Exporting is an excellent way to enjoy pure economies of scale with products that are more “global” in scope and have a wider range of acceptance around the world (in other words, they can be used in other parts of the world without much adaptation). Therefore, it is not uncommon for a recession in the local market to act as a spur for companies to enter export markets that may offer greater opportunities for sales.
Trade specialists suggest that the three most effective export promotion and marketing activities in priority order are; inbound trade missions, outbound trade missions and trade shows/expos/exhibitions. With this in mind, TEPA in the delivery of its mandate and services continue to engage exporters in either of the aforementioned trade activities/events at both regional and international levels.
In 2012, the agency successfully hosted its first local trade show dubbed “Expo 2012” themed “Expect, Experience, Export the Best of Saint Lucia”. The main objective of this exposition was to apprise the populace of, and showcase the excellent and authentic Saint Lucian products and services to encourage local buying. Over 70 exhibitors participated and 3000 persons visited the exposition. The success of EXPO 2012 brought into focus the need to provide a platform for existing and potential exporters to showcase their product & services. Coming out of the Post Review, visitors were of the view that the initiative should be a regular or annual event targeting local and regional buyers. One buyer noted “The expo was a very good initiative which seeks to inform us Saint Lucians of the many products that are proudly made right here in St. Lucia”.
Consequently, TEPA has committed to host an event of international standard that would run every two to three years. Learning from the experiences of EXPO 2012 the event would create a B2B environment, giving buyers of products and services regionally and internationally access to products and services from Saint Lucia and other OECS Member States products. Alternatively, exporters will have the opportunity to showcase products and services thereby enhancing their exposure to wider markets. With the agency’s derived expertise and experience, TEPA would ensure that the event maintains an international appeal and standard.