BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Caribbean Export has announced the successful conclusion of its regular procedure call for proposal issued June 6, 2012. A total of 92 firms and business support organisations (BSOs) from across the region were awarded approximately 2.5 million euros in grants.
This programme, funded by the EU under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), has awarded over 142 grants over the past 12 months spanning 2011 to 2012.
Grants have been awarded to export businesses across a multitude of sectors with by and far the largest sector awarded being manufacturing. The funding provided to these beneficiaries will be used to modernize equipment, upgrade facilities to international food and quality standards, enhance products and packaging, implement alternative energy systems, train staff, develop collateral materials, market and promote products and services.
“The direct assistance grant scheme is continuously one of the most effective mechanisms for enabling companies in the 15 CARIFORUM member states to improve their competitiveness and achieve more effective penetration of the export market,” said Pamela Coke Hamilton, executive director of Caribbean Export.
The scheme is part of continuing efforts to enhance the technical capacity among firms in the area of proposal writing across all 15 CARIFORUM member states. With just over 71% of firms and BSOs either achieving or exceeding pass mark of 60% under the recently concluded regular procedure call for proposal, it is clear that member states are benefiting exponentially from the training received from Caribbean Export’s proposal writing workshops.
In Barbados, beneficiaries have been from manufacturing, the creative industries and professional services sectors. The manufacturing sector has reported growth in export performance from January to May 2012, and for a country that is heavily reliant on tourism, the development of export businesses in other sectors such as manufacturing can only be good for the long term success of Barbados.
The exportation of products and services from the Caribbean is crucial for economic success and social development of the region and Caribbean businesses must be able to compete on the international stage. Caribbean Export’s direct assistance grant scheme has provided a platform that supports Caribbean business to become more innovative and compete internationally and thus supporting the mantra of taking Caribbean excellence to the world.