May 2014

Consultancy Opportunity

Deadline: Friday, 20th June, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST

Institution: Inter-American Development Bank
Country: Barbados
Project: Compete Caribbean
Sector: Private
Abstract: To provide general technical support, facilitation services, advice and training to Clusters selected for development of a Cluster Competitiveness Improvement Plan (CCIP) under the Program’s Support to Cluster Initiative, and to elaborate and present the CCIP in the program’s format on behalf of the Cluster.
Project No.: RG-X1044
Deadline: June 20th, 2014

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), have established a co-financing program called “Compete Caribbean” (RG-X1044).

The ultimate goal of this Program is to contribute to the increase in the standard of living and quality of life in the Caribbean, the enhancement of the competitiveness of the Caribbean region, and increase the development impact of private sector development projects while emphasizing gender equality and environmental sustainability.
The Program is organized in three components: (1) Comprehensive Framework for Private Sector Development and Knowledge Management, (2) Business Climate and Competitiveness Enhancement Facility (3) Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund (EICF).

The consulting services to be provided relate to Sub-component 3.1 of the program. The objectives of Sub-component 3.1 are to: (a) enhance the development of the productive sector, by supporting clusters and value chains to compete in regional and global markets; and (b) increase the generation of employment and income by strengthening Caribbean businesses with resources to finance innovative ventures, develop new products, implement new business models, and enter new markets. Services to be provided under this consultancy include working closely with clients to oversee and support the successful implementation of the cluster initiative.

Compete Caribbean now invites eligible firms to indicate their interest in providing the aforementioned services. Interested Consultants should provide information demonstrating that they have the required qualifications and relevant experience to perform the services.

Consultants will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the Inter-American Development Bank: Policies for the Selection and Contracting of Consultants financed by the Inter-American Development Bank GN-2350-9 and is open to all eligible bidders as defined in the policies.

Further information can be obtained from the Program Coordinating Unit at (246) 627 8557 or by directing email queries to Sharece Carrington at .

Expressions of interest must be delivered by email to by midnight on June 20th, 2014. Please include the following text in the subject heading:

“Expression of Interest – Cluster Facilitation Firm”

Download Terms Of Reference

Terms of Reference for Cluster Facilitator

Caribbean Export Food Portal


The Caribbean has been a player in the Specialty Food market for more then twenty-five years. The awareness and interest in Caribbean products have been growing internationally especially in major urban market centres in the US (New York City – tri-state Metro market, Boston, Washington, D.C, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago) and in the EU in particular the UK. The presence of Caribbean migrants in these places along with the increasing number of tourist visitors to the region have assisted in the promotion and sale of these products whose appeal is linked in a substantive way to their product development, creativity and exotic nature.

Typically, the easiest way to define a specialty product is by knowing what it is not: a basic food staple that the consumer buys for every day eating from a grocery store. That means that specialty foods are a step above what the consumer normally eats as part of the everyday diet. There is a broad umbrella for what can be considered part of the specialty foods market. Typically, specialty foods refer to a type of gourmet food products many of which could be more expensive than what consumers find on grocery store shelves; specialty foods are instead a step above what the consumer normally eats as part of the everyday diet. They should not be confused with ethnic foods, which are generally characterized by low price and high quantity, because specialty foods are generally high price, low quantity food. However, there can be some overlap between both.

Its EXPO season once again!

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) will be holding its renowned EXPO Belize Market Place 2014, at the ITVET Grounds on Freetown Road in Belize City on September 13th and 14th, 2014. You are invited to showcase your products or services at this year’s Expo.

The primary contact for your company should have received an email a few minutes ago with username and password that will enable you to log on to identify yourself as member to request your EXPO booth and receive the deep discounts that only members enjoy.  

Please be reminded that each member is allowed a maximum of 6 booths and these are on a first come first serve basis. There is a new area added to the map referred to as table spaces. These are only for micro businesses.

There is a mandatory security fee of $80.00 + GST per booth. Visit the EXPO Webpage at to apply and find more information on the rules and regulations.  

Please feel free to contact us at 223-5330 or email if you require assistance in completing the online form.

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15 Places To Go Before They Get Famous

Our beautiful haven Belize made it to Huffington Post to the top 15 Places to travel.

It’s easy to see why modern travellers feel so burnt out: our globalized world is littered with tourist trapslet downsoverrated destinations and just plain crowds.

But what if you could get out ahead of the curve and visit a place BEFORE it started swarming with other humans? Visit these rising stars now, and one day you’ll proudly say, “I knew them when…”

José Ignacio, Uruguay
la huella jose ignacio
Only about 300 people actually live here, but in winter (aka South American summer), José Ignacio is clogged with Latin A-listers like Shakira. A new luxury hotel, Bahia Vik, is in the process of opening this spring, and José Ignacio is gearing up to host an international art fair. For at least a while longer, though, you can cruiseartsy bohemian boutiques and enjoy savory steaks at La Huella in (relatively) paparazzi-free peace.

