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Seminar at CGCS 2007 to spearhead TFOC/Caribbean export development activities in the region
Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFOC) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s partnership*, newly inked in a May 2007 Cooperation Agreement, will be effectively launched at the Caribbean Gifts and Crafts Show in Curacao in September with the delivery, by Patty Johnson, one of Canada’s pre-eminent design and crafts experts (and judge at this year’s CGCS), of a Seminar on the Canadian Market for Gifts and Crafts (Saturday, September 29, 2007 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM). “This Seminar,” advises Veona Maloney of Caribbean Exports, “is targeted at current exporters and export-ready producers in the region who are interested in the Canadian market and will also include one-to–one meeting to discuss any issues and concerns with Ms. Johnson.”
For producers looking to expand their sales beyond current markets, especially with sights set on the lucrative (and proportionately well-sized) Canadian market, this opportunity is not to be missed. Not only will attendees of this seminar receive very useful information and direct counselling but their participation also ensures their candidacy for involvement in the next phases of the program which include Product Adaptation (focussing on ways to develop their products for the Canadian market) and a Trade Mission of Caribbean exporters to Canada which is planned to take place in conjunction with Canada’s largest craft and gift fair – the Canadian Gift and Tableware Association Show in Toronto.
In formulating this program, TFOC and Caribbean Export focussed on the need for market knowledge and all that entails in terms of key issues such as design/product adaptability, demand trends and logistical considerations. TFOC Project Manager Philip Kelly explains that “an essential component of success for companies looking to expand their export trade is the accuracy of practical knowledge they acquire regarding new markets of interest. This includes everything from trends in design, consumption, sales, and distribution to logistics, pricing, competition concerns and all other aspects that impact successful expansion. TFOC plays an important role in bringing this knowledge to the exporter, and in our current program with Caribbean Export, we are delighted to have someone of Patty’s calibre working with us. Patty brings an incredible depth of knowledge and experience to the table – invaluable to exporters seeking a realistic account of markets and potentials from which to plan and move forward effectively.”
To augment the seminar, Philip Kelly will present additional material regarding TFOC’s information and promotional services available for free to all Caribbean exporters. “A guiding principle of TFOC,” Mr. Kelly points out, “is positive social development through economic and trade development. Providing long term, practical support to exporters such as those participating in this great Show in Curacao is what we do and I want to ensure that the participants are fully aware of this commitment and service so that they can benefit from it.”
For her part, Ms. Johnson, keen to return to the Caribbean to commence this program, explains: “I'm quite optimistic after reviewing the participants as there are many companies/producers working with indigenous materials and regional processes. I’m looking forward to a very active program working closely with these innovative companies.”
Donning multiple hats of judge, guide and facilitator, Patty’s visit this time round is guaranteed to be quite “active”. The sights of beautiful Curacao may just have to wait.
Producers/Exporters wishing to participate in the Seminar and One-to-One meetings should contact Veona Maloney at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 246-436-0578
*This seminar is the first event of the Gift and Crafts sector component of the broader TFOC-Caribbean Export, CIDA-Funded program which also includes Services, Investment and Web Portal development elements. As Taiana Mora-Ramis, Caribbean Export's Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency describes it: “The program provides a framework for enhancing the export capacity of the region's Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and will also augment the trade support capabilities of Business Support Organisations (BSOs) in the region.”