Curaçao - Caribbean oasis and Exporters' paradise

Curaçao - Caribbean oasis and Exporters' paradise

By: Sushmita Ramjohn

862 kilometres. That’s the unobstructed distance between Trinidad and Curacao, an island just off the coast of Venezuela, lined with majestic white sand beaches and vibrant architectural sites. A World Trade Organisation (WTO) Accessions Newsletter in 2020, stated that there have been negotiations for increasing bilateral trade between T&T and Curacao since 2018. While no trade agreement has been announced by either country, Curacao was identified as a market of interest for exports in the National Export Booster Initiative for the Manufacturing Sector 2021. The Export Booster Initiative (EBI), which is valued at TT $50 Million, is being undertaken by exporTT and the Ministry of Trade and Industry with the aim of increasing nonenergy exports and developing overseas markets for local T&T products. There is also a collaboration with entities such as The Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturer’s Association (TTMA), Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI), Fashion TT and others for events such as participation in trade missions and capacity building. Under the EBI a Curacao market survey was conducted in 2021, followed by a virtual trade mission to Curacao, conducted by the TTMA. These two activities revealed potential in the market and paved the way for an in-person Trade Mission to Curacao, which is scheduled for the 1st to 4th November, 2022.

Photo by Lakeisha Bennett via Unsplash

In Curacao, which has a significant servicebased economy, tourism, oil refining, financial services, ICT and bunkering account for some 84% of the country’s GDP. The 444 km2 island has no developed manufacturing sector and its imports in 2020 were valued at $856 Million USD. This means that there is a significant reliance on imports for consumer and capital goods. In contrast, exports were valued at just $143 Million USD in the same year. Additionally, Curacao provides the perfect getaway oasis for tourists while also affording a paradise of opportunities for the exporters of Trinidad and Tobago in the areas of food and beverage and construction. 

The first area of interest for T&T’s exports is in the food and beverage sector. Given the size of the tourism industry and the role it plays in Curacao, exports from Trinidad and Tobago would not only cater to the Curacao citizens but to tourists as well. In 2021, Curacao noted a total of 265,000 tourist arrivals according to the Curacao Tourist Board and it is expected that the 2022 figure will surpass this. This figure encompasses day trippers, cruise arrivals, overnight stays etc. In addition to Curacao’s population of 152,369, all the tourist arrivals represent a market for exporters. According to the International Trade Centre’s website, as a market, Curacao has untapped import potential in various products which means that Curacao has the capacity to import more. The products with more potential to import include food preparations, water, non-alcoholic beverages and prepared sauces. Coincidentally all of these items are on the list of the top 50 exports of Trinidad and Tobago. Entering the Curacao market, as advised by Jonckheer Advertising, the consultant who conducted the virtual trade mission, can be done in three ways which include partnering with a local distributor in Curacao, direct B2B meetings and establishing an office and operations in Curacao. Products in the food and beverages category have no specific requirements for entry into the Curacao market, except for the provision of a mandatory expiration date printed on edible items and that labels must indicate the ingredients of products and the size and quantity of an item. In the absence of a trade agreement, a tariff would apply; the customs tariff applied on products depend on the HS Code and range from 5.5% to 35%. Food preparations, for example, under HS Code 21069010 have a 12% tariff. For further information on tariffs, exporTT’s Research and Opportunity department can be contacted.    


Photo by Dave Drury via Unsplash

The second area of interest for T&T exporters is the construction sector. Recently, the in-market consultants described the developments in Curacao as a ‘building boom’, particularly in the hotel industry, and stated that there is also an interest in renovating the older buildings. It is recommended to use a distributor from Curacao if entering the market with building materials. The two established companies in Curacao that the consultant recommends are Kooyman and Building Depot. The consultants also mentioned that companies who are environmentally conscious may have an advantage if they indicate that their packaging for consumer goods is recyclable and biodegradable. This can be extended to other products and may also provide producers of building materials with an advantage if they indicate the environmental impact of their products. exporTT has a Standards Implementation Grant and International Certification Fund which can assist in meeting market entry requirements. The tariffs applied to construction goods, like in the food and beverage sector, also depend on the HS code. For example, cement with HS Code 252100 has a tariff of 10.5%.  


