August 5, 2021
As part of exporTT’s Export Booster Initiative, which is geared toward developing overseas markets and promoting exports to increase the value of non-energy goods and services, the Curacao Market Survey Mission (MSM) is well underway!
This MSM is one of 5 for fiscal 2020/2021 and Curacao being a fairly unexplored territory as part of the Dutch Caribbean, was selected after it was ranked 10th in exporTT’s Market of Interest Survey last year for new markets that Trinidad and Tobago exporters would like to enter.
Curacao has a relatively small population with just around 151,000 residents but the country enjoys a high per capita income and a well-developed infrastructure compared to other countries in the region. Further, its strategic geographical location with respect to the United States of America and South America, and its unique position within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, lends itself to benefit from strong business ties within these regions.
The focus of the MSM is to assess the market potential for growth in exports from Trinidad and Tobago, the specific and detailed requirements and conditions in the market, the identification of any constraints to product entry, and overall the evaluation of Trinidad and Tobago as a supplier of Goods in the sectors of Food & Beverage, Household and Industrial Chemicals, Printing and Packaging, and the Services sector of Information, Communications and Technology.
Thus far, meetings have been held with Food & Beverage Importers and Distributors namely, Hector Henriquez B. Inc., Licores Maduro, and Martijn Trading and they are eager to learn more and meet with Trinidad and Tobago exporters in several product categories including snacks, confectionery, preserved fruit, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Also, we expect more opportunities from the upcoming meetings with importers and distributors in the household and industrial chemicals sector, and the printing and packaging sector. Meetings were held with 5 ICT companies namely Blue Nap Americas, IT Solutions, CX Pay, The Lab, and Profound and the general overview is that Trinidad and Tobago IT Services providers can be considered for suitable partnerships as it relates to cloud hosting, disaster recovery, software engineering services etc.
The Ministry of Economic Development, the Port Authority the Curacao Chamber of Commerce were all very instrumental with providing information on Doing Business in Curacao, bearing in mind that Curacao’s main business is tourism and therefore they are not a manufacturing based economy, which means that almost all of their products are imported. Additionally, there is no product registration for new products entering the market and therefore, products can enter with greater ease. As it relates to consumers and their purchasing behaviour, we were happy to hear that while there may be brand loyalty, they are equally receptive to try new brands and this is encouraged by product differentiation and strong marketing.
We do look forward to your participation at our free Virtual Dissemination Seminar scheduled for August 20, 2021 where you can learn more about the market entry strategies for Curacao as well as the existing challenges and opportunities.