Regional Small Businesses Benefit From International Technical Support

Five representatives from the Barbadian private and public sectors joined over 20 specialists from around the region for Module 1 of the export marketing training programme in Barbados recently to gain insights to improve the export business strategies of their members, clients and in some cases their own businesses as well.

Courtesy - Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS)

Courtesy - Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS)

The three-day workshop, organised by InWEnt-Capacity Building International Germany in collaboration with Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) was opened by Barbados’ Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Empowerment, Innovation, Trade, Industry and Commerce, the Honourable Patrick Todd.

He challenged small businesses to be proactive in their approach to retooling, being adaptable and open to the opportunities that change brings. He also called for greater access to working capital, challenging the commercial banking sector to implement E-Commerce frameworks that make it easier for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises to conduct business globally.

Head of political, trade, regional integration, press and information section of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Elsa Fenet said, “The EU fully supports this initiative by InWent and Caribbean Export to bring the private sector small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as business support organisations on board to benefit from this training programme on Export Marketing.“

Fenet added that, “Even though it is the public sector that negotiates trade agreements on behalf of the general population it is the private sector which propels the provisions which have been carved out and also benefits from the opportunities enshrined in the treaties.”

Workshop participants agreed that the knowledge imparted gave them a greater appreciation of the trade opportunities that exist through the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU as well as their own need to put systems in place to take advantage of the EPA. The Barbadian jewellery and specialty food sectors benefitted from the workshop.

Module 2 of the programme will reconvene in October. Manager, Core Services, Caribbean Export, Veona Maloney noted “All 15 CARIFORUM countries will have the opportunity to benefit from this informative training initiative by the end of the programme in October 2011.”

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