Local producers of agri-based food, beverage and body-care products will explore opportunities for business and trade in CARICOM and the wider export market during the “Business and Trading Opportunities for the Regional Agri - Food Sector Forum” scheduled for Thursday November 15th from 8:30am – 12:00 noon.
The premier event hosted by The St Lucia Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Inter American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) is one of the activities of Global Entrepreneurship Week and Business Month and will feature an open dialogue with the agri- business sector. Key issues that hinder St. Lucian producers and exporters will be addressed and opportunities for trade which exists within the region and the European Union market will be highlighted.
The forum comes at a critical point for the agribusiness private sector on the island and will advance ongoing efforts to build capacity for agri-business and exports in 2018.
During the recently concluded Caribbean Week of Agriculture held in Barbados in October earlier this year, IICA’s International Specialist in Agribusiness and Value Chains, Mr. Allister Glean informed that “the meeting discussed and identified the existence of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs), Export Transportation and logistics as critical issues that retard business opportunities in CARICOM and it is well known that these issues have long frustrated exporters and businesses in the Region, therefore, during the forum this will be a major talking point”. Mr. Glean confirmed that practical ways of addressing these issues were discussed and endorsed by CARICOM Ministers of Agriculture. These solutions will also be tabled at the Business Week with the view to defining an agenda that local producers and exporters, as well as agencies that facilitate business and trade can commit to taking decisive action on.
The Chamber will be supported in this dialogue by a team from IICA Trinidad and Tobago namely Mr. Gregg Rawlins, IICA Representative and past trade negotiator for the government of Barbados and Ms. Diane Francis, IICA’s International Specialist in Policies and Trade, and from the CARICOM Secretariat, namely Mr. Nigel Durrant, Agricultural Trade Specialist. Collectively, the team will share current information and analysis and facilitate the discussion towards finding solutions that can improve capacity for increased business and trade within CARICOM and beyond.
Producers of fresh, processed agri-food and other agri-based products are encouraged to be part of this conversation which will provide clarity to some of the critical issues that currently limit their capacity to grow their business through effective participation in the competitive regional and global markets.
Seating is limited and all interested businesses are invited to contact the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce at 4523165 or Ms. Valerie Donat at the office of IICA at 451-6760 or 4516761.