Five Obstacles to Overcome 
for a  More Productive Caribbean
Caribbean economies have hardly grown in the last 30 years. The last significant growth was in the 1980's when tourism and banana production expanded, but has since declined due to the loss of competitiveness in the bananas market and the emergence of other tourism destinations. To make matters worse, the Caribbean countries are severely indebted and have very limited options to promote growth from public investment.

Both economists and policy makers, faced with this situation, agree that the economic growth of this region will depend on the ability of the private sector to increase its productivity and compete in new markets.

So, how can Caribbean firms become more productive and competitive? 
The Power of Innovation in the Caribbean

Kapil Mohabir of Plympton Farms - Guyana, Ronald Hinds of Teleios - Trinidad and Tobago and Duquesne Fednard of D&E Green Enterprises - Haiti speak candidly about their experiences working with Compete Caribbean as one of the private sector catalysts in the region.

In an event to celebrate the successful conclusion of Phase One of the Compete Caribbean Program, they all spoke under the theme "New Ideas that Change the Region: Innovation in the Caribbean" and touched on the barriers they faced regarding funding. 

They each credited the creativity, structure and robustness of the Compete Caribbean Program as being responsible for their business accomplishments thus far. Take a listen...

Kapil Mohabir - Plympton Farms, Guyana
Kapil Mohabir 
Plympton Farms
Ronald Hinds - Teleios, Trinidad and Tobago
Ronald Hinds
Trinidad and Tobago

D & E Green Enterprises BEFORE Compete Caribbean
Duquesne Fednard speaks about 
D & E Green Enterprises, Haiti
BEFORE Compete Caribbean.

Duquesne Fednard D_E Green Enterprises Haiti
Duquesne Fednard speaks about 
D&E Green Enterprises , Haiti
AFTER Compete Caribbean's intervention.

Jamaica Gains Big 
in Business Process Outsourcing

More than cruise ships are pulling up to the Jamaica's shores and the potential of this new arrival could create more wealth for the country than Tourism.  Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the fastest growing sector and a reported US$400 million in revenue was earned in 2015 [1].
Jamaica has been attracting BPO operations since the late 1990's but in 2011, the government made a call to establish an association to represent the industry under a unified brand.  The following year a group of BPO operators answered that call and the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) was launched.  The growth of the BPO industry since then, has been nothing short of remarkable.
Emerging as the successful project out of over 20 other contenders in 2014, the BPIAJ cluster was granted USD$500,000 in technical assistance from Compete Caribbean. This assistance focused on strengthening the cluster to a position where it could supply near shore markets with viable and competitive BPO services. 

Jamaican Ornamental Fish Project 
Building Bridges

The Jamaica Urban Ornamental Fish Cluster funded by Compete Caribbean consists of approximately 170 relatively small, mostly home-based aquaculture farms located primarily in urban communities in Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine and Clarendon. 

It is led by The Competitiveness Company (TCC), a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Kingston that has been its main driver, marketer and advocate over at least the past five years. Objective: To promote the Jamaica Ornamental fish Cluster's ability to efficiently deliver quality ornamental aquatic products to international buyers, at competitive market prices. 

Through technical assistance from Compete Caribbean, the TCC was able to achieve:
  • Exported approximately 25,000 fish, including to buyers in a new market (Canada); 
  • Entire value chain has completed training on standards, fish health and nutrition by globally recognized experts in the field; 
  • Mortality rate of export fish has declined significantly; 
  • Data collection and management system is now in use, with field staff having been trained in the use of the system and the tablets; 
  • Completed design of the export (nexus) facility
Take a trip to Jamaica and the world of the ornamental fish farmer...

Ornamental fish farmer making a sale
Ornamental fish farmer making a sale
Barriers to Innovation and Firm Productivity 
in the Caribbean

The emerging evidence as micro data becomes available for the Caribbean is that innovation and productivity are quite low and are acute constraints to economic growth and development. It may therefore be assumed that firms in the region potentially face high barriers to innovation. PROTEqIN makes it possible to empirically investigate innovation barriers in the Caribbean.

Examining innovation barriers is important for both policy makers and the private sector:

- It is useful for designing and implementing appropriate policies and incentives for firms to engage in innovative activity and reduce market failures to innovation.

- It is important for the firm since this would provide valuable information to entrepreneurs and managers when crafting innovation strategy. Read More

Compete Caribbean Welcomes 
New Team Members

Three new members have joined Team Compete Caribbean. They are:

Valarie Pilgrim, Business and Innovation Climate Coordinator
A national of Trinidad and Tobago, Valarie has extensive experience across the programme management cycle - from planning to programme evaluation.  She was also recently responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund).

Annie Bertrand, Productivity and Innovation in Firms Coordinator
Annie is a management consultant and social entrepreneur, building on 12 years of business and international development experiences in over 65 countries.  Most recently, Bertrand has been involved with the Trident Angels investor network to foster employments by increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs.

Russell Franklyn, Financial Coordinator
Russell previously worked for the IDB and CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ). As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Project Management Professional (PMP) and certified in Procurement at the IDB, he has  in-depth knowledge of the Caribbean Region, its organs and institutions.

Read more about Valarie, Annie and Russell here

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