UK aid to boost Caribbean trade

A plan of action to support trade in several Caribbean states was launched last week. The newly announced UK Trade Partnerships Programme will help CARIFORUM states to maximise the benefits of their Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and increase their exports to the UK.

Conceived by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and delivered by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the UK Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme aims to create a more transparent business environment across all CARIFORUM States, for example by making comprehensive and up-to-date trade and market information available and supporting SMEs to access it and by establishing mechanisms to monitor trade obstacles.

The programme will also work with businesses, trade support institutions and other key stakeholders in Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Dominican Republic to boost exports in the creative and specialty foods sectors.

A virtual meeting hosted last week by ITC brought together trade officials, development agencies, public and private trade support institutions and exporters from across 14 countries to discuss the programme’s objectives, interventions and intended impact.

The UK is committed to supporting developing countries to grow their economies and reduce poverty through trade. Programmes like UKTP are more important than ever in the current global health and economic crisis, to keep supply chains open and to build diverse and resilient export capacity in the Caribbean in the long-term.