The session will feature an open dialogue with the agri-business sector, highlighting opportunities within CARICOM and beyond, and key issues that hinder Dominican producers and exporters from taking advantage of these opportunities.
An overview of the opportunities for trade within the region as well as within the European Union (EU) market will provide the context for the open dialogue. Whilst challenges in accessing both CARICOM and EU markets will be a major part of the conversation, focus will be on two critical issues that tend to retard business opportunities in CARICOM, namely existence of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) as well as Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and export transportation and logistics. It is well known that the combined effects of these issues have long frustrated exporters and businesses in the Region. Practical ways of addressing these issues were discussed and endorsed by CARICOM Ministers of Agriculture at the recently concluded Caribbean Week of Agriculture, in Barbados in October this year. These solutions will also be tabled at the upcoming session with the view to defining an agenda that local producers and exporters, as well as agencies that facilitate business and trade can commit to taking decisive action on.
The DMA and DEXIA will be supported in this dialogue by a team from Trinidad and Tobago and St. Lucia namely Ms. Diane Francis, IICA’s International Specialist in Policies and Trade, and Mr. Allister Glean, IICA’s International Specialist in Agribusiness and Value Chains. The team will share current information and analysis and facilitate the discussion towards finding solutions that can improve capacity for increased business and trade within CARICOM and beyond.
The session comes at a critical point for the agribusiness private sector in Dominica as there are ongoing efforts to enhance the sector following the effects of Hurricane Maria and recent flooding.