The Grenada Trade Portal which is a major part of the development and implementation of the National Export Strategy was officially launched on Thursday, 14 June in St George’s.
Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Trade, Hon. Tillman Thomas, who officially launched the portal said, “It’s a great achievement for the Government of Grenada”. He noted that with the introduction of this new system, which integrates Information Communication Technology (ICT), the ad hoc nature of conducting business will be addressed.
The Prime Minister said that during the drafting stage of the National Export Strategy in 2007, it was recognised that trade information was critical to the pursuit of export, but that pertinent trade information was lacking, declaring that it was this issue that the trade portal seeks to address.
The PM said that it is a quick, easy and economic way for government to provide trade information to potential investors and international buyers who wish to import products from Grenada.
Describing the system as “the first real inclusive public/private initiative,” Prime Minister Thomas pointed to the involvement of both the Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC) and Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GDIC).
He said Grenada’s export sector saw much growth in 2011 by 4.2%, with manufacturing and agricultural export increasing by 6.9% and 30.1% respectfully, adding that this has increased the demand for information to support the continuous growth in the export sector, which the portal will provide.
Grenada’s export sector comprises mainly agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, supported by education and other service sectors.
Strategic access points will be set up to assist manufacturers and exporters to upload their information on the trade information portal.
These points are as follows:
Ministry of Environment, Foreign Trade and Export Development, Financial Complex Carenage, St George’s
Grenada Bureau of Standards, Queens Park, St George’s
Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), Frequente Industrial Park, St George’s
Grenada Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GCIC), Frequente Industrial Park, St George’s
Grenada Community Development Association (GRENCODA), Gouyave, St John
MAREP Office, St Patrick
and the Ministry of Agriculture Eastern Division, Grenville, St Andrew.
People can also access the site at their homes by logging onto www.tradegrenada.gd.
A number of personnel from the aforementioned organisations together with manufacturers, government IT professionals and Ministry of Trade officials have been trained to navigate the site and update information for the continued maintenance of the Grenada Trade Portal.
The portal was developed by Trinidadian based company Digital Business Ltd. Director, Quinten Questel, said his company is thrilled to be associated with this initiative which aids the growth of trade in Grenada. He said that this highly innovative and technological driven approach by the Government has put Grenada in a profound position to become a leader in trade in the region.
Speaking on the content, Questel explained that it includes a brief history of Grenada (geography, climate and map) allowing external traders to be more familiar with the country; and economic data necessary to stimulate trade.
The portal also provides trading information by country, and steps guiding users on how to export to that country, making it highly interactive and user friendly. A manufacturers’ directory, areas for investment in Grenada, market intelligence, shipping schedules and custom procedures can also be accessed on the site to enable exporters to make better informed trading decisions.
A total of US$ 400,000.00 has been spent developing the Grenada Trade Portal and building capacity of the Grenada Bureau of Standards to provide support on quality assurance for a range of goods with export potential.
These two projects are among several funded under the US$ 2.7 million Grenada Technical Assistance Credit (GDTAC) project from the World Bank. Another of the projects under the same initiative is the recently launched ASYCUDA World of the Customs Department which also supports the new trade information system.
The Ministry of Environment, Foreign Trade and Export Development encourages manufacturers and other stakeholders to log on to www.tradegrenada.gd and welcomes feedback from the general public for the further development and success of the Grenada Trade Portal.
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