Caribbean Export Development Agency

Building Geographical Indications for the Caribbean’s Origin-Linked Products

Mrs. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export)
Mrs. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export)

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) opened the two-day sub-regional workshop on branding and the use of geographical indications in the development of management strategies for origin-linked products at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingstown, Jamaica on July 21st.  With the aim of building the capacity of CARIFORUM producers to identify and develop geographical indications and origin linked products, it is hoped that attending businesses will prosper and enhance their competitiveness in the international arena, and as a result build economic growth and sustainability of the Caribbean region.

The Hon. Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce for Jamaica highlighted in his address to the participants that “Within the Caribbean exist numerous opportunities for GI protection including  black pineapple from Antigua, cascarilla from the Bahamas, cahune oil from Belize, nutmeg from Grenada and sarsaparilla from St. Kitts just to name a few. Geographical Indications offer us the opportunity to protect these brands and our consumers, even as we continue to guarantee quality and provenance.”

Mrs. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in her welcome remarks expressed, “We recognise that the environment in which the region’s private sector operates is ever changing and key areas such as Intellectual Property Rights have emerged which require us to pay attention”.

Geographical Indications (GIs) is a form of Intellectual Property Rights given to goods that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities, reputation or characteristics that are essentially attributable to that place of origin.  Research has shown that a product with a protected “Destination of Origin” may attract a premium price of as much as 40% higher than that of a similar product without a GI classification.

Mrs. Coke-Hamilton indicated that the power of GIs for the region has significant implications for ‘Brand Caribbean’ as we continue to seek new markets for our goods and to further penetrate existing markets.  “When we speak about Brand Caribbean, we speak about the need to set the Caribbean apart from other regions, to distinguish our products on shelves flooded by products from Asia or elsewhere and to ensure that the world knows that high quality is not some elusive concept achievable only by first world producers”.  She gave the example of the reputation of the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee which is one of the most expensive and highly sought-after coffees in the world.

Echoing these sentiments Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head of Delegation for the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands expressed that “The European Union is convinced of the untapped potential that Geographical Indications have for the Caribbean’s economic development.”  In addition she reiterated “Without access to geographical indications protection tailored to their circumstances and needs, few producers of origin-linked products can benefit from their rights.”

There are many challenges that Caribbean countries face when dealing with GIs and IPs as a whole, these include the lack of knowledge of what constitutes IP and the value this property represents to individual firms; the lack of knowledge of IP laws and insufficient awareness of the work of local intellectual property offices in protecting IP; government agencies which work on IP are understaffed and in many situations, persons at these agencies have multiple portfolios; and the high cost attached to registering IP is considered a deterrent by SMEs in the Region.

To overcome these challenges, Mrs. Coke-Hamilton suggests that firstly we need to make IP capacity building, of firms and the BSOs at the local level, a priority; secondly, the region needs a structured, specialised programme through which relevant firms can be trained in IP; thirdly, there is a need to work with financial institutions to recognise the value of IP, so that they make it possible for the private sector to leverage their IP as collateral when seeking financial assistance and lastly, there is a need to develop and share case studies within the region.

“I do not think that we need to be convinced of the value of GIs and OLPs for our products. What is needed is a commitment on our end to complete the work that has already started in developing GIs for various products such as our Jamaica jerk, cocoa, nutmeg and pineapples”, stressed Mrs. Coke-Hamilton.

The workshop was hosted by the Caribbean Export in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica (the Jamaican Intellectual property Office), the Office of Trade Negotiations of the CARICOM Secretariat, the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the REACH Programme of the Inter-American Development Bank in Kingstown, Jamaica from 21st – 22nd July.

Expression of Interest: Participate in the 2015 edition of the HAVANA INTERNATIONAL FAIR (FIHAV)

Caribbean Export would like to invite interested CARIFORUM firms to submit applications to participate in the 2015 edition of the Havana International Fair (FIHAV) 2015 in Havana, Cuba from November 2nd to 8th 2015.

FIHAV is the most important general trade fair in Cuba. This year will be the 32nd year that show has been convened.  All sectors of the Cuban economy takes part in this event, which succeeds in putting together the most complete national and international trade exhibition in a space that enables exhibitors and visitors to establish commercial contacts, close business operations, exchange experiences and update in new technological developments.

