by Donella Hosten
Services Week has been officially declared open as the Grenada Coalition of Service Industries (GCSI) held its media launch on Monday, 30 October 2017.
Chairman of the GCSI, Jude Bernard during Monday’s launch, described Services Week as ‘an attempt to bring the curtain down on what has been a very eventful year at the Grenada Coalition of Service Industries.’
2017 has been quite an active year for the GCSI. They hosted their inaugural Expo themed ‘Celebrating Services: The Engine of Economic Growth’ in June, and a comprehensive training programme dubbed ‘Services Go Global: The Roadmap to Exporting Services’ in September. 8 small entrepreneurs participated in this training programme and will receive certificates during Services Week.
The selected theme for Services Week 2017 is ‘services, Embracing the Future Today’, which, according to Bernard is in keeping with their aim and mandate, as the service industry in Grenada represents at least 80% of the country’s GDP.
He went on to say that the events during the week are geared at the secondary school students, who will be exposed to professionals in the Service Industry as they partake in an E-Career Day Forum on Wednesday, 1 November 2017 at the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS). Over 500 of the nation’s students, he said, will get a chance to have their questions answered and network with like-minded individuals. Bernard labelled the highlighted Forum, which will be streamed live, as ‘very ambitious.’ This forum is fully supported and endorsed by the Ministry of Education.
Solidifying the government’s support of the GCSI, was Director of Trade in the Ministry of Economic Development, Planning and Trade, Junior Mahon. He too, stressed on the significance that global trading of services on the economy. ‘It is the fastest growing component of world trade,’ and it has grown exponentially through technological advancements.
According to Mahon, these developments are critical; hence, ‘in July of this year, a new national export strategy for the period 2017-2021was developed. It’s a comprehensive strategy that sets forth an action plan for export development in Grenada.’
Grenada has also signed on to initiatives which support the export of trading services, including the CSME, under which service providers have the right to provide their services in any of the CARICOM member states, the CariForum EU Economic Partnership Agreement Chapter on Trading Services, which gives service providers access to the EU market, and also the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which provides service providers with access to other WTO members.