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Patrons at the Cacao Cluster of the Dominican Republic booth at Agroalimentaria Fair.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday June 9, 2017 – Regional trade is a key component for economic stability across the Caribbean, and greater trade from the agricultural sector could significantly contribute towards lowering the import bill which regional countries have to foot to get products outside the Caribbean.

And it was against this background that the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) supported regional firms to attend last month’s Agroalimentaria Fair – the Dominican Republic’s largest and most important food and beverage trade fair.

Companies from six Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries participated in the event, funded by the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, and presented a range of products: 10 Saints Brewery Company Ltd from Barbados; Pomeroon Oil Mill Inc. from Guyana; the St Lucia Trade Promotions Agency (TEPA), representing three companies from St Lucia; Coffee Solutions from Jamaica; Suriname Candied Fruits N.V.; and the Trinidad and Tobago Fine Cocoa Company Ltd.

“The participation of CARICOM firms at Agroalimentaria for the first time is a significant development contribution towards the increase of regional trade,” said Deputy Executive Director at Caribbean Export Escipion Oliveira.

Deputy Executive Director at Caribbean Export Escipion Oliveira

“In addition, the participation of international buyers also enhances the viability of the event for CARICOM firms attending to achieve penetration not only of the DR market, but also those outside of the region.”

An overall total of more than 170 buyers attended the event.  With some 1734 business-to-business meetings taking place over the three days of the event, the companies are expected to achieve some good results.

In addition to the CARICOM firms, Caribbean Export supported five Haitian companies – CARRIBEX; Berling S.A.; SUNFOOD; Tropic and Belzeb, as well as the Cacao Cluster of the Dominican Republic.

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