FIHAV features more than 20,000 square meters of net exhibition area, around 4,500 national and foreign exhibitors from over 60 countries. This year it is expected that over 150,000 visitors including important foreign official and business delegations will be attending the fair. With the strides that Cuba has made in opening its trade doors to the entire world, the potential for doing business with Cuba is stronger than ever.

Caribbean Export will sponsor representatives from CARIFORUM firms in the following sectors to participate in the 2015 edition:

  • Cosmetics and Beauty products
  • Plastics
  • Sauces and Condiments
  • Cereals
  • Beverages

Sponsorship will include:

  • Booth rental and design
  • Promotional material for the booth
  • Return airfare to Cuba for one representative of participating company from their country of origin
  • Matchmaking meetings with the major buyers in Cuba

Participants are expected to cover all additional expenses including accommodations, shipping of samples, meals and ground transport to and from Fair grounds.

Interested persons must submit the online Expression of Interest no later than July 22, 2015 at 4:30pm Barbados Time

All participation is subject to approval from Caribbean Export.

Please direct any queries to

Partial Scope Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala

The negotiations on the Partial Scope Agreement (PSA), between the Government of Belize and the Government of the Republic of Guatemala, were launched on November 22, 2004. Both countries signed the agreement on 26th June, 2006. In 2009, Belize deposited its Instrument of Ratification to the CARICOM Secretariat and obtained CARICOM’s approval of the Agreement and completed its internal process of ratification that year. Guatemala completed its ratification in March of 2010. With the exchange of information notifying the completion of the internal process in each country, the PSA took effect on 4th April, 2010, thirty days after Guatemala completed its internal process of ratification.

This is Belize’s first negotiated bilateral trade agreement and one which takes into account the obligations to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This agreement has been seen as an opportunity to enhance trade and commercial relations for both countries.

Currently, Belize has completed the three phases of tariff reductions as outlined in the Tariff Schedules of the Agreement. The main products benefiting from this agreement are: citrus, tilapia, cattle, yellow corn, black beans, red beans, poultry and pepper sauce. This market is expected to offer premium prices relative to world prices. The PSA covers 150 goods, including certain goods under the headings of: animal products; prepared foodstuffs; products of the chemical or allied industries; plastics and articles thereof: rubber and articles thereof; wood and article of wood, wood charcoal; paper and paperboard, articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard; textiles and textiles articles; footwear, gaiter and the like; parts of such articles; glass and glassware; base metals and articles of base metal; and other items.

Continue reading “Partial Scope Agreement between the Government of Belize and the Republic of Guatemala”

Caribbean Export is Recruiting Qualified Individuals For The Haiti-Dominican Republic Bi-national Trade Programme

The Caribbean Export Development Agency is looking for motivated individuals to fill key posts for The Haiti-Dominican Republic Bi-national Trade Programme in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The positions are as follows:

  1.      Deputy Programme Manager – Haiti
  2.     Customs Expert – Haiti
  3.     Trade Development Expert – Haiti
  4.     Private Sector Development Expert – Dominican Republic
  5.     Investment Promotion Expert – Dominican Republic
  6.    Financial Assistants (2) – Haiti and Dominican Republic
  7.    Administrative Assistant – Haiti

Closing date: October 12th 2012

For additional information, click here.


Caribbean Export Announces Call for DAGS Regular Procedures Proposals Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is pleased to announce the publication of the Call for Proposals for the Regular Procedures.

The deadline for this Call is July 6, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). For additional information please click here or contact Mr. Kirk Brown, Senior Grant Advisor at



i. A firm (i.e. entity, individual or company) legally registered and operating in a CARIFORUM member state; or

ii. A legally registered Business Support Organization (BSOs) in a CARIFORUM member state such as trade association, chamber of commerce, industrial development corporation, other business support organizations which is undertaking an activity in partnership with at least two (2) private sector firms. BSOs may ONLY apply to the Regular Procedures facility;

iii. Trading in the following Sectors: Alternative Energy, Agriculture, Agro-Processing, Creative Industries (e.g. Fashion, audio-visual, music, artisans, etc.), Health & Wellness, Information Communication Technology, Manufacturing, Professional Services, Tourism

iv. Exporting or demonstrate their potential to export goods and services

v. Operational for at least two (2) years supported by last two years financial statements/accounts; and vi. Able to finance and sustain their projects fully at the beginning; that is 100% financing is available prior to project initiation.


