Executive Director of Invest SVG, Bernadette Ambrose-Black says that their workshop “Surviving the Trade Jungle — Export and Import Procedures Made Easy” is the first step in a two-pronged approach to giving back to clients, and the investing and exporting communities.
“Invest SVG is giving back because we care,” Ambrose-Black said during the opening of the workshop in Kingstown.
She said the workshop was facilitated in part by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) through the European Union, is the continuation of a grant executed last year.
This grant was also used to fund an export readiness seminar and the Vincy Innovators Expo (VIPO), which was designed to stimulate the export development potential of local manufacturers.
She added that the second step after Monday’s workshop entails filming a series of videos with the entities represented at the workshop.
Several businesspersons participated in the workshop, including persons from the arts and crafts industry, the hotel and tourism industry, the agro-processing business and the food and beverage industry.
Ambrose-Black said the workshop and the series of videos is being done with the aim of filling the information gap about how to proceed when dealing with departments like Customs and Excise and the Ministry of Trade, and the process of doing business.
She added that the videos will be launched at a later date, along with easy to read booklets to help with the ease of doing business.
The Executive Director said Invest SVG continues to look for ways to improve the business climate and economic situation of SVG, so focus is being placed on among other things, the development of women in rural areas, entrepreneurship, poverty alleviation, public awareness and agriculture.
Invest SVG has just secured a 37,000-euros grant from the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) that will be used to develop an agricultural project aimed at empowering women in rural communities.
Topics discussed at Monday’s workshop include, the role and importance of the registering or becoming a member of the Chamber of Industry and commerce, the scope of incentives and concessions in the tourism sector, the evaluation of factory/facility and the evaluation of the products for export, labelling and packaging, licensing procedures and import and export procedures for the agro-processing and tourism sectors.
Participants were encouraged to ask questions of the organisations represented, which included regulators in the import and export arena. Participants were also encouraged to share experiences as they relate to activities dealing with imports and exports and to ask questions specific to their individual businesses, regarding issues that are unique to them and to obtain recommended solutions to alleviate the situation.