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Bringing CE-Intelligence to the Caribbean
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the European Union officially launched their market intelligence portal, known as CE-Intelligence.
At the media launch held at the newly renovated Warrens Great House last Tuesday, executive director Pamela Coke-Hamilton outlined the importance of the CE-Intelligence portal for private sector firms looking to grow their businesses through exporting to new markets.
“Trade, business intelligence and market research are key for the successful entry into export markets,” explained Coke-Hamilton. The portal will enable firms to “develop their own customised reports to learn more about market entry requirements in any given country, important trade data, and key business contacts” she added.
Head of Co-operation at the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, Eastern Caribbean States, OECS and Caricom/Cariforum Luis Maia highlighted that market intelligence is an indispensable commodity in today’s technology driven environment. Further the portal will complement the EU’s Trade Helpdesk to enhance the business opportunities of those looking to penetrate the EU markets.
The CE-Intelligence portal was conceptualised to assist firms in being more strategic in their market entry plans as it provides an easily accessible platform for the region’s small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and business support organisations (BSOs) to access accurate and high-quality data free of charge, which reduces the cost, time and effort required to make strategic business decisions.
The question as to why many businesses did not make that move to export was raised by Minister Sandra Husbands in her keynote. Charging that a cultural fear of the unknown was often a reason for businesses not venturing in to export, Husbands congratulated the agency for providing a much-needed tool that will make it easier for firms to move out of their comfort zones to explore export markets and benefit from the economies of scale that are synonymous with larger markets.
Husbands called on entrepreneurs to make it second nature to include export as part of their business plans in view of the small market typical of small islands.
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