Our mission, at the Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) revolves around promoting and expanding Saint Lucian business in export markets. It is our passion and a mandate we continuously seek to achieve as we aspire to increase local exports and to assist local businesses improve profitability and long term sustainability. We’re keen on exploring new avenues, wading into new markets which can directly benefit Saint Lucian businesses.
TEPA’s collaborative presence with the Saint Lucia Tourist Board at the recently held 23rd Annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show in Puerto Rico has highlighted a new and exciting market for Saint Lucian entrepreneurs and businesses; Cruise Lines!
The annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show gives attendees the opportunity to attend business sessions and workshops, network with, exhibit and promote their products to 100 high-level cruise executives, and close to 1000 tourism stakeholders. Specifically, TEPA’s attendance at the “Sourcing/Purchasing for the Cruise Industry” workshop, allowed TEPA to gain insightful knowledge about how local Saint Lucian companies can maximize their potential to become cruise line product suppliers.
“We’re very excited about this new area,” says TEPA Marketing and Promotion Officer, Portia Williams-Thompson. “From our attendance at the workshop we learnt a lot about the requirements and standards which our local businesses will have to meet in order to supply to the cruise lines. From our preliminary review we believe we already have a few suppliers who are ready to supply the cruise lines, with others not too far behind.”
In fact, Portia notes that TEPA and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s mini exhibition during the cruise was an absolute success.
“To give patrons of the conference an idea about the type of goods coming from Saint Lucia, our exhibition displayed locally made authentic St Lucian products which included some agro-processed goods, confectionaries like fudge and chocolates; cocoa sticks and skin care products,” says Portia. “They really loved it! Our booth generated a lot of interest, with quite a few of our items, like the cocoa sticks, going really quickly.”
TEPA looks forward to working with local producers, manufacturers and artisans to better enable them to take advantage of this new, exciting export opportunity.