A three-day workshop aimed at enhancing trade analysis skills was held in St.Vincent and the Grenadines on November 14-16, 2017
A three-day workshop aimed at enhancing trade analysis skills was held in St.Vincent and the Grenadines on November 14-16, 2017.
It was part of the Hub and Spokes Programme, which assigns trade experts to national ministries and regional trade organisations in order to enhance trade capacity in Africa, the Pacific and the Caribbean.
The Programme is a joint project between the Commonwealth Secretariat, European Union, ACP Group Secretariat, and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
The workshop was facilitated in partnership with the Economic Commisison for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, on whose trade analysis skills the workshop was focused.
The 32 participants, 29 of whom were from the public sector and 3 from the private sector, were drawn from ministries or departments of trade and commerce, customs and excise, and the national statistical offices of OECS member states.
During the workshop, software was demonstrated which are used to analyse trade performance, including evaluating market share, the intensity of technology in exports, product specialisation and competitiveness, which help to determine the most competitive and promising sectors and activities.
Also in November, the Hub and Spokes National Trade Adviser to Kiribati facilitated a consultation on investment policy on Kirimati island, with assistance from the Enhanced Integrated Framework.
Accounting for almost half Kiribati’s land area but only 5% of its population, the island group’s largest atoll is a wildlife sanctuary and emerging eco-tourism destination.
The consultation was part of a review into Kiribati’s investment policy framework, which aims to create a stable business and trade environment using improved institutional and regulatory frameworks.
It complimented the government’s 20-year development plan, KV20, to boost prosperity through foreign direct investment and the development of key sectors like fishing and tourism.
Basic investment-related legislation is in place but somewhat outdated, needing review to align with international best practices and regional obligations.
Representatives included ministers from the Departments of Commerce, Foreign Affairs, Customs Agency, Environment and Justice, Development Bank and Tourism Division, as well as stakeholders from the private sector.
The consultation offered the opportunity to revise the review process and discuss key policy issues, as well as constraints on the island’s development such as poor network connectivity, poor legal infrastructure and a lack of support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Hub and Spokes Programme also collaborated with the ECLAC to fund a workshop on Trade Policy and Trade Indicators, which was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Jamaica in December 2017.
The three-day workshop enhanced the 33 participants’ understanding of using analytical tools to assess international trade dynamics, which will boost their involvement in analysis of trade policy and determining foreign trade strategies and positions.
Delegates also participated in practical exercises illustrating the concepts behind the indicators, where data sets were used to examine Jamaica’s export trends and performance.