A NEW Caribbean association has been formed with manufacturers in mind.
The Caricom Manufacturers’ Association (CMA) consists of manufacturers’ associations from six Caribbean countries including: Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia and Dominica.
On Wednesday, the virtual signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the CMA took place. The MOU established the principles and basis for increased cooperation among the region’s manufacturing associations.
The association will attempt to improve the trading and business environment that will contribute to the elevation of economic development and social progress, the Ministry of Trade and Industry stated in a press release.
Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said it was a “timely regional initiative that will serve to build synergies.”
She said, “Whilst the mechanism of Caricom will allow us to promote our economic development through industry, the establishment of a Caribbean Manufacturers’ Association will truly allow us to become a regional manufacturing powerhouse and will now take into account matters of quality and price which affect our competitiveness.”
She added, “This association will provide the opportunity to strengthen strategic alliances among member states, but more importantly build stronger regional value chains, promote niche Caribbean products and enhance our cooperation and participation under existing trade agreements.
Gopee-Scoon also encouraged the association to be a part of the private sector business councils so as to increase the prominence of manufacturing firms and improve their ability to benefit from existing trade agreements.
Franka Costelloe, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) said that the TTMA looked forward to working with fellow regional associations and that together, firms will build greater resilience and scale, greatly improving the region’s bargaining power globally.
“We will be stronger against issues and better equipped to build on the opportunities. This will promote stable growth and connectivity in the region,” she said.