THE St. Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) in association with The Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada) this week hosted “Exporting to Canada” Seminar, targeting St. Lucian exporters focussed on this week the fundamentals of accessing and expanding exports to the Canadian market.
This market is one of significant priority to TEPA. The ongoing CARICOM/Canada trade negotiations have further increased the opportunities for trade between Canada and CARICOM member states including Saint Lucia. An overview of the same was presented by trade official from the Ministry of External Affairs, International trade and Civil Aviation. Mr.Rhon Stephen of Hewanorra Air Cargo Services presented on logistics out of Saint Lucia into this market. He shared on the rate situation, what he thought were favourable and non-favourable conditions and also expectations on air cargo availability from Saint Lucia in the near future.
Over 60 exporters and potential exporters from key goods and services sectors participated in this seminar. Attendees were introduced to the TFO Canada website (www.tfocanada.ca/) which provided information on exporting to Canada. Resources included inter alia exporter’s handbooks and sector-specific Canadian. Reference was also made to demographics, Canadian households buying power, culture and customs.
Ainsley Butler, Programme Manager with TFO indicated her agency’s commitment to working with TEPA and ultimately exporters to champion the country’s market entry endeavours. She emphasised her agency’s work plan of action as it relates to the same.
TEPA Chief Executive Officer, Jacqueline Emmanuel-Flood remarked , “This initiative was an eye-opener for many of the attendees. The presentation fell in line with TEPA’s efforts as we have identified Canada as a priority market in our export strategy. TEPA is delighted to partner with TFO Canada. We anticipate a mutually beneficial relationship as we strengthen our efforts towards achieving our overall mandate of increasing aggregate volume of exports out of Saint Lucia”.