Indian and Caribbean companies explore business opportunities during online bilateral exhibition

To achieve the USD 400 billion export target for FY 2021-22, set by Hon’ble Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, World Trade Center Mumbai and High Commission of India in Kingston, Jamaica organized a virtual meeting between Indian, Jamaican and Bahamian businesses to explore trade and business opportunities, on November 18, 2021.

The programme was a part of the online bilateral exhibition on ‘Trade and Business Opportunities between India and Caribbean countries’ being organized by World Trade Center Mumbai, in association with the High Commissions of India in Georgetown, Guyana; Kingston, Jamaica; Trinidad and Tobago; and Embassies of India in Havana, Cuba; and Paramaribo, Suriname, from August 16, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

38 Indian companies and 12 Caribbean companies are exhibiting their products in areas such as plastics and chemicals, IT, pharma, ayurveda and wellness, agro and agro-biotechnology, wind and solar energy, textiles, garments and home décor, higher education, automobile and engineering sectors.

Business representatives from the infrastructure, logistics, food products, refrigeration, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, manufacturing, agriculture and allied industries participated in the programme, and discussed exploring business opportunities through partnerships, collaborations, joint ventures, trading, imports and exports. Deliberations on conducting vocational training, enhancing output, speeding deliveries, and transferring efficient technologies formed part of the discussions.

Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Mr. Masakui Rungsung, High Commissioner, High Commission of India in Kingston, Jamaica suggested that over 90 per cent of Jamaican businesses are SMEs, and the online exhibition has taken lead in enhancing the volume of trade and size of investments between business enterprises in the two regions. Consistent and incremental efforts such as these can scale our commercial ties.

H.E. Mr. Rungsung further opined such efforts have also helped mitigate the adverse consequences of the Covid-19 crisis and can help bringing our economies back on track. However, Caribbean countries currently have greater access to closer markets such as the US, Canada and Europe. The distance between India and Caribbean countries is huge, resulting in low trade volumes between the two regions. We need to break the stereotype perceptions about each other’s markets, and gain from the synergies between the two regions, India being a large economy with diverse manufacturing and service capabilities.

He also expressed that Larsen & Toubro, the Indian multinational conglomerate operating in varied sectors such as engineering, construction, manufacturing, technology and financial services, executes government-scale projects worth millions of dollars which can help in improving infrastructure development in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. It can compete with prominent companies from various countries in port development, construction and allied activities, in these regions.

Mr. Anil Velde, Deputy General Manager, Trade Promotion and Marketing, MVIRDC World Trade Center Mumbai narrated the success of the online exhibition platform, and giving an example, explained that a Panama manufacturer of coconut coir products was looking for collaboration opportunities with Indian businesses. The platform connected it to an Indian manufacturer making about 500 types of coconut coir products, ranging from egg trays to plant pots and mattresses.

Mr. Velde expressed the exhibition has steered the process of regular interactions between companies in the two regions.

Mr. Nidhi Kumar, Head, International Business Development (Buildings, Infrastructure and Mining) for GCC, C.I.S and Africa, Larsen & Toubro Construction, UAE proposed the Vote of Thanks.

The meeting was attended by business representatives from India, Caribbean region and other countries.