Regional trade is a key component for economic stability across the Caribbean, and greater trade from the agricultural sector could significantly contribute towards the lowering of the regions food import bill from outside of the region. It is in view of this that the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has support regional firms to attend the Dominican Republic’s Agroalimentaria Fair; the country’s largest and most important food and beverage trade fair.
Six CARICOM countries participated in this years‘ event, funded by the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, and presented a range of products; including 10 Saints Brewery Company Ltd from Barbados; Pomeroon Oil Mill Inc. from Guyana; the Saint Lucia Trade Promotions Agency (TEPA), representing three companies from Saint Lucia; Coffee Solutions from Jamaica; Suriname Candied Fruits N.V., and the Trinidad and Tobago Fine Cocoa Company Ltd. Their inclusion promotes stronger trade and investment cooperation between CARICOM and the Dominican Republic.
“The participation of CARICOM firms at Agroalimentaria for the first time is a significant development contribution towards the increase of regional trade. In addition, the participation of international buyers also enhances the viability of the event for CARICOM firms attending to achieve penetration not only of the DR market, but also those outside of the region,” expressed Escipion Oliveira, Deputy Executive Director at Caribbean Export.
The Agency supported buyers from Europe, and an overall total of more than 170 buyers attended the event. With some 1734 business-to-business meetings taking place over the three days of the event, the companies are expected to achieve some good results.
In addition to the CARICOM firms the Caribbean Export supported five Haitian companies: CARRIBEX; Berling S.A.; SUNFOOD; Tropic and Belzeb, as well as the Cacao Cluster of the Dominican Republic to participate under the 10th EDF Haiti-DR Bi-National Programme.