Koh Rong, Cambodia
koh rong
Visiting this Cambodian island is like stepping into a screensaver. With only a few bungalows, some killer snorkeling, and fishing villages (there are no roads!), many say it’s like Thailand was 20 years ago, before tourists trampled the untouched beaches. Ferries started regularly shuttling tourists to Koh Rong only a few years ago, but things are still pretty quiet… until someone figures out how to build an airport, that is.

Sofia, Bulgaria
Price of Travel named Sofia Europe’s cheapest tourist city for 2014. We’re sure Bulgaria’s capital won’t stay a secret much longer: it’s super walkable and has a young, cosmopolitan vibe mixed with ornate churches, outdoor markets, and Ottoman architecture.

Ambergris Caye, Belize
Belize is set to become Central America’s newest hotspot, and if so, Ambergris Caye will be its crowning destination. TripAdvisor named Ambergris a “Destination on the Rise” last year, probably because tourists are catching on to the immense diving potential of the Great Blue Hole.

shwedagon paya
Myanmar’s tourism industry is “red-hot:” just about 300,000 people visited the country in 2010, but three years later, that number had ballooned to over 2 million tourists. Before prices catch up with you, go ride a boat on Inle Lake, explore a dark cave pagoda, and catch the sunset reflecting off Shwedagon Paya.

Roatán, Honduras
Roatán doesn’t top every beach lover’s list of Caribbean islands, but that’s just because they haven’t heard of it yet. Cruise ships only started stopping here in 2005 (some lines have seen criminal incidents lately, and the State Department warns visitors to exercise caution in the country, even though group tours are typically a safer setting). Undeterred, divers come to Roatán for perfect reefs 35 miles from the coastline. You can take day trips to various keys, where you’ll very likely be the only human on a tiny patch of sand. Flights to Roatán aren’t incredibly frequent, but they’re easy. Snag one before the secret’s out.

Riga, Latvia
Latvia is Europe’s best kept secret, but all could change now that Riga has been named a European Capital of Culture for 2014. The city also ranked as one ofEurope’s cheapest destinations for backpackers this year, with an average cost of just $33/day for food, lodging, transportation and entertainment. Hurry up and peruse Old Rigaascend St. Peter’s tower, and get fancy at the Latvian National Opera.

Puglia, Italy
puglia italy
With foodie travel on the rise, Puglia (“Apulia” to the English-speaking set) is going to become a household name. In the heel of Italy’s boot, the Mediterranean diet takes one of its purest and most delicious forms:food (think olive oil, artichokes, and salami) is locally sourced, restaurants are quaint yet high-quality, and you can sleep in a converted farmhouse… did we mention most of this happens beachside?

Zambia and Zimbabwe
victoria falls
Ok, so a place as beautiful as Victoria Falls can’t not be famous already. But the nearest airport has been recently expanded, giving thousands of international travelers easier access to this natural wonder on the border of two countries. Not far away is Hwange National Park, with a “ridiculous amount of wildlife” including one of the largest elephant populations in the world (well over 30,000).

York, United Kingdom
york minster
Aside from charmingly old-school pubs, cafes, and tea rooms (some are built into 16th-century houses!), York proudly displays one of the biggest Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The Tour de France will be stopping through this summer, inevitably turning people on to the magic of this historic little city.

Busan, South Korea
busan temple
When they get sick of Seoul, tourists will likely venture to Busan, where majestic temples abound. This “Destination on the Rise” also boasts an impressive art museum, an outdoor bird sanctuary, and a fish market with scrumptious live squid. When Samkwang Temple lights up around Buddha’s birthday, all bets are off.

Manila, Philippines
Traffic and poverty are present, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from Manila’s “beautiful chaos.” According to cost analyses, the average price of a nice three-course meal in Manila is just $18, compared to about $95 in some other big cities. It wouldn’t be surprising if backpackers get tired of Thailand and start hitting the Philippines soon–catch Manila’s art galleriesrich home cooking and shoe museum (complete with Imelda’s footwear, and located just outside Manila proper) while you can.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam
phu quoc
This Vietnamese island is the perfect antidote to busy Ha Long Bay, where backpackers rally to ride boats, see the scenery, and, well, drink a LOT. If you’re looking to celebrate nature in a more subdued environment, Phu Quoc is where you’llrent a motorbike and weave the red dirt roads before dipping in the uncrowded ocean.Almost everybody agrees Phu Quoc is primed to become Vietnam’s next hot destination, but it’s still “largely underdeveloped.”

Kep, Cambodia
It’s teetering on the edge of a tourism breakthrough (there are still remnants of its1920s boom), but right now Kep is more than authentic enough to enjoy. Seafood lovers should make the trip just for the beachfront crab market, where seafood is sold straight out of the ocean then perfectly plated at rustic restaurants on stilts.

The Salinas Grandes, Argentina
Deep in the desert, you might think this massive dried-up lake is a field of snow— but upon closer inspection it becomes a 80-square-mile salt flat that glistens like a giant mirror when it rains. The Salinas Grandes are difficult to get to, but people will probably start making the trek once they’re over Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni salt flats, which are much more well-known and heavily touristed.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post included a photo that did not depict the Great Blue Hole, but another snorkeling spot. The photo had been updated.

Continue reading “15 Places To Go Before They Get Famous”

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