UK seeks to boost trade across the Caribbean
BARBADOS and other countries in Latin American and the Caribbean (LATAC) may receive a timely boost in commercial activity from the United Kingdom (UK) in the near future.
This follows the virtual staging for the first time of the annual LATAC Roadshow by the UK Department of International Trade, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 1,000 companies in the UK used the week-long event to enhance their commercial growth in the LATAC region and this may be an avenue to bring relief to many Caribbean economies that are under pressure because of the fall-out from health and safety restrictions that have impacted heavily on businesses.
UK Trade Envoy for the Commonwealth Caribbean, Darren Henry said there was increased interest from the UK in many markets and in particular the Caribbean.
“I’m focused on developing greater trading opportunities between the UK and the Caribbean and see trade as a key pillar to delivering mutual prosperity,” he said in a media release from the British High Commission in Barbados.
“The UK did £3.2 billion of trade with the Caribbean last year and there are opportunities to grow this across a number of sectors.”
Members of the DIT Caribbean team hosted one-to-one meetings with UK companies to educate and inform them of market opportunities for trade and investment and how best to do business in the Caribbean.
Sectors of interest included renewable energy and digitisation, infrastructure, medical and healthcare, food and drink and education.
Dr. Peter Ramsaroop, the chief executive officer of GO Invest Guyana, one of the participants in the roadshow, highlighted the opportunities and advantages of building mutually advantageous trade between the UK and the Caribbean during a presentation.
“I’m delighted to be able to speak to over 500 UK companies to highlight growth and opportunities for trade and investment in Guyana,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to continuing our work with the DIT Caribbean Team and with the trade envoy, Darren Henry. We look forward to hosting him when he visits the region later in the year.”
Participants on both sides of the Atlantic were made fully aware of the benefits of the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement, which has now come into effect from January 1 this and has been signed by 14 members of CARIFORUM.
“This was a great introduction to the opportunities offered in Caribbean markets,” Acrow Global Ltd. general sales manager, Diego Menard said. “I will certainly be looking at investment opportunities in the region.”
Acrow, trading as Mabey Bridge, specialises in civil engineering, roads, bridges, Rural and urban development.
Up to two years ago, total trade between the UK and CARIFORUM was estimated at over BB $8.5 billion. The UK exported just under BB $1.5 billion in goods to the region and just under BB $3.5 billion in services.