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Caribbean Project

There is a long history of trade between Newfoundland and Labrador and the Caribbean islands, dating back to the export of salt fish in exchange for rum.

In modern times, though the climates between the two partners are very different, Newfoundland and the Caribbean region face similar challenges. As small, island economies, the jurisdictions both must face the effects of climate change, coastal zone erosion, and strive to provide efficient and economical services when economies of scale are difficult to achieve and major markets are distant.

These challenges – though experienced in different parts of the world – are shared, and as such the solutions created to address them can be shared too. Newfoundland and Labrador’s firms are well positioned to provide such solutions in the Caribbean, where the markets are of a size appropriate to their experience and capabilities.

With the support of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and The Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry, and Innovation, NEIA’s Caribbean Project has actively assisted its members in the investigation of, preparation for, and entry in to the Caribbean region.

A History of Activity

In the development of international business relationships, it is critical to show a genuine commitment to potential partners – which requires sustained activity in the market. NEIA has been engaged in a sustained program of international business development activities related to the Caribbean region since 2014.

NEIA has arranged incoming delegations, provided expert market intelligence through workshops and information session, helped develop over 20 market-entry strategies for firms, and has led four missions to the region. Key to NEIA’s approach has been the requirement for participants to acquire a market entry strategy to validate opportunities and pre-qualify contacts in the region before any outgoing activity is considered for support.

Activity since 2014 has included:

  • April 2014 – NEIA holds “Spotlight on the Caribbean” – a three-day event including an incoming delegation from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Government of Barbados, and Canadian trade commissioner/OLIFI officer, as well as a networking event and International Financial Institution (IFI) workshop.
  • June 2014 – NEIA receives commissioned report to provide: an assessment of the capabilities and capacity of local firms to export their products or services to the Caribbean; the identification of priority markets within the Caribbean; the identification and qualification of opportunities and leads that align to the capabilities and capacities of local firms; and the development of individualized market intelligence and strategy reports.
  • June 2014 – NEIA facilitates development of a ‘custom-tailored’ version of the Procurement Opportunity and Delivery System (PODS) to target International Financial Institution (IFI) work in the Caribbean region.
  • September 2014 – Personalized market entry strategies for the Caribbean completed for eleven firms and organizations.
  • November 2014 – NEIA holds private luncheon with the High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago for project participants.
  • February 2015 – NEIA leads its first business development mission to the region.
  • April 2015 – NEIA holds “Doing Business in the Caribbean” information session – hosted by market experts.
  • May 2015 – Personalized market entry strategies for the Caribbean completed for four additional firms and organizations.
  • May 2015 – NEIA holds “Banking in the Caribbean” information session – hosted by senior officials from Scotiabank.
  • June 2015 – NEIA leads its second business development mission to the region.
  • October 2015 – Personalized market entry strategies for the Caribbean completed for five additional firms and organizations.
  • November 2015 – NEIA leads its third business development mission to the region.
  • September 2016 – NEIA hosts incoming Caribbean delegation including Trade Commissioners from Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago as well as representatives from the Caribbean Development Bank and Inter-American Development Bank.
  • March 2017 – Personalized market entry strategies for the Caribben completed for four additional firms and organizations.
  • April 2017 – NEIA leads its fourth business development mission to the region.

Join the Program

Does your firm have an interest in learning more about NEIA’s Caribbean Project or in joining in on the activities? Contact us to have a discussion and to learn more.

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