reports on products, sectors

enabling business environment for regional

and countries of interest. Key data the portal

Caribbean Kitchen

SMEs on a macro level by establishing

will report on will be Trade/Economic data,

Caribbean Kitchen seeks to expose

relationships between territories through:

Market/Sector Profiles and reports, Tariff

CARIFORUM firms in the agro-processing

Bi-national Programmes

and Non-Tariff data, a business register/

and specialty foods sector that have the

Trade agreements

database of regional companies, trade

DNA to be globally competitive.

Memorandums of Understanding

agreements analysis, directory of Business


Support Organisations, Trade regulation

Soul Fusion

Within the context of Business Advocacy

and related documentation, and links to

Soul Fusion is a musical showcase of Caribbean

the Agency convenes a number of public/

important data sources.

culture with artists from the diverse nature

private sector engagement to facilitate the

of musical genres from across the Caribbean

exchange of ideas, experiences and explore

Market Pointers

namely Reggae, Soca, Creole Music (Zouk,

opportunities for regional growth and

Given the fact that exporters usually have

Kompa), Caribbean Jazz, Folk and Afro-Haitian.

development. Examples of these include; the Caribbean Exporter’s Colloquium, the

little time to plough through tedious and complicated market research publications,


Private Sector Advisory Group, the Caribbean

Caribbean Export provides information on

One of the most direct ways in which Caribbean

Conference on the International Financial

areas which are important for exporting in a

Export impacts SMEs is through its funding

Services Sector and the Regional Innovation

succinct and well organized manner. Upon

programmes. The two main programmes are:

Advisory Group.


Exporters’ Tool Box

directory of

key contacts in CARIFORUM STATES Chambers of Commerce

Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Grenada Chamber of Industry & Commerce

P. O. Box 291, Second Floor, Withfield

Building #11

Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd



4792 Coney Drive

P.O. Box 129

Belize City

St. George’s



Tel: (501) 223-5330

Tel: (473) 440-2937/4485

Fax: (501) 223-5333

Fax: (473) 440-6627





Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce

Georgetown Chamber of Commerce

14 Church Street

P. O. Box 10110

P. O. Box 85

156 Waterloo Street


North Cummingsburg



Tel: (767) 449-1962


Fax: (767) 448-6868

Tel: (592) 225-5846/ (592) 227-6441


Fax: (592) 226-3519



Cnr. North and Popeshead Streets P. O. Box 774 St. John’s ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA Tel: (268) 462-0743 Fax: (268) 462-4575 Email:

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation Shirley Street & Collins Avenue  P. O. Box: N-665  Nassau THE BAHAMAS  Phone: (242) 322-2145 Fax: (242) 322-4649 Website:

Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry Braemar Court Deighton Road St. Michael BB 14017 OR P. O. Box 109B Brittons Hill St. Michael BARBADOS Tel: (246) 434-4750 Fax: (246) 228-2907 Email: Website:


Chamber of Commerce and Production of Santo Domingo Avenida 27 de Febrero

Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie d’Haiti

No. 228, Torre Fruisa

4th Floor, Digicel Building 151

Sector Esperilla

Angle Ave. John Paul II & Impasse



Tel: (809) 682-2688


Fax: (809) 685-2228

Port au Prince




Tel: (509) 2946-7777/ 2943-1173 Email: Website:

Jamaica Chamber of Commerce Suite 13-15, UDC Office Centre Building 12 Ocean Boulevard Kingston JAMAICA Tel: (876) 922-0150-1 Fax: (876) 924-9056 Email: Website:


Exporters’ Tool Box

St. Kitts-Nevis Chamber of Commerce

Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Dominica Coalition of Services Industries

P. O. Box 332

Chamber Building

14 Hanover Street

Horsford Road

Columbus Circle






P. O. Box 499

Tel: (767) 266-4092



Fax: (767) 440-8740

Tel: (869) 465-2980/3967



Fax: (869) 465-4490

Tel: (868) 637-6966



Fax: (868) 637-7425 Email:

Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture 1st Floor, American Drywall Building Vide Bouteille P. O.Box 482


Dominican Republic Coalition of Services Industries Av. 27 de Febrero esq. Tiradentes.

