April 22, 2021
The Caribbean Region held its first meeting in some months on April 22nd. Robert Saul, Regional Representative and MIOA delegate in Barbados, chaired the meeting. The meeting was well attended by representatives of the CARICOM Business Development Thematic Group (BDTG); with whom we have been working in the Caribbean Region. After calling the meeting to order, Robert recognized the coordinator of the BDTG, Allister Glean, who spoke about the mandate of their group and how it might align with MIOA’s efforts in the region. Each of the other BDTG members in attendance also spoke briefly and participated in the group discussions.
Robert then presented the results of the interviews and surveys conducted in the countries of the region in the form of a draft Survey by MIOA of the Caribbean Region – Final Report.
The primary observations captured in the report were the following:
The specialists and managers were extremely cooperative and knowledgeable All member countries carry out some type of market information work
Data collectors rarely have this type of job as their primary duty Most indicate lack of institutional support
All reported inadequate funding
Lack of modern tools, including hardware and software
Many lack a well-defined or effective strategy for the dissemination of information
Delegates indicate very little interregional communication
Participation in technical presentations provided by MIOA has been limited, but has improved
New tools or services are being created but are not widely promoted or shared within the Region.
No changes or additions were offered to the report, so it is now considered as final and will be shared with the member countries in the Region and with the BDTG.
One outcome of the meeting was the establishment of a Regional Committee for Training and Professional Development, comprised of Robert Saul, Prakash Ragbir (Trinidad and Tobago), Karina Soriano (Dominican Republic), Govind Seepersad (Professor at the University of West Indies), Thaddeus Constantin (Saint Lucia) and Terry Long. The group will be supported as needed by the Technical Secretariat.
The regional meeting was lightly attended by delegates of the Region but was greatly enriched the participation of the professionals del BDTG. There were delegates in attendance from Santa Lucía, Barbados, Dominican Republic and Jamaica, as well as Terry Long, Chair; plus the previously mentioned members of the BDTG.
The next meeting of the Caribbean Region will be announced in the coming weeks.