Curacao is a beautiful island with rich heritage and just as rich landscapes and scenery with an added incentive: there is an opportunity for business. T&T can offer products in the food and beverage sector as well as the construction sector and potentially access a market that includes both the local Curacao population and their visitors. It is advised, however, to contact distributors in Curacao who have experience with importing rather than entering the market without their expertise. There is a market for T&T’s products in Curacao because of Curacao’s propensity to import due to the characteristics of its economy. exporTT looks forward to the upcoming 1st to 4th November Trade Mission and tapping into that existing market potential together with our local manufacturers and service providers. 

EOI : Developing The Export Readiness of TT Companies for The EU Market (Fit 4 Europe II)

EOI : Developing The Export Readiness of TT Companies for The EU Market (Fit 4 Europe II)



Consultancy Services for The Development of Export Readiness of Trinidad and Tobago’s Companies for The EU Market


Trinidad and Tobago


Sept 21, 2022

03:00 PM

DOWNLOAD TOR – Developing the Export Readiness of Trinidad and Tobago Companies for the EU Market

DOWNLOAD Draft-Request-for-Expressions-of-Interest-Fit4EuropeII 

DOWNLOAD General Procurement Notice Template

DOWNLOAD Procurement Plan




The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GOTT) has received financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in an amount equivalent to €161,590 towards the Project Developing the Export Readiness of Trinidad and Tobago Companies for the European Union (EU) Market (Fit 4 Europe II)” and intends to apply a portion of the proceeds of this financing to eligible payments under a contract for which this invitation is issued. Payments by CDB will be made only at the request of GOTT and upon approval by CDB, and will be subject in all respects to the terms and conditions of the Financing Agreement. The Financing Agreement prohibits withdrawal from the financing account for the purpose of any payment to persons or entities, or for any import of goods, if such payment or import, to the knowledge of CDB, is prohibited by a decision of the United Nations Security Council taken under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. No party other than GOTT shall derive any rights from the Financing Agreement or have any claim to the proceeds of the Financing.

ExporTT Limited, the Executing Agency, now wishes to procure consultancy services for a Consultant Firm to develop the export readiness of Trinidad and Tobago’s Companies for the EU Market.

The objective of the consultancy is to provide technical leadership, research and advice in the implementation of a project that aims to improves the export-readiness of Trinidad and Tobago companies for the EU markets.  The duration of the assignment is expected to be for a period of 15 to 18 months.

exporTT now invites interested eligible Consulting Firms to submit Expressions of Interest for the provision of these consultancy services.


Consultants shall be eligible to participate if:

  1. in the case of a body corporate, it is legally incorporated or otherwise organised in an eligible country, has its principal place of business in an eligible country and is more than 50 per cent beneficially owned by citizen(s) and/or bona fide resident(s) of eligible country(ies) or by a body(ies) corporate meeting these requirements;
  2. in the case of unincorporated firms, the persons are citizens or bona fide residents of an eligible country; and
  3. in all cases, the consultant has no arrangement and undertakes not to make any arrangements, whereby any substantial part of the net profits or other tangible benefits of the contract will accrue or be paid to a person not a citizen or bona fide resident of an eligible country.

Eligible countries are member countries of CDB.[1] Consultants are advised to review the detailed eligibility criteria detailed in Section 4 and conflict of interest provisions in Section 5 of the  Procurement Procedures for Projects Financed by CDB (January, 2021), as published on CDB’s website:

In the assessment of submissions, consideration will be given to technical competence, qualifications and experience, local and regional experience on similar assignments, financial capability and existing commitments.

Consulting firm with the following expertise:

  1. Key Expert 1 – Market Access Consultant (Goods); and
  1. Key Expert 2 – Market Access Consultant (Services).

Further details outlined in Terms of Reference.

The attention of interested Consultants is drawn to paragraph 5.15 and 5.17 of Procurement Procedures for Projects Financed by CDB (2021), setting forth CDB’s policy on conflict of interest for the selection of consultants.

[1] Occasionally contracts may be financed out of special programs that would further expand or restrict eligibility to a particular group of member countries. When this is the case, it should be mentioned in this paragraph.


All information must be submitted in English. Further information may be obtained from the first address below between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Trinidad and Tobago Time Monday to Friday.

