From left: EU Delegate Andrea Serpagli, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce Sandy Peters-Phillips, and Director of Trade Okolo John-Patrick. (Photo: API)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines will have a national export strategy by December 2019. The project has been in the pipeline since 2004, however, could not take off until now, due to lack of funding.  

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce officially launched the consultancy to develop this country’s national export strategy late last month. 

Director of Trade Okolo John-Patrick, in welcoming participants, said she was happy to see so many persons at the launch.  

John-Patrick said the Trade Department has been trying to get the strategy at this final stage for a while and that they are excited to have a launch.  

She expressed hope that it “will proceed quickly and successfully”, adding that the consultants will be in SVG until Aug. 9, 2019 and will present the final document in December. 

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce Sandy Peters-Phillips expressed pleasure to be at the launch of the national export strategy.  Peters-Phillips said the strategy is a symbol of government’s commitment to businesses, and “civil society to use trade as a tool to create economic opportunities for a young and growing population, using trade as a means to achieve sustainable economic growth that will assist in the changing in our external trade position”. 

She said the export strategy will include an analysis of this country’s trade performance, and help to reduce the cost of doing business, and, among others, promote SVG as a business partner of choice.

Team leader and EU Delegate Andrea Serpagli urged participants to actively participate in the consultancy, emphasising that their collaboration and support are of utmost importance. 

He noted that participants will be able to identify present constraints and gaps in the system, and point out solutions.  The document is a tool to “support the private sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to export better and more,” Serpagli stated.The other consultant on the national export strategy for SVG is Michael Seepersaud.  

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  1. Better late than never, but one has to ask, after nearly twenty years in office, why only now? Is this to be yet another one of those pre-election gimmick just like that FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL? Are we about to stop begging foreign governments for our upkeep? Has this family run government suddenly woken up to the benefits of Work and the Export Trade? Will “a leopard ever changes its spots”?


  2. How much can an export strategy for SVG cost to research and put in place. After all we have just about nothing to export. I could have completed this in a week and have written reports and a written strategy by the end of that week. I would have done that pro-bono, like our national hero Grant Connell.

    We have no new manufacturers, those that we had left when they realised what we had elected. Other manufacturing investors slunk away frightened that SVG may adopt the Venezuelan strategy of grabbing all private industry. Investing in SVG is just not worth the risk, not before, not now, and not in a ULP ruled future.

    We must also remember endemic skulduggery doesn’t help our image either.

    I was in Grenada last week, the industry there, the manufacturing units are most impressive. There are hundreds of them, all working like crazy.

    Remember under the capitalist system each privately owned company is responsible for their own export strategies. Under a communist system its the state that requires the strategy.


  3. We must ask ourselves these questions. Why are so many individuals here in SVG out of work? Why is it that only mainly Government Jobs that are sometimes available? And where does the Government obtain its money to pay the wages to the people it employs?

    To answer those questions, we must first ask, what kind of policies our Government have been pursuing over the years. How successful have they been in generating volumes of economic activity here that could employ individuals, produce wealth and pay taxes.

    Then we can move on to ask, why is our democracy the same as that of North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba? In addition, why is Venezuela is in such a mess too?

    Business and economy


    1. James, there is more opportunity here than ever before. There are still empty spaces on the sidewalks to set up your own street-vendor business. Street vendor is undeniably the largest employment sector in the country!


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