This objective of the Dialogue is to explore emerging trade and investment opportunities in the agricultural sector in the Caribbean; and to discuss challenges to sustainable and profitable partnerships. The Caribbean Basin Initiative grants the region non-reciprocal duty-free access to U.S markets for the majority of products.
In 2010, the United States imported $133 million in agricultural, fish and forestry products from the region.
The Caribbean is an excellent market for U.S. suppliers, due in large part to the fact that demand for imported food products is largely inelastic. With an insufficient amount of arable land, scant water resources in some islands, no economies of scale, and a limited food-processing sector, the islands must import the majority of their food needs. There is also strong appeal among the 3.9 million local residents of U.S. products. Moreover, between six and seven million stop-over tourists (over half of which are from the United States) visit the Caribbean annually and help fuel demand for U.S. products in Caribbean food service outlets. Given these favorable conditions for U.S. exports, it is no surprise that the U.S. is the largest supplier of food products to the Caribbean. In 2012, the U.S. exported a record high US$874.3 million worth of consumer-oriented products to the region, a 6% increase from the previous year. Consumer-oriented products account for 72% of U.S. agricultural exports to the Caribbean, with poultry, red meats, snack foods, dairy products, and processed fruit and vegetables rounding out the top five export categories. In 2012 the United Stated also exported $35.9 million worth of fish products to the region, which was a decrease of 5% from 2011.
The Dialogue brings together policy makers, the private sector and program managers to engage in open and frank exchange. The program will begin with an overview of the current environment for the agribusiness sector. The Dialogue will include a discussion on emerging opportunities in the region in the agribusiness sector, with a focus on niche market foods, bio-fuel (renewable energy) and bio-technology. The Dialogue will also provide a focus on small businesses, and provide an update on access to financing these sectors in the Caribbean.
Download the Preliminary Agenda for 2013 Invest Caribbean HERE.
Download the complete 2012 Invest Caribbean here.