The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Ex­ec­u­tives of the St. Lu­cia Trade Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency (TEPA) are back from what they have billed a timely and valu­able train­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that will as­sist with the de­vel­op­ment of Saint Lu­cia’s coun­try ac­tion plan for pen­e­trat­ing the Cana­dian mar­ket.

TEPA CEO Jac­que­line Em­manuel Flood and Mar­ket­ing and Pro­mo­tion Of­fi­cer Gasper Ge­orge re­cently at­tended the Trade Fa­cil­i­ta­tion Of­fice (TFO) of Canada’s Ex­porters’ Gate­way to the Cana­dian Mar­ket. The five­day mar­ket fa­mil­iari­sa­tion tour and train­ing pro­gramme was held in the ma­jor busi­ness hubs of Toronto and Mon­treal and sought to as­sist de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in en­hanc­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity of ex­porters to trade and do busi­ness with Canada. The ini­tia­tive is part of an on­go­ing agree­ment be­tween TEPA and the TFO aimed at strength­en­ing the ca­pac­ity of TEPA in pro­vid­ing sup­port to ex­porters able to do busi­ness in Canada.

The seminar brought to­gether sec­tor ex­perts within the African and Caribbean re­gion, namely Ghana, Kenya, Gre­nada and Saint Lu­cia and rep­re­sen­ta­tion from the Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Unit of the OECS. The ex­er­cise pro­vided at­ten­dees with in­sight into the im­port and busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment of the two ma­jor Cana­dian cities as well as in­ter­ac­tion with Cana­dian com­merce ex­perts, mar­ket­ing ad­vi­sors, im­porters, re­tail­ers and trade of­fi­cials.

Pro­gramme Of­fi­cer Mr. Ge­orge com­mented, “This pro­gramme has fa­cil­i­tated in build­ing the ca­pac­ity of TEPA to pro­vide ex­porters with the tools and knowl­edge to gain ac­cess and in­crease ex­port to the Cana­dian mar­ket and has been very ben­e­fi­cial, par­tic­u­larly in the de­vel­op­ment of a coun­try ac­tion plan to bet­ter as­sess, equip and pre­pare our lo­cal ex­porters for ex­plor­ing and ul­ti­mately ex­port­ing to Canada.”

The train­ing op­por­tu­nity, Mr. Ge­orge ex­plained, must be ap­pre­ci­ated in the con­text of TEPA’s heavy con­cen­tra­tion over the last few months on map­ping out a ro­bust pro­gramme to open up the North Amer­i­can mar­ket for ex­port-ready Saint Lu­cian sup­pli­ers of prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Glen­field Gil­bert, Trade In­for­ma­tion Of­fi­cer at Trade Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency (TEPA), may be con­tacted at He­wanorra House, Pointe Seraphine, Castries, Di­rect Line: 758 468 2051.

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