Fostering and enhancing the export competitiveness of OECS enterprises is a key goal of the Competitive Business Unit (CBU) of the OECS Commission. This translates to a specific activity of building and strengthening the capacities of OECS entrepreneurs in a business establishment, development, competitiveness and trade.
The OECS Manufacturing Sector, across member states, is characterized by a large percentage of Small and Medium-Sized family-owned and managed enterprises that generally are constrained by limited management and production capacity.
The sector is generally underdeveloped compared to tourism for example and faces a number of problems which include high cost of production; low productivity related to raw material and utility costs; inadequate levels of investments in technology and equipment; poor management, planning and marketing skills; limited capacity for quality standards compliance and limited market intelligence knowledge of multilateral trading requirement.
There are also limitations in the business ecosystem and challenges in policy, legislative and regulatory framework. The OECS Member States are furthermore prone to a number of natural disasters and can be disproportionately impacted by external shocks and crisis such as COVID-19.
Against the background of these challenges, The OECS CBU will be conducting a series of national virtual dialogue consultations with OECS MSMEs in the Manufacturing Sector and related Business Support Organisations to reinvigorate the engagement with the sector as they grapple with new strategies, priorities and measures. The opportunity will also be taken to introduce the new Head of Unit, Mr. Kareem Guiste, from the Commonwealth of Dominica. He comes with a wealth of experience in marketing, business development and regulation in both the public and private sector within the General Business, Energy and Telecommunication space.
The consultations are scheduled for the following days in June and July.
June 28th 2021 – Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica
July 9th 2021 – St. Vincent & the Grenadines
July 16th 2021 – St. Kitts & Nevis and Anguilla
July 23rd 2021 – Saint Lucia
July 30th 2021 – Montserrat and Tortola