by Linda Straker
New potential markets for existing exports, and maintaining the focus on sustainability while expanding exports, are among the objects of the New National Export Strategy launched last week Thursday.
According to Kim Frederick, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, the overall objective of the strategy — which was put together by persons working in the 6 sectors that are targeted in the strategy — is to increase national income from exports of goods and services.
Trade Minister Oliver Joseph said that the strategy which is to cover the period 2017 to 2021, aims at making Grenada achieve a competitive export sector focused on a mix of quality high-value goods and services for the sustainable development of the island.
“The strategy is expected to improve Grenada’s trade balance and its ranking in export, despite the country’s small-scale production,” said Joseph, whose desire is the significant reduction of the country’s importation bill by the time the strategy is reviewed.
In 2016, Grenada’s total export of goods and services amounted to US$650.5 million while total imports of goods and services amounted to US$1148.3 million. “We have to significantly increase our export figures and, as you know the strategy identifies potential areas for growth,” he told the persons at the launch.
Joseph said that the sectors identified in the strategy are Agriculture and Fisheries, Health and Wellness, Creatives Industries, Tourism, Maritime and Yachting and Professional Services.
A comprehensive action plan has been developed for each of those sectors, but for there to be effective implementation of the strategy, a National Export Council with key members will be established to act as both an advisory body, and monitoring/oversight committee.
According to the strategy document the recommendations for the Health and Wellness sector was based on the significant assets and potential advantage that Grenada could have in an international market with strong growth. “The strategy draws on Grenada’s strength as a tourism destination with strong demand,” said the document.
In the Creative Industries sector, the strategy is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the various components of the music industry including performance management and the business of music, to create competitive products and use music and entertainment as a growth pole for audio-visual and fashion, as well as successful craft, which is an outcome of the local culture.
The development of this new strategy was a project of the Ministry of Trade with funding from the Commonwealth Secretariat.