The local private sector was again a no show at a regional business forum facilitated by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) under the European Union-funded 10th European Development Fund Regional Private Sector Development Programme, having missed out on two major product promotion opportunities created by the same agency just over two years ago.
Stabroek Business has learnt that during the period September 11 – 13, 20 Caribbean firms, 14 of them from Jamaica, visited the Dominican Republic under an initiative aimed at exploring trade opportunities with that country. Other participating firms included enterprises from St Lucia, Haiti, Grenada and Guadeloupe, though private sector firms from Guyana, despite their repeated pronouncements on strengthening ties with non-English-speaking countries, did not participate in the event.
Just over two years ago Guyana twice missed out on opportunities to be considered for international marketing of locally produced products under initiative funded by Caribbean Export. Then, business houses from the region were invited to send submissions, including videos to be used in marketing tools for their businesses in Europe. The best entries were afforded the opportunity of marketing their goods and services at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Guyana also missed out on a subsequent opportunity afforded by Caribbean Export to afford local architects the opportunity to display their work in the United Kingdom.
The likelihood that Guyana may not have received notification in a timely manner arose at a subsequent Caribbean Export forum in Guyana though the regional body insisted that all of its member countries receive notification of events. This time around and following an enquiry by this newspaper a Caribbean Export spokesperson said that Guyana’s failure to respond to the invitation to have local manufacturers visit the Dominican Republic was definitely not due to a lack of notification. In fact the Caribbean Export official said that information on the Dominican Republic opportunity was definitely dispatched to Guyana. Stabroek Business was unable to reach the designated official local Caribbean Export ‘point man’,’ Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Consumer Protection Dhaneshwar Deonarine for comment.
The initiative sought to, among other things, explore opportunities for increased trade between participating countries and the Dominican Republic through public/private sector dialogue, the execution of Business to Business meetings; and the establishment of relationships between the business support organisations in participating countries and the Dominican Republic.