July 31, 2014
Invest SVG workshop aiming for improved economic state in SVG

Executive Director of Invest SVG Bernadette Ambrose-Black says that their workshop “Surviving the trade jungle – Export and Import Procedures Made Easy” is the first step in a two-pronged approach to giving back to clients and the investing and exporting communities.{{more}}

“Invest SVG is giving back because we care,” said Ambrose-Black during the opening of the workshop, which was held in the conference room of Invest SVG, located in the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) building on Granby Street.

She said that the workshop, which was facilitated in part by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), through a grant by the European Union, is the continuation of a grant which was executed last year.

This grant was also used to fund an export readiness seminar and the Vincy Innovators Expo (VIPO), which was designed to stimulate the export development potential of local manufacturers.

She added that the second step after Monday’s workshop entails filming a series of videos with the entities represented at the workshop.

The workshop saw participation from a number of business people, including people from the arts and craft industry, the hotel and tourism industry, the agro-processing business and the food and beverage industry.

Ambrose-Black said that the workshop and the series of videos are being done with the aim of filling the information gap about how to proceed when dealing with departments such as Customs and Excise and the Ministry of Trade and the process of doing business.

She added that the videos will be launched at a later date, along with easy to read booklets to help with the ease of doing business.

The executive director said that Invest SVG continues to look for ways to improve the business climate and economic situation of SVG; so focus is being placed on, among other things, the development of women in rural areas, entrepreneurship, poverty alleviation, public awareness and agriculture.

Invest SVG has just secured a 37,000 Euro grant from the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), which will be used to develop an agricultural project aimed at empowering women in rural communities.

Topics discussed at Monday’s workshop included: the role and importance of the registering or becoming a member of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce; the scope of incentives and concessions in the tourism sector; the evaluation of factory/facility and the evaluation of the products for export; labelling and packaging; licensing procedures; and import and export procedures for the agro-processing and tourism sectors.

At Monday’s workshop, participants were encouraged to ask questions of the organisations represented, which included organisations that regulate the import and export arena. Participants were also encouraged to share experiences as they relate to activities dealing with imports and exports and to ask questions specific to their individual businesses regarding issues that are unique to them and to obtain recommended solutions to alleviate the situation.

“This is the opportunity to speak with and liaise with those who can influence policy, so that amendments are implemented. This assists not only your business, but it creates a healthier business-friendly environment, for both local and foreign investors. The opportunity also exists to have the existing procedures and any ready to implement changes be explained by the practitioners,” said Ambrose-Black on Monday, while adding that after the workshop, the participants would have attained a comprehensive knowledge of what is involved and an appreciation for the fact that the Government values the opportunity to demonstrate that they care about the growth and development of local and foreign businesses.