Export promotion policies in CARICOM: main issues, effects and implications
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The purpose of this document is to describe, analyze and assess export promotion policies in the case of CARICOM economies. At the national level CARICOM economies are at different stages in their export promotion efforts ranging from countries such as Suriname where export promotion is a distant objective to Barbados where the authorities have decidedly adopted an upper income echelon approach to the development of tourism. The common denominators (with the exception of small size and the adoption fiscal incentives) that can characterize or encompass their export promotion experiences are the search for niche-markets, market segmentation and comparative advantage. An analysis of different national cases including, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, the Member States of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and Suriname indicate that export promotion strategies and in particular the common denominators listed above are significantly shaped and determined by their different stages of economic and institutional development and also, and most important, by their economic structure. The analysis of export performance shows that the export promotion objectives have been, at most, partially fulfilled. CARICOM economies are still struggling to capture market-niches. More important these economies have, for the most part, lost market share in the United States and Europe, in spite of preferential market access conditions. Contrarily the intra-regional market has expanded significantly.