Coalition of Service Industries


Torre Friusa. Oficinas Camara de Comercio de Santo Domingo Santo Domingo DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Tel: (758) 452-3165/ 453-1540

Antigua and Barbuda Coalition of Services Inc

Fax: (758) 453-6907

P.O. Box W536


St. John’s



Grenada Coalition of Service Industries


Tel: (809) 540-6186 Email:

Tel: (268) 462-6628

GIDC Building

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce


Frequente Industrial Park


Grand Anse

Unit 27

Barbados Coalition of Service Industries


Cruise Ship Terminal Kingstown

Building #3 Unit 2B

Fax: (473) 439-9275


Harbour Industrial Estate





Tel: (246) 429-5357

Tel: (784) 457-1464

Fax: (246) 429-5352

Guyana Coalition of Service Providers

Fax: (784) 456- 2944


c/o Institute of Development Studies



University of Turkeyen

St. George’s



Suriname Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Tel: (473) 439-9275

Belize Coalition of Service Providers


Second Floor


Tel: (592) 675-9923

Kamer van Koophandel en Fabrieken

DFC Building

Prof. W.J.A. Kernkampweg 37

828 Croney Drive

P.O.Box 149

Belize City

Jamaica Coalition of Services Industries



C/o Jamaica Promotions Corporation


Tel: (501) 223-4785


Tel: (597) 530-311/530-313


Head Office: 18 Trafalgar Road

Fax: (597) 437-971


Kingston 10




Tel: (876) 978-7755/ 3337 Ext: 2157 Fax: (876) 946-0090 Website:


Exporters’ Tool Box

St. Kitts-Nevis Coalition of Services

Manufacturers’ Associations

P O Box 186

Suriname Manufacturers’ Association Coppenamestraat 187 Paramaribo


Barbados Manufacturers’ Association


Suite 201, Bldg. #8

Tel: (597) 43-4014 / 43-9797

Tel: (869) 465-8631

Harbour Industrial Estate

Fax: (597) 43-9798


St. Michael




C/o Ministry of International Trade


Saint Lucia Coalition of Services Industries

Tel: (246) 426-4474/ 427-9898

#14 Orange Park Commercial Centre


Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association

Bois d’Orange


TTMA Building

Fax: (246) 436-5182

42 Tenth Avenue

P O Box Choc 8056

Dominica Manufacturers’ Association


SAINT LUCIA Tel: (758) 452 7864

c/o Invest Dominca Authority


Fax: (758) 452 8695

1st Floor Financial Centre



Kennedy Avenue

Tel: (868) 675-8862



Fax: (868) 675-9000


P.O. Box 971



St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coalition of Service Industries

Tel: (767) 448-2045


c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign


Fax: (767) 448-5840

Trade and Consumer Affairs

Trade Promotion Organizations


Guyana Manufacturers’ and Services Association Ltd


157 Waterloo Street


North Cummingsburg

Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation

Tel: (784) 456-2060


BAIC Building, East Bay Street, Nassau,



New Providence


Tel: (592) 223-7405/ 223-7406

P.O. Box N-4940

Fax: (592) 225-5615



Tel: (242) 322-3740-3/ 325-2288


Fax: (242) 322-2130/ 2123

3rd Floor, Administrative Building

Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries Limited 1st Floor, #45 Cornelio Street


The Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association Ltd.



85A Duke Street

Tel: (868) 622-9229


Barbados Investment and Development Corporation

Fax: (868) 622-8985


P.O. Box 1250, Pelican House


Tel: (876) 922-8880-3/ 922-8869

Princess Alice Highway


Fax: (876) 922-9205



St. Michael BB11000




Tel: (246) 427-5350

St. Lucia Manufacturers Association

Fax: (246) 426-7802/ 2300

P.O. Box MF 7177




SAINT LUCIA Tel: (758) 451-2222 Fax: (758) 451-0125 Email: Website: 126

Exporters’ Tool Box

Belize Trade and Investment Development Service

Jamaica Promotions Corporation


Head Office, 18 Trafalgar Road

151B Charlotte Street

14 Orchid Garden Street

Kingston 10

Port of Spain

Belmopan City



Cayo District

Tel: (876) 978 7755

Tel: (868) 623-5507


Fax: (876) 946-0090

Fax: (868) 625-8126

Tel: (501) 822-3737/ 233-1913/2472



Fax: (501) 822 0595/ 233-2464



Email: Website:

St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency

Dominica Export Import Agency

C.A.P. Southwell Industrial Park

P. O. Box 173





Tel: (869) 465 1153

Dominican Association of Exporters


Fax: (869) 465 1154

Virgilio Diaz Ordonez No. 42

Tel: (767) 448-2780/ 3494/ 3495


Esq. Viriato Fiallo

Fax: (767) 448-6308


Ens. Julieta

Exporters Associations

Santo Domingo, D.N.

