October 19, 2010
Chamber of Industry and Commerce launches website

The St Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SVGCIC) officially launched the web portal and shop here.{{more}}

The initiatives launched on Wednesday, October 13, at the CIC Conference Room, are geared towards creating more opportunities in international trade.

The portal also serves as a global trading gateway that gives businesses throughout the OECS region increased access to regional markets.

Shafia London, Executive Director of the CIC, said that the move to implement the web portal came as a result of a study conducted in 2008 by the United States Agency for International Development. The study was done to determine this country’s economic competitiveness.

London said that the report identified threats and weaknesses and made a determination that this country, as well as other territories of the OECS are far behind other countries as a result of limited access and use of the Internet in business endeavours.

It was from this report that the idea for creating a trade portal was born, said London.

“The portal is a mechanism through which we hope those threats identified could be overcome,” she explained.

London further stated that the OECS countries are currently moving towards a single economic space. The launching of the portal will assist this process greatly, she said. London expressed optimism that new iniatives would open up connectivity between buyers and sellers across the member states.

President of the CIC Angus Steele said that the launching of the trade portal was an historic moment, particularly in the context that CARICOM countries are entering new trading arrangements that aim at deepening the level of integration among member countries through the creation of a single trading space.

He added that the region’s geographical makeup makes it difficult for the creation of efficient buying and selling initiatives.

“Micro and small enterprises are unable to compete on a level playing field,” Steele said.

He contended that businesses need to look for better ways to conduct their trade.

“The portal is one of the initiatives needed to close gaps,” Steele said, adding that the Internet eliminates many challenges that companies face while expanding their business space.

He is anticipating that through effective marketing, other countries from the region and even outside would look to make use of the website. (DD)