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July 14, 2016

Trade Mission Travels To The DR

trade pact

June 27, 2016

The Antigua and Barbuda Trade Mission is now in the Dominican Republic after a “very successful” leg in Cuba.

Reflecting on the week of different engagements including business to business meetings, Ambassador Dr. Clarence Henry indicated that there were a myriad of opportunities and a visit to a trade exhibition. He said the timing was perfect and that this must be attributed to proper planning and coordination between the Cuban Embassy in St. John’s and Ambassador Peter Benjamin in Havana.

“It was a great opportunity once again to support of manufacturers in the hope that they will seize opportunities to make contacts and build new relationships that will redound to the benefit of Antigua and Barbuda,” Ambassador Henry mentioned.

According to the ambassador, who is also the Deputy Head of Mission, there is much to take away including the need to develop more areas for expansion. “We see what others are doing and we should see how those ideas could be tweaked to fit and take advantage of the Antigua and Barbuda circumstance. We saw simple things that could be done and as we take businesses to different countries the forging of alliances and collaboration become critical. The mission has lived up to and in many instance surpassed our expectations. It was an excellent week.” he stated.

Echoing his sentiments was a member of the mission, Casford Lewis of A&F Manufacturing. “We manufacturers need to work more closely with the authorities to develop the manufacturing sector. The end result we are seeking is a more vibrant manufacturing sector which would give us more negotiating power,” he noted.

Lewis is calling on manufacturers and producers to adopt critical thinking and to give greater recognition of the value of things they do. “We are now seeing the strong positive recognition being given to us by this Administration. However, we must

collaborate more amongst ourselves and share experiences, look at seminars and workshops to strengthen our capacities,” he remarked.

Agreeing with Lewis’ comments, the General Manager of Antigua Dairy, Antoine Bavay, suggested that ‘more diversification in the manufacturing sector would also lead to the empowerment of players in the sector’. He is of the view that small business is critical to the economic sustainability of the country and he feels that the efforts of Minister E.P Chet Greene, the Office of the NAO and the Ministry of Trade must be commended for this venture.

Similarly, Rosemarie McMaster proprietor of the world famous “Susie’s Hot Sauce” was also happy with the Cuba leg of the Trade Mission. She described the mission as ‘outstanding’ and she expressed the hope that trade links may be opened with Cuba ‘not only for Antigua and Barbuda, but also for the Cuban people’. McMaster, who continued the family business since 1990, said, “without a doubt I am truly impressed.”

For their part, Compliance and Accommodations Officer, Ministry of Tourism, Dulcie Looby- Greene along with Product Development Officer for Barbuda, Veneta Burton, also expressed similar sentiments describing the overall trip to Cuban was a resounding success. They are also looking forward to represent Antigua and Barbuda in the exposition in the Dominican Republic from June 27 – 30, 2016.

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