Email: Website:

Office of Private Sector Relations/ Trade Export Promotion Agency


Eastern Caribbean States Export Development Unit

2nd Floor, Hewanorra House

Fax: (809) 563-1926

Pointe Seraphine


P. O. Box 769


4th Floor, Financial Center


Jamaica Exporters’ Association

Kennedy Avenue

Tel: (758) 468-2145/ 2123

1 Winchester Road, Kingston 10


Fax: (758) 452-4606




Tel: (876) 960-4908/ 968-5812

Tel: (767) 448-2240 / 5503/ 6555


Fax: (876) 960-9869

Tel: (809) 567-6779/ 227-3388


Fax: (767) 448-5554 Email: / edu@

Invest SVG

2nd Floor, Reigate Building


Granby Street

The Grenada Exporters Association

P.O. Box 2442 Kingstown

C/O Grenada Bureau of Standards

Center for Export and Investment of the Dominican Republic


P.O. Box 2036


Queen’s Park

Ave. 27 de Febrero

Tel: (784) 457-2159

St. George’s

Esq. Ave.Gregorio Luperon

Fax: (784) 456-2688


Plaza de la Bandera


Tel: (473) 440-5886/ 440-6783

Santo Domingo


Fax: (473) 440-5554



Fax: (809) 534- 4447

Suriname Business Development Center


Executive Office of the Suriname

Tel: (809) 530-5505


Business Forum

Guyana Office for Investment

Hendrikstraat 69

190 Camp & Church Streets

1st Floor





Tel: (592) 227-0653/ 0654/ 0658

Tel: (597) 49-9010

Fax: (592) 225 0655

Fax: (597) 49-9011









country profiles Antigua and Barbuda

The Bahamas









GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

Agriculture - 2.2%

GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 2.1 %

sector (%)

Industry - 16.4%

sector (%)

Industry – 7.1 %

Services - 81.4% Inflation rate (consumer


prices) Official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer


prices) $2.70

(per US Dollar) Merchandise Trade

Services – 90.8%

Official exchange rate


(per US Dollar) $33,067,000

Export value

Merchandise Trade


Export value

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Other made textile articles, sets,

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Ships, boats and other floating


worn clothing etc



2) Electrical, electronic equipment

2) Plastics and articles thereof

3) Ships, boats and other floating

3) Fish, crustaceans, molluscs,


aquatic invertebrates nes

4) Articles of iron and steel

4) Works of art, collectors pieces

5) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

and antiques

Top 5 Export Partners

1) United States of America –

5) Salt, sulphur, earth, stone, plaster,

and (%) share in total


lime and cement


2) United Kingdom – 20.7%

Top 5 Export Partners

1) United States of America – 24.4%

3) New Zealand – 5.3%

and (%) share in total

2) Dominican Republic – 16.1%

4) Montserrat – 3%


3) Poland – 14.5%

5) St Kitts and Nevis – 3%

4) Mozambique – 8.3% 5) Turkey – 5.4%

Merchandise Trade


Import value

Merchandise Trade


Import value

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Ships, boats and other floating


2) Electrical, electronic equipment



3) Miscellaneous edible

2) Electrical, electronic equipment


3) Organic chemicals

4) Articles of iron or steel

4) Articles of iron or steel

5) Plastics and articles thereof

5) Furniture, lighting, signs, prefabricated buildings

Top 5 Import Partners

1) United States of America –

and (%) share in total


Top 5 Import Partners

1) United States of America – 39.2%


2) China – 5.7%

and (%) share in total

2) Republic of Korea – 10.7%

3) Trinidad and Tobago – 4.5%


3) Singapore – 10.4%

Doing Business Index /189

4) United Kingdom – 4.1%

4) India – 8.1%

5) Japan – 3%

5) Colombia – 6.2%


Doing Business Index


/189 129












GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 3.1%

GDP Contribution by

Agriculture - 13%

sector (%)

Industry – 13.9%

sector (%)

Industry - 23% Services - 64%

Services – 83% Inflation rate (consumer

1.8% $1.98 $467,424,000


Merchandise Trade


Export value

Export value Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Sugars and sugar confectionery


