Opportunities in the Caribbean Region

Trade Mission and Business Development Conference

June 8-12, 2014

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) are organizing a trade mission to the Caribbean, in conjunction with the Trade Americas - Opportunities in the Caribbean region Conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic June 8-12, 2014.

U.S. trade mission delegation member participants will arrive in Santo Domingo on June 8, and will attend the Trade Americas - Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference on June 9. Following the half-day conference, participants will have the opportunity to participate in one-on-one business appointments with Econ/Commercial Officers from the following U.S. Embassies in the Caribbean region: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, and Trinidad and Tobago. The following day participants will have matchmaking appointments with Dominican companies in the Dominican Republic. And the day after, participants will travel to Haiti, Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, or Trinidad and Tobago (choosing one market) for additional one-on-one business appointments. Each one-on-one business appointment will be with a pre-screened potential buyer, agent, distributor or joint-venture partner. Participants will also be invited to networking events during the mission.

The mission is open to U.S. companies from a cross section of industries with growing potential in the Caribbean, but is focused on best prospects such as construction equipment/road building machinery, medical equipment and devices/pharmaceuticals, ICT, energy equipment, and safety and security equipment.

To register for the conference only, please use this form.

To learn about Conference and Trade Mission activities, access the Program Agenda.

Commercial Setting

The Bahamian economy is driven by tourism and financial services. The Bahamas imports nearly all of its food and manufactured goods from the United States, and U.S. goods and services tend to be favored by Bahamians due to cultural similarities and exposure to U.S. advertising. Due to its dependence on tourism imports from the United States and trade with the United States, the Bahamian economy is notably affected by U.S. economic performance. There are no significant barriers to trade in the Bahamas. The Bahamas is currently reviewing proposals for alternative energy source projects. Best prospects sectors for U.S. exports include: Hotel Equipment; Franchise; Construction Equipment and Supplies; Consumer Products; and Drugs and Pharmaceutical Products.

Barbados enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in the region and an investment climate which benefits from its political stability and stable institutions. Financial and information services are important foreign exchange earners and thrive from having the same time zone as eastern U.S. financial centers and a highly educated workforce. A renewable energy bill that will open up the possibility of private energy production and selling back to the grid is expected to be passed this year. The tourism sector is expected to be upgraded through several ongoing construction projects. Best Prospects are Construction and Building Products; Consumer Goods; Agricultural Products and Equipment; Renewable Energy Technologies and Equipment; and Hotel and Restaurant Equipment.

Dominican Republic
With a population of 10 million consumers and a GDP of $59 billion, the Dominican Republic (DR) is the ninth largest economy in Latin America and the second largest in the Caribbean region. The United States represents, by far, the DR’s largest trading partner. 43.6 percent of imports into the DR are of U.S. origin. There is extremely high receptivity to U.S. goods and services and U.S. product standards are generally accepted. Since the entry into force of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) in March 2007, bilateral trade has grown at a robust pace. By 2012, U.S. exports to the DR had grown by 33 percent over the pre-CAFTA days of 2006.

The strength of the trade relationship stems from close geographic proximity and the historic cultural and personal ties that many Dominicans have with the United States. Best prospect sectors for U.S. exports include: Automotive Parts, Hotel and Restaurant Equipment, Travel and Tourism, Safety and Security Equipment; Renewable Energy Technologies and Equipment; Telecommunications Services and Equipment; Printing and Graphic Arts Products and Equipment; Computers and Peripherals; Medical Equipment; and Construction and Building Products.

The United States is Haiti’s chief trading partner, with a 40 percent share of Haiti’s import market. Haiti’s economy is unique in the Caribbean region, with a large population of 