Dominican Republic trade mission visits Jamaica
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) led a delegation of Dominican Republic (DR) private sector business representatives to Jamaica from April 3-6, 2014, as a part of the agency’s efforts to spur increased trade between that country and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) within the framework of the CARICOM/DR Free Trade Agreement.
The delegation served as a reciprocation of the mission of Jamaican firms that visited the Dominican Republic in September 2013. The mission included a delegation of 12 Dominican Republic firms led by Escipion Oliveira, deputy executive director of Caribbean Export, and was funded under the European Union 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP).
The mission took place in tandem with the staging of Expo Jamaica 2014, in order to showcase the extent of Jamaica’s export capacity to the DR firms. Caribbean Export executed the mission with the support of Jamaica Promotions Ltd (JAMPRO), the Centre for Export and Investment in the DR (CEI-RD), the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and the DR Embassy to Jamaica.
The events commenced with an informative business forum, which was chaired by Robert Scott, Caribbean Export’s board of directors’ representative in Jamaica, and presided over by Diane Edwards, the president of JAMPRO, José Tomás Ares Germán, DR ambassador to Jamaica and Achim Schaffert, head of the Economic, Social Development and Trade Section of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and The Cayman Islands.
The forum gave the DR firms guidance on conducting business in Jamaica with contributions from other public and private sector representatives from the ministry of foreign affairs and foreign trade in Jamaica, the ministry of industry investment and commerce and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce.
With a view to fostering trade and investment relations in the CARIFORUM region the agency is actively promoting public/private sector dialogue, as well as, the engagement of exporters, importers and investors in throughout the region in collaboration, among others, with the CARICOM/CARIFORUM Secretariat and the European Union.
Over the four-day period, approximately 60 business to business (B2B) meetings between Jamaican and DR firms were executed with some DR firms participating in Expo Jamaica 2014 as buyers. Other DR firms visited the Expo to increase their awareness of the Jamaican private sector and the products manufactured in the local economy. The firms were also taken on pharmacy and supermarket tours in the city to allow for an evaluation of competitive products currently in the market. The firms concluded their tour in private dialogue with the DR embassy in Jamaica.
Over the past two years, Caribbean Export has facilitated similar missions to increase trade between the Dominican Republic and CARICOM. The agency intends to support the expansion of trade between CARICOM countries and the Dominican Republic through a series of programs with the CARICOM/CARIFORUM Secretariat.