February 8, 2007



The world is truly getting smaller and the internet is fuelling that reality. I was interrupted last Wednesday with a call on my mobile phone which originated from the USA. The caller on the other side said that he was looking for commercial carpet but having checked the St. Lucia yellow pages and called a few companies listed without success, he continued his search which took him to my website – and as a result called me. I told him to call back in 15 minutes and so he did. I was pleased to provide him with two sources. Two things were at work here, the power of the internet and providing service as promised. The slogan on my real estate website is “Tell us your needs, we bring the Experts together!”

As we approach Cricket World Cup 2007 there is going to be a lot of desperate last minute calls and we must be geared to respond whether directly or indirectly and it is for this reason that the private sector associations need to bring their members together and get them to network and share information about their businesses. No one business will have the power to provide all the goods and services needed so the more we know about who has what, the better for all concerned. I am very uneasy with the level of supplies of goods and services that will be needed. Suddenly everyone will want to fix problems yesterday but where are the trained plumbers, carpenters, and other qualified tradesmen? Definitely, there is hardly enough to go around. The media and organizations like BOOST should be circulating information on service providers and sources of supplies so as to provide ready access.

In making my rounds this week, I visited Vieux Fort and had an opportunity to call on the Director of Worldwide Trade Partners Inc. which is based in the Goods Free Zone. This company occupies 70,000 square feet of space in 5 warehouses and offers a wide range of consumer products, including laundry and other household cleaning chemicals, canned foodstuffs, fruit juices, sanitary towels and disposable tableware, electrical appliances and electronic items. The company is sizing up distribution throughout the OECS sub region and Barbados for its range of products imported from the USA, Latin America and the Far East. Given the level of stocks in the company’s warehouses, this is one source that local importers/distributors should seek to establish business relationship to secure their supplies at very competitive prices.

Just before commencing this article, I received in my mail box, the most recent Newsletter from Trade Watch, a publication of Caribbean Export Development Agency and this story caught my eyes: “BRAZIL TO GRANT FREE MARKET ACCESS TO LDC EXPORTS In early 2007, the Brazilian government will start granting duty – and quota – free market access to exports from 32 of the world’s poorest countries, according to officials from Brasilia. This would make Brazil the first developing country to accord unimpeded access to goods from the 32 least developed countries (LDC) Members of the WTO.

Some Brazilian business groups are anxious about the effects of fully liberalising all imports from LDCs. According to the analysis in the newspaper Valor Economico, companies from textiles, electronics, chemical, and machine equipment sectors are the most worried. Industry representatives have asked for some 1300 products to be designated as sensitive, while the government wants to accept no more than 900”.

I am very impressed with the content of the Newsletter and take this opportunity recommend that you subscribe to it, at It’s FREE!

I feel that manufacturers in the region rather than thinking about direct exports, wherever practicable should be thinking about collaborating with Brazilian manufacturers to produce their brand of products for the local distribution. This has nothing to do with whether St. Lucia is in the 32 LDCs or not but simply taking advantage of a window of opportunity whereby imported goods will enjoy the spotlight. However, if Brazil is a developing country, I see no reason why St. Lucia shouldn’t be a LDC. More on this in a future article.

In keeping with my thrust in the areas of Innovation and Technology, I started the MONEYMAGIC Weekly Newsletter three weeks ago which is on Yahoo Groups, at This opportunity is taken to invite you to join the Group and feel free to contribute.

Keep the Faith, God is in Charge, Expect Miracles in 2007!!!

Edward Harris, Email:

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