BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Tuesday, May 16, 2023) — Atlantic Canada and the Caribbean have a significant history of interregional trade and partnership in sectors spanning cable and telecommunications, banking and finance, energy, and education.
This week, as part of econext’s twelfth trade mission to the region since 2015, the industry association is formalizing a partnership for the mutual benefit of the two regions. Abbie Hodder, econext’s COO and Director of International Business shared, “We are excited to be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) this week as part of our trade mission. There is ample potential for collaboration between the four provinces of Atlantic Canada and the 11 OECS countries, and we look forward to putting this MOU into action.”
Atlantic Canada and the OECS have common regional strategic objectives. Beyond the promotion of trade and partnerships, the regions can exchange valuable information and experiences in areas of common interest including the support of local economies to becomes globally competitive, resilient, inclusive, and increasingly green.
This current trade mission consists of eleven delegate organizations from Atlantic Canada engaging in over 150 meetings across four countries in the Caribbean region – Barbados, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. econext’s missions are multi-sector, but there is a strategic focus on green economy, blue economy, infrastructure, and education and training. The High Commission of Canada in Barbados, through its Trade Commissioner Service, supports these trade missions by working collaboratively with econext to promote Atlantic Canada’s economic interests in the region by fostering strategic alliances, promoting joint-venture partnering and foreign equity investment, and facilitating Canadian direct investment in the Caribbean.
Firms in Atlantic Canada have many synergies with their counterparts in Caribbean markets. Hodder stated, “The products and services developed in Atlantic Canada can work well in other island and rural coastal environments, such as those found in the Caribbean.” Hodder notes the region faces similar challenges such as the impacts of climate change, coastal zone erosion, distance from markets, and economies that are resource dependent. “We have a long history of trade with the Caribbean, and we are working to continue and deepen that tradition.”
econext’s next Caribbean Trade Mission is set for November 2023.