2) Pharmaceutical products


2) Residues, wastes of food

3) Optical, photo, technical, medi-

industry, animal fodder

cal, etc apparatus

3) Electrical, electronic equipment

4) Salt, sulphur, earth, stone, plas-

4) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

ter, lime and cement

5)Wood and articles of wood,

5) Paper and paperboard, articles

wood charcoal

of pulp, paper and board

Top 5 Export Partners and 1) United States of America – 37.4% (%) share in total Exports 2) United Kingdom – 20.4%

Top 5 Export Partners

1) United States of America –

and (%) share in total


3) Nicaragua – 5.5%


2) Trinidad and Tobago – 11.5%

4) Netherlands – 5.5%

3) Guyana – 4.6%

5) India – 5.3%

Merchandise Trade

4) Jamaica – 4.4%

Merchandise Trade

5) St Lucia – 4.3%

Import value


Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Electrical, electronic equipment


2) Plastics and articles thereof

Import value


Top 5 Non-Traditional

) Electrical, electronic equipment

3) Paper and paperboard, articles


2) Pharmaceutical products

of pulp, paper and board

3) Plastics and articles thereof

4) Fertilizers

4) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

5) Miscellaneous edible

5) Paper and paperboard, articles


of pulp, paper and board

Top 5 Import Partners and 1) United States of America – (%) share in total Imports 32.2%

Top 5 Import Partners

1) United States of America – 33%

and (%) share in total

2) Trinidad and Tobago – 26.2%

2) Mexico – 11.4%


3) Suriname – 4.9%

3) China – 11.4%

4) China – 4.4%

4) Netherland Antilles – 9.6%

5) United Kingdom – 4%

5) Guatemala – 6.8%

Doing Business Index /189


Official exchange rate (per US Dollar)

(per US Dollar) Merchandise Trade



prices) Official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer


Doing Business Index





Dominican Republic









GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 15.7%

GDP Contribution by

Agriculture - 6%

sector (%)

Industry – 15.6%

sector (%)

Industry - 29.1%

Services – 68.7% Inflation rate (consumer


prices) Official exchange rate (per

Inflation rate (consumer


prices) $2.70

US Dollar) Merchandise Trade Export

Services - 64.9%

Official exchange rate (per


US Dollar) $48,315,000


Merchandise Trade Export



Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Footwear, gaiters and the like,

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Pearls, precious stones, metals,


parts thereof


coins, etc

2) Salt, sulphur, earth, stone,

2) Tobacco and manufactured

plaster, lime and cement

tobacco substitutes

3) Soaps, lubricants, waxes,

3) Cotton

candles, modelling pastes

4) Iron and steel

4) Tobacco and manufactured

5) Pharmaceutical products

tobacco substitutes

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) United States of America –

5) Optical, photo, technical,

(%) share in total Exports


medical etc apparatus

2) Haiti – 13.1%

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) Guatemala – 11.8%

3) Canada – 12.2%

(%) share in total Exports

2) Israel – 11.7%

4) China – 2.9%

3) Guyana – 11.3%

5) Netherlands – 1.6%

4) France – 8% Merchandise Trade Import

5) Egypt – 6.5%

Merchandise Trade Import





Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Pharmaceutical products


2) Cotton

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Plastics and articles thereof


2) Meat and edible meat offal

3) Paper and paperboard, articles

3) Animal, vegetable fats and

of pulp, paper and board

oils, cleave products etc

4) Cereals

4) Rubber and articles thereof

5) Iron and steel

5) Iron and steel Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

(%) share in total Imports


(%) share in total Imports


Doing Business Index /189

2) China – 12.3%

2) China – 10.6%

3) United Kingdom – 4.7%

3) Venezuela – 6.6%

4) Singapore – 4.1%

4) Mexico – 6.1%

5) Canada – 2.7%

5) Trinidad and Tobago – 4.6%


Doing Business Index /189














GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

griculture – 5.6%

GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 20.7%

sector (%)

Industry – 15.8%

sector (%)

Industry – 38.5% Services – 40.8%

Services – 78.5% Inflation rate (consumer


Inflation rate (consumer



Official exchange rate (per $2.70 US Dollar)

Official exchange rate (per

Merchandise Trade Export

Merchandise Trade Export


2.4% $205.70

US Dollar) $1,074,133,000


value Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Coffee, tea, mate and spices

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Pearls, precious stones, metals,


