Prime Minister of Grenada Dickon Mitchell says his Government is looking forward to increased engagement with this country as it seeks to find new avenues to collaborate and market unique aspects such as its culture, for the regional and global markets.
He noted a Tobago delegation recently participated in Grenada’s cultural exchanges during its Carnival to deepen partnerships and knowledge for both islands’ cultural products.
Additionally, Mitchell said Grenada wants to enhance the manufacturing sector through online trading platforms for buying and selling goods.
He noted digitalisation enhances the tradability of services and will provide increasing opportunities for youth interested in ICT through digital trade platforms and trade intelligence to identify and exploit new markets and e-commerce, through social media, online branding and marketing.
Mitchell made these remarks while speaking at the President’s Dinner and Awards Ceremony hosted by the T&T Manufacturers’ Association, held at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday night.
The event was themed, Transforming the economy through trade.
Also focusing on resilience, Mitchell said as countries continue to build economic strengths trade will play a critical role to effectively support livelihoods.
To this end, he said Grenada intends to strengthen existing trade relationships and build new ones that provide opportunities for growth and development, and the creation of sustainable jobs.
According to Mitchell, Grenada will focus on key areas that will transform its approach to trade including supporting regional food security (through trade in fisheries and agro processed goods); diversifying the production of goods and services (to cater to diverse tastes and interests); strengthening private sector engagement; embracing technological advancement (towards new and safer means of production); and public sensitisation and education.
Noting that the regional food import bill is quickly moving towards US$5 billion and, with global food trade expected to reach a record high, Mitchell advised this will require a concerted effort from developing nations to curb the damaging effects on food security.
“For its part, Grenada will seek to augment production in the sectors that we naturally thrive in, given our access to the ocean and fertile lands. The tried-and-true areas such as agriculture, fishing and manufacturing will be re-examined with a view to expanding and diversifying our export base,” he explained.
Grenada also will endeavour to diversify its traditional products and services through niche markets, especially in the cultural space, the Grenadian PM said.
Grenada has also started the process for the legalisation of cannabis and the development of that industry which will focus on medical and industrial uses of the plant and will create new avenues of employment and generate foreign exchange through export, Mitchell added.
TTMA’s president Tricia Coosal, who also delivered remarks, said a transformed local economy can lift Caricom’s economy, adding that a big part of this ethos is for its members to get into different territories and meet other manufactures to facilitate trade and co-operation.
Last year, the TTMA held a virtual trade mission to Grenada to engage in reciprocal trade which Coosal noted was the TTMA’s way of adapting through COVID-19 and ensuring business continued.
According to the TTMA president the outcomes from that mission proved very rewarding for firms in both countries as over two days 65 meetings took place and over half a million dollars’ worth of trade deals were concluded.
Coosal added the TTMA looks forward to taking a physical trade mission to Grenada in 2023.