a) Start‐ups; firms, entities or individuals not financially operational for two (2) years;

b) Educational institutions such as Universities, Schools, Vocational centres, etc.;

c) Non‐Governmental Organizations, including but not limited human-rights, social clubs, citizen associations and charity;

Funding Amounts Amounts to be Awarded For Regular Procedures:

Any funds awarded under the direct assistance programme regular procedure, must fall within the following amounts:

Minimum amount: €5,000 Maximum amount: €30,000

No direct assistance may exceed 70% (€30,000) of the total project cost.

The project must be financed from the applicant’s or their partners’ own resources, or from other funding sources including the donor community.

The project must be financed from the applicant’s or their partners’ own resources, or from other funding sources including the donor community.


Applicants can only submit an application after a Call for Proposals has been officially published by Caribbean Export.

Applicants are reminded of the following procedural changes:

Applications submitted via fax or email will be not be accepted

An applicant may submit one (1) proposal/application for this call per legally registered entity.

Applications must be submitted in duplicate (i.e. two (2) copies) and hard copy to Caribbean Export with the required support documentation.

Applications may be submitted in any of the four (4) languages (i.e. English, French, Spanish or Dutch). Applications submitted in French, Spanish or Dutch will be translated into English by Caribbean Export.

For this Call ONLY, Caribbean Export will allow applicants to submit their applications to one of the approved Business Support Organisations listed in Section 3.2 of the Guidelines for the Regular Procedures who will forward to Caribbean Export for evaluation.

BELTRAIDE is requesting submission of applications and all other relevant support documentation to BELTRAIDE at the following address:

14 Orchid Garden Street,

City of Belmopan

Kindly note that Applications must be submitted in two (2) hard copies to BELTRAIDE on or before June 29th, 2012, who will be forwarding the applications to CEDA to defray applicant’s expenses relating to courier service. Alternatively, applicants can mail directly to Caribbean Export if this is not the preferred method of submission

Applicants choosing to submit applications by the BSO must do so in a sealed envelope.

Applicants’ that do not utilize the BELTRAIDE to submit their applications, must submit applications in a sealed envelope by post, private courier or hand delivery to Caribbean Export’s Head Office or Caribbean Export’s Sub-Regional Office on or before the deadline July 6, 2012 @ 4:30 p.m. (Barbados Time) to the following address:

Caribbean Export Development Agency OR Caribbean Export- Sub Regional Office Hastings Main Road Calle Carlos Lora No.9 Mutual Building, Ground Floor Ensanche Los Restauradores Christ Church, Barbados, BB15154 Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Application Forms and Guidelines can be downloaded from Caribbean Export’s website and on the home page look for the heading “Direct Assistance Scheme”.

Click HERE for application form.

Selection of “Direct Assistance Scheme” will produce a drop down menu which provides all the relevant information on “How to Apply”, including eligibility requirements, eligible projects, amounts to be funded, guidelines and application forms.

Click HERE for the guidelines.

Click HERE for the Regular Procedures Evaluation Grid

Applications must reach the Caribbean Export at the address and date and time indicated on website, application form and guidelines. Applications received after the deadline may automatically be rejected even if the postmark indicates a date preceding the deadline or if the delay is due to the private courier service. Applicants are requested to strictly comply with deadline date submission


The evaluation process usually takes 3-4 weeks commencing from the deadline of the Call for Proposals. Applications will be opened and examined by at least two (2) members of the Direct Assistance Grant Committee. Selected members of the Committee would also evaluate the applications for presentation to the formal committee meeting.

All projects submitted by applicants will be evaluated according to the following steps and criteria.

STEP 1: Administrative Check STEP

STEP 2: Evaluation of the Application Form

STEP 3: Completion of Evaluation Grid • Accelerated Procedures Evaluation Grid (see pdf attached) • Regular Procedures Evaluation Grid (see pdf attached)

STEP 4: Notification of Caribbean Export’s Decision STEP

5: Award of Grant Contract STEP 6: Implementation of Grant Contract

Contact Caribbean Export for additional information or contact BELTRAIDE at 822-3737/0175.

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