2) Copper and articles thereof


coins etc

3) Fish, crustaceans, molluscs,

2) Cereals

aquatic invertebrates nes

3) Ores, slag and ash

4) Cocoa and cocoa preparations

4) Sugars and sugar

5) Paper and paperboard, articles


of pulp, paper and board

5) Fish, crustaceans, molluscs,

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) United States of America –

aquatic invertebrates nes

(%) share in total Exports


Top 5 Export Partners and

1) United States of America –

2) Malaysia – 19.8%

(%) share in total Exports


3) Germany – 16.4%

2) Venezuela – 13%

4) Netherlands – 11.3%

3) United Kingdom – 11.9%

5) France – 4.8%

4) Canada – 7% 5) Germany - 5.3%

Merchandise Trade Import


Merchandise Trade Import value

value Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Meat and edible meat offal

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Electrical, electronic


2) Cereals



3) Furniture, lighting, signs,

2) Plastics and articles thereof

prefabricated buildings

3) Dairy products, eggs, honey,

4) Plastics and articles thereof

edible animal product nes

5) Wood and articles of wood,

4) Fertilizers 5) Iron and steel

wood charcoal Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

(%) share in total Imports


(%) share in total Imports


2) Barbados – 5.7%

2) Trinidad and Tobago – 18.7%

3) United Kingdom – 4.9%

3) China – 9.2%

4) Brazil – 4.3%

4) Venezuela – 7.5%

5) China – 4.3%

5) Netherland Antilles – 5.3%

Doing Business Index /189 107



Doing Business Index /189













GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 24.1%

GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 6.5%

sector (%)

Industry – 19.9%

sector (%)

Industry – 29.4%

Services – 56% Inflation rate (consumer


prices) Official exchange rate (per

Inflation rate (consumer


prices) $45

US Dollar) Merchandise Trade Export

Services – 64.1%

Official exchange rate (per


US Dollar) $1,022,151,000


Merchandise Trade Export



Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Articles of apparel, accessories,

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Beverages, spirits and vinegar


knit or crochet


2) Ores, slag and ash

2) Articles of apparel, accessories,

3) Sugars and sugar

not knit or crochet


3) Essential oils, perfumes,

4) Edible vegetables and certain

cosmetics, toiletries

roots and tubers

4) Edible fruit, nuts, peel of citrus

5) Coffee, tea, mate and spices

fruit, melons

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) United States of America –

5) Copper and articles thereof

(%) share in total Exports


Top 5 Export Partners and

1) United States of America – 84.7%

2) Canada – 15.4%

(%) share in total Exports

2) Canada – 3.1%

3) Netherlands – 8.8%

3) Mexico – 2%

4) Germany – 7.8%

4) China – 1.5%

5) United Kingdom – 6.9%

Merchandise Trade Import

5) Republic of Korea – 1.3%

Merchandise Trade Import





Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Cereals


2) Electrical, electronic

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Cotton


2) Cereals


3) Electrical, electronic

3) Plastics and articles thereof


4) Beverage, spirits and vinegar

4) Animal, vegetable fats and oils,

5) Furniture, lighting, signs,

cleavage products etc

prefabricated buildings

5) Plastics and articles thereof

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America – 35.2%

(%) share in total Imports


(%) share in total Imports

2) Dominican Republic – 29.8%

2) China – 15.3%

3) China – 9.2%

3) Mexico – 4.4%

4) Indonesia – 2.1%

4) Japan – 3.5%

5) India – 1.8%

5) Brazil – 3%

Doing Business Index /189 177

Doing Business Index /189




St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia









GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 1.8%

GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 3.1%

Industry – 23.1%

sector (%)

Industry – 17.4%

sector (%)

Services – 79.5%

Services – 75.1% Inflation rate (consumer


Inflation rate (consumer



Official exchange rate (per $2.70 US Dollar)

Official exchange rate (per

Merchandise Trade Export

Merchandise Trade Export



US Dollar) $110,764,000


value Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Electrical, electronic equipment

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Electrical, electronic equipment


2) Ships, boats and other floating


2) Edible fruit, nuts, peel of citrus


fruit, melons

3) Pharmaceutical products

3) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

4) Optical, photo, technical,

4) Paper and paperboard, articles

medical etc apparatus

of pulp, paper and board

5) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

5) Pearls, precious stones, metals,

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) United States of America –

coins etc

(%) share in total Exports


Top 5 Export Partners and

1) Dominican Republic – 56%

2) Belgium – 10%

(%) share in total Exports

2) United States of America –

Merchandise Trade Import

3) Poland – 9.7%


4) Canada – 8%

3) United Kingdom – 10.7%

5) Germany – 4.1%

4) Guyana – 6.7%


5) Barbados - 4.4% Merchandise Trade Import



Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Ships, boats and other floating




Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Electrical, electronic equipment

2) Electrical, electronic equipment


2) Meat and edible meat offal

3) Pearls, precious stones, metals,

3) Wood and articles of wood,

coins, etc

wood charcoal

4) Wood and articles of wood,

4) Plastics and articles thereof

wood charcoal

5) Pearls, precious stones, metals,

5) Meat and edible meat offal

coins, etc

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

(%) share in total Imports


(%) share in total Imports


2) Germany – 24%

2) Brazil – 10.3%

3) Mexico – 8.7%

3) Colombia – 6.1%

4) China – 4%

4) United Kingdom – 2.3% 5) Barbados – 2.1%

5) Italy – 3.5% Doing Business Index /189 101



Doing Business Index /189



St Vincent and the Grenadines










GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 5.4%

GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 8.9%

Industry – 20.3%

sector (%)

Industry -36.6%

sector (%)

Services – 54.5%

Services – 74.4% Inflation rate (consumer


Inflation rate (consumer



Official exchange rate (per $2.70 US Dollar)

Official exchange rate (per

Merchandise Trade Export

Merchandise Trade Export


1.9% $3.25

US Dollar) $1,006,754,000


value Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Ships, boats and other floating

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Pearls, precious stones, metals,




coins etc

2) Milling products, malt,

2) Fish, crustaceans, molluscs,

starches, inulin, wheat gluten

aquatic invertebrates nes

3) Works of art, collectors pieces,

3) Edible fruit, nuts, peel of


citrus fruit, melons

4) Beverages, spirits and vinegar

4) Wood and articles of wood,

5) Residues, wastes of food

wood charcoal

industry, animal fodder

5) Cereals

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) Barbados – 18.3%

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) The United States of America

(%) share in total Exports

2) Turkey – 18.1%

(%) share in total Exports

– 32.8%

Merchandise Trade Import

3) Antigua and Barbuda – 10.9%

2) Belgium – 22%

4) Greece – 10.4%

3) Canada – 11.9%

5) Switzerland – 10.1%

4) Barbados – 8.7%


5) France - 6.8%


Merchandise Trade Import

Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Ships, boats and other floating




Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Electrical, electronic

2) Pearls, precious stones, metals,



coins etc

2) Plastics and articles thereof

3) Cereals

3) Articles of iron or steel

4) Electrical, electronic equipment

4) Beverages, spirits and vinegar 5) Iron and steel

5) Meat and edible meat offal Top 5 Import Partners and (%) share in total Imports

1) Singapore – 22.7%

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) The United States of America

2) United States of America –

(%) share in total Imports

– 26.3%


2) The Netherlands – 16.6%

3) Denmark – 14.2%

3) Italy – 11.2%

4) Switzerland – 6.5%

4) China – 10.1%

5) China – 5.6%

5) Japan – 4.8%

Doing Business Index /189 82


Doing Business Index /189




Trinidad and Tobago Population




GDP Per Capita (USD)


GDP Growth Rate (%)


GDP Contribution by

Agriculture – 0.3%

sector (%)

Industry – 57.7% Services – 42%

Inflation rate (consumer


prices) Official exchange rate (per


US Dollar) Merchandise Trade Export


value Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Iron and steel


2) Fertilizers 3) Beverages, spirits and vinegar 4) Paper and paperboard, articles of pulp, paper and board 5) Fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic invertebrates nes

Top 5 Export Partners and

1) United States of America –

(%) share in total Exports

37. 9% 2) Argentina – 10.2% 3) Brazil – 8.4% 4) Chilie – 5.8% 5) Spain – 5.1%

Merchandise Trade Import


value Top 5 Non-Traditional

1) Ores, slag and ash


2) Electrical, electronic equipment 3) Articles of iron and steel 4) Plastics and articles thereof 5) Optical, photo, technical, medical, etc apparatus

Top 5 Import Partners and

1) United States of America –

(%) share in total Imports

34.8% 2) Russian Federation – 10.9% 3) Brazil – 6.9% 4) Colombia – 6.5% 5) Canada – 4.8%

Doing Business Index /189



Caribbean Export OUTLOOK 2014-2015  

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Caribbean Export OUTLOOK 2014-2015  

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