An electronic copy of the Expressions of Interest must be sent in PDF format to the email in the first address below no later than 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 31, 2022 and one electronic copy must be sent simultaneously to CDB at the second email address below. The Expression of Interest will be deemed to have been received at the time that it is received by TTBS at the first email address below. The burden of proving receipt of the e-mail will be on the applicant and will not be met solely by a read receipt or sent items report generated by the Consultant’s computer. The e-mail containing each submission should include the name and address of the applicant. The subject line shall be clearly marked “Expression of Interest – Consultancy Services for Developing the Export Readiness of Trinidad and Tobago Companies for the European Union Market”.

The selection method shall be Consultants’ Qualifications selection. Following the assessment of submissions, a short-list of not less than three and not more than six applicants will be provided with full terms of reference and invited to submit technical and financial proposals to undertake the assignment. exporTT reserves the right to accept or reject late applications or to cancel the present invitation partially or in its entirety. It will not be bound to inform or assign any reason for not selecting any applicant and will not defray any costs incurred by any applicant in the preparation and submission of Expressions of Interest.



Senior Procurement Officer

exporTT Limited (exporTT)

151B Charlotte Street

Port of Spain

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

 + (868) 612-3988

 + (868) 625-8126



Procurement Policy Unit

Caribbean Development Bank

P.O. Box 408


St. Michael


 + (246) 539-1600

3. For Further Information Contact
Ms. Mandisa Granderson

Project Coordinator/Manager, Client Services

exporTT Limited

151B Charlotte Street

Port of Spain

Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

 + (868) 612-3988

 + (868) 625-8126

It's their anniversary!

It's their anniversary!

KC Confectionery Ltd. began at home and that cottage business has become a large scale, modern manufacturing facility, recognised globally. #acenturyofsweetness
Sheik Lisha Ltd was established in Trinidad and Tobago in the year 1954, by then owners, Mr. Ishmael and Mrs. Sahidan Akaloo as a family owned business. The company originated as a sole trader business, manufacturing Vermicelli, Split Peas Powder and Curry powder.
Kairi Chocolate winning streak!

Kairi Chocolate winning streak!

🍫 Delicately creamy Vegan 50% Garbanzo Chocolate honoured with Gold in the category of Tree-to-Bar, Flavoured.
🍫 Signature Bar, the 70% Dark Chocolate brought home Silver, in the category of Tree-to-Bar, Plain.
🍫Island Spice 50% Dark Milk Chocolate crafted with a unique blend of local spices also brought home Silver in the category of Tree-to-Bar, Flavoured.
The Kairi Chocolate Company is a love story where 100 years of cocoa farming combines with an elegant and delicate palette to create award winning chocolate with a dedication to cocoa continuity.

Our mission is to consistently craft fine quality chocolate, using 100% fine or flavour Trinitario cocoa from our La Carlota Estate located in Guaico Tamana. We are committed to maintaining the ecological integrity, respecting the land, preserving the local wildlife, reducing our carbon footprint and ensuring best practices in our field and post harvest operations.

It is with great pride and honour we received our second year of recognition from the Academy of Chocolate 2022 Awards, bringing Trinidad and Tobago to an internationally acclaimed audience.

In 2021, our customer favourite Chai Spice 50% Dark Milk Chocolate was awarded Bronze in the Tree-to-Bar Flavoured category, and is now joined by our three for 2022.

We are proud and honoured to represent our wonderfully diverse, richly resourced home Trinidad and Tobago, and stand among fellow internationally acclaimed chocolate makers.

Our products can be found in a number of online and in person retailers:

  • Starlite Pharmacies in Maraval, Diego Martin, South Park Mall
  • BubbleCupps
  • Boba and Brew
  • Eat It Marketplace
  • Creme Fraiche
  • Stefy’s Pharmacy
  • Thyme Gourmet
  • Courtyard by Marriott Port of Spain
  • Planting Seeds Online Marketplace
  • Sphere Online Marketplace
  • Carib Shopper Online Marketplace

Our chocolates are wide in choices from those who seek to explore a more advanced and complex sweet treat to those who crave a little quality on the go. Our chocolate bars are best suited to connoisseurs, while cocoa sticks and hot chocolate bombs can appeal to any age range. Kairi Nab-a-Nibble cocoa nib clusters are energy boosters that are great for the health conscious, athletes, students or midday snackers. All our products are appropriate for those who have to watch their sugar intake.