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Caribbean Focused on Export Development

Washington, December 18 (teleSUR-RHC)-- A new report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) states that in 2015, exports dropped for the third year in a row, with the decline intensifying and spreading to virtually all nations in the region.

The report entitled "Latin American and Caribbean Trade Trend Estimates 2016" says the trade contraction is at its worst level since the 2009 collapse and is a wake-up call on the need to implement export diversification policies.

For Saint Lucia's Trade Export Promotion Agency, diversification is something that has been practiced throughout 2015.

A team recently returned from Cuba, hoping to strengthen trade links and in an address following the visit, the island’s commerce minister said Saint Lucia is hoping to tap into the lucrative Cuban market, as it seeks to expand trade.

In a recent interview, the head of the Caribbean Export Agency Pamela Coke-Hamilton said the region is facing challenges in terms of consistency of export supplies.

“A hurricane hits Dominica, the input coming from Dominica to another country that's required— that gets knocked out, so it's a kind of knock on effect,” she said.

The report notes that the economies of the Caribbean and South America were the most affected over the course of the year, with declines in exports to almost all their main destinations, while Mexico and Central America were mostly hit by a drop in sales to the U.S. market.

The regional trade officials say the goal in 2016 is to source new trading opportunities.
Edited by Ivan Martínez
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