While market intelligence and research are key ingredients for success in export target markets, they are not the only components. For Caribbean firms to enter foreign markets successfully, a wide variety of complex and interrelated determining factors need to be addressed in a comprehensive, and integrated manner. These include a deliberate and increased focus on product and service innovation, building market intelligence and research capacity, providing market and economic intelligence reports, and facilitating access to this information. In keeping with the Agency’s mandate, a 2-day workshop, entitled “Leveraging CARIFORUM Trade Agreements” was hosted by Caribbean Export, in collaboration with Republic Bank Limited (RBL) from July 25-26, 2023, at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre. This workshop covered several topics that are key considerations for MSMEs that are already exporting, or those considering exporting to the European Union.
His Excellency, Ambassador Peter Cavendish, European Union Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago delivered opening remarks and reiterated the European Union’s commitment to the development of regional brands. He explained Trinidad and Tobago’s wealth of natural resources can be used to enable digital interventions, agricultural export initiatives to Europe, thereby utilising technology to promote trade and bring awareness to social impact.
Collaborating partner, Marketing Manager- Business Segments, Group Marketing and Communications Republic Bank Limited, Ms. Michelle Johnson provided brief remarks where she explained how the Caribbean Export- Republic Financial Holdings Limited partnership which was formalised in 2022 can be beneficial to the region’s private sector. Ms. Johnson explained that the bank provides a facility for firms to determine what support they require, and the bank then addresses these issues through targeted interventions such as this activity. ExporTT’s General Manager Client Services and Caribbean Export Director Dhanraj Harrypersad reinforced the Agency’s commitment to the development of the region’s private sector. He encouraged participants to ask questions and use the information shared at the workshop to take their businesses to the next level.
Ms. Mikaela Stoute – Research Officer Market Intelligence from Caribbean Export emphasized ways to assess a firm’s export readiness, leverage key market research and intelligence tools and showcased how to prepare for export promotion and enter new markets. As far as possible, real-world examples were demonstrated, highlighting the opportunities and export potential of products, but also the challenges of market access.
ExporTT and Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards presented on Trinidad and Tobago’s trade profile and the European Union’s product labelling system and how firms can access the information necessary for labelling products for export.
STUSH Marketing provided well- received presentations on how to leverage digital marketing strategies to tap into new markets. Participants were encouraged to embrace the use of digital platforms and content marketing to reach new customers and grow their businesses.
In attendance were representatives of firms producing teas, chocolate, coffee, sauces and condiments as well as service providers in animation, film and professional services. Representatives were fully engaged, open to sharing their experiences, and ready to improve their business and export plans to take advantage of the trade opportunities presented.
Caribbean Export acknowledges the support provided by the local partners and business support organisations such as the European Union Delegation to Trinidad and Tobago, Republic Financial Holdings Limited, ExporTT and Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards in partnering with us to host this event.