The Barbados Private Sector Trade Team (BPSTT), a Division of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), recently launched a project geared towards building the capacity of select segments of the Barbados private sector to increase exports. Funding for this project is being provided by the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

Ms. Lisa Callender, a regional consultant based in Jamaica has been selected as the Lead Consultant on the project. Ms. Callender has considerable experience in leading, managing and implementing short term development projects in the areas of Private Sector Development, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Development, Trade and Export Development, Product and Market Development among other areas.

Lisa Callender has previously worked on assignments on behalf of the World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Development Bank Technological Consultancy Network among other institutions.

The sectors of focus for this project will include agro-processed goods and tourism distribution services (namely travel agency/tour operator services) among others. Technical assistance will be provided to firms in the selected sectors to assist them in taking advantage of opportunities to export to the European market in particular.

Joel Richards - Trade Consultant with the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team: The expected conclusion date for this project is the end of August, 2012.

Special attention will be given to non-tariff measures, standards related to health, the environment, consumer information, regional content (origin), import licensing, labelling and packaging, and other access requirements not reflected in tariffs. Export guides and action plans for each sector with specific firm-level recommendations on the activities needed to increase productivity, upgrade products and increase exports will also form part of the project.

According to Mr. Joel Richards, Trade Consultant with the Barbados Private Sector Trade Team, “The overall goal of the project is to improve the competitiveness of Barbados’ private sector. At a time when we are engaging our bilateral trading partners in unprecedented ways, we need to ensure that the local private sector is given a platform to capitalise on the opportunities available in overseas markets. Seizing these opportunities is also vital in the context of creating jobs, generating foreign exchange earnings and exposing the local private sector to the dynamics of international trade.”

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