C-Tradecom Competitiveness Workshop held in Barbados -
More Funding for the Competitiveness Effort!

The Region’s top Private Sector and Private Sector Development Professionals gathered in Barbados on Wednesday, 23rd April, 2003 in continuing dialogue to put into place support programmes that will assist regional manufacturers and service providers to be able to compete in the new global economy which is already up us.

CARANA Corporation, an Arlington, Virginia, USA based internationally known consulting Group, providing Global Development Solutions is the executing agency for the U.S.A.I.D. C-Tradecom programme. This programme is the US government’s main programmatic vehicle for assisting the Caribbean region’s private sector through the process of trade liberalization and competitiveness enhancement.

The project is currently in the final stage of the design phase and will run from September 2003 – September 2005 and is expected to focus in areas of :- Private Sector Development, Information and Education, Human Resource Development, Technical Assistance, among others as identified.

The goal of the workshop was to use the knowledge and experience accumulated by individuals to validate, modify and expand the Consultants’ assumptions about the state of the region’s private sector, and to think together about how best to address the opportunities and challenges confronting the region’s various industries. While C-Tradecom is expected to have an impact throughout the Caribbean, the programme design team has been asked to place special focus on the particularities of the OECS countries and Barbados. The participants were requested to think through the issues of the particular economies and to assist in identifying commonalities among the focused economies and those of the rest of the region. The workshop took the form of a combination of presentation and discussion. Materials containing summary of findings from preliminary research activities were provided days in advance of the workshop.

Over the past three months, C-Tradecom team members conducted over 300 interviews with local and foreign companies and observers, seeking to identify the current competitive status of those important industries, their relative likelihood of success, and potential initiatives necessary for improving the competitive prospects of each. As part of the research exercise, the team conducted a survey of more than 60 international companies to learn about the success factors for developing these competitive industries and products. They also benefited from the expertise of international industry consultants. Their findings were shared with participants. The twelve hour progamme of activites was well organized and presented and our regional consultants were given a unique opportunity to be involved in a highly professionally, organized meeting. It is my hope that lessons were learnt.

Mr. Eduardo Tugendhat, President and CEO of CARANA Corporation fully participated in the day’s programme. Mr. William J. Phelps, C-Tradecom Chief of Party facilitated the workshop and was ably assisted by Mr. Santiago Sedaca, CARANA Director of Competitiveness. Informal presentations were made by Mr. David Phips – Hospitality Industry, Mr. Martin Taschdjian – Information and Communications Technologies and Mr. Miguel Zweig – Review of Survey of InternationalCompanies in Agro-Industry and Light Manufacturing.

This project will assist institutions to sensitize civil society about the implications of the FTAA and the need to be competitive. For further information about the proposed support programmes under this project, contact Mr. William J. Phelps, Website: