Agency helping to meet SME export needs
Benchmark assessments are an important part of a new approach to enhancing the capacity of trade-promotion organizations (TPOs) and business support organizations (BSOs) throughout the region, says David Gomez, Caribbean Export Development Agency’s manager of trade and export development.
He said benchmark assessments provided for organizations across the Caribbean to more effectively meet export-development needs of the private sector, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.
His comments came recently as five members of the Caribbean Export Development Agency and its subregional office in Santo Domingo received training from the International Trade Centre, Geneva, on their Benchmarking Assessment Tool and methodology.
“The programme . . . should help to bestow organizational relevance to TPOs and BSOs as it relates to the export development needs of the Caribbean region. [It] is expected to usher in a new era of competency which should translate into higher capacity for providing export-related support programmes,” he explained.
“This includes helping enterprises to take advantage of trade agreements such as the CARIFORUM-[European Union] Economic Partnership Agreements; and on the other hand will help Caribbean Export to provide a more robust and effective toolbox for TPO- and BSO-strengthening and development,” Gomez said.
The assessment was “only one step in the process of BSO capacity building being conducted by Caribbean Export under the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, and it also involves an institutional mapping component to help identify and confirm the landscape for trade support agencies at the national level,” he added.
The training was attended by a number of local and regional agencies.
The results of the assessments and institutional mappings will be useful for helping agencies to strengthen their organizational mandates, remove programmatic over-lapping; and clarify their services offerings to ensure that they are meeting the needs of the private sector. (PR/MM)