The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States is positioning itself to do more business with Martinique.
OECS Director-General, Dr. Didacus Jules held a one day retreat with the staff of the OECS at the Competitive Business Unit (CBU) in Dominica, to discuss how the OECS can promote its businesses and boost its export potential regionally.
This is just days after a national trade seminar took place on the island to discuss the European Partnership Agreement and how locals can capitalize on trade opportunities with the nearby French departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique.
The Director-General was on an official visit to Dominica this week.
“The CBU has been doing a wonderful job in identifying niche businesses which have potential to grow into big export opportunities for the OECS but we are at a point in history when we need to take a very critical look at what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been doing things to move forward in the future,” he stated.
Martinique is now an OECS Associate Member and Dr. Jules says this now creates avenues for trade with the French territories.
“Martinique is not a participant in the Economic Union so they will not, for example, be adopting the EC dollar or involved in some of the trade arrangements and the free movement of people... Associate membership means that there are new avenues of collaboration between Martinique and Guadeloupe that will be opened to the OECS.”
The Director-General listed Guadeloupe because he revealed hopes that Guadeloupe will come onboard by the end of the year.
“The challenge for the CBU is that we need into account of the reality of Martinique being onboard and what that means for trade possibilities. Remember Martinique is a French territory so they are our direct access door to the European Union and France. That has a whole range of possibilities in its own right.”
The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States now consists of ten members: Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Martinique.
The organization was established in June 1981 on the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre.