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CASME launches export


BARBADOS – The Caribbean Association of Small & Medium Enterprises Inc. (CASME) has launched Critical PathwaysTM its export preparedness programme for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector of the Caribbean.

At a press conference held at the Sherbourne Conference Centre in Barbados, Senator Sandra Husbands, President of CASME, gave an overview of the overall plans and goals of the project, which according to CASME’s Executive Director, Lynette Holder, is expected to run for a period of two years.{{more}}

This project recognizes the critical need for catalyzing the private sector’s transformation in response to the challenges of the trade liberalization process, and in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Senator Husbands stated that the objectives of the overall programme are to support the growth and development of strong enterprises with a capacity for trade in the world, earning foreign exchange, creating jobs and strengthening inter-sectoral linkages in the region.

In addition, the programme is expected to build capacity for the transformation of the private sector and in particular SMEs.

CASME has partnered with the Organization of American States (OAS), which has donated BDS$ 130,000 (EC$ 174,000) for the financing of the first stage of the programme, that of the Awareness Building Workshops. These first workshops have been devised for the purpose of assisting SMEs within the CSME in understanding the market opportunities that could arise from the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiated by CARICOM and examine the growth options to capitalize on the opportunities.

Six workshops will be held in the first stage of the project, in four territories, these being Antigua & Barbuda, St Lucia, St Vincent, and Barbados. Similar workshops will be held subsequently in the territories of Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago.