Sunday, April 21, 2024

Different rum route to Canada


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A trade advisor has a message for local producers eager to get their rums into Canada.
 “The best strategy is to connect with the small producers in Canada, to go for it and get the rum of the Caribbean on the shelves,” said Phil Rourke, principal advisor to the Shridath Ramphal International Centre for International Trade Law Policy and Services at the University of the West Indies.
He noted that alcohol sales in Canada’s ten provinces and three territories were controlled by large government-run stores which preferred dealing with large suppliers, not small sellers like the Caribbean.
Furthermore, he said local Canadian wine and micro-beer producers encountered a similar problem in getting products into these stores, and as a result, he saw a possible solution for the CARICOM region in which they could make themselves bigger.
These market conditions formed the basis for his recommended strategy when he spoke to the BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY during a reception at the Westmoreland home of Canadian High Commissioner Richard Henley.
The event was in honour of trade policy students and tutors of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Carleton University of Ottawa.
For the fifth year the students were brought together for a three-day simulation negotiation exercise, where they sought to theoretically overcome obstacles in trade talks between this region and Canada.
This year they looked at issues related to rum and movement of personnel.
“We’ve tried to come up with some new ways to actually get better access of Caribbean rum, from whatever country, into the Canadian market,” Rourke explained. He added that participants also looked at “some new rules to make it easier for CARICOM professionals to work in Canada”.
He said that other issues examined related to “entry of agricultural goods into the Canadian market, along with how it can be made easier for Canadians of Caribbean descent to go back and forth [among territories] and do business and hopefully increase economic growth in the region”.
Recommendations coming out the course of the universities will be sent to the CARICOM Office of Trade Negotiations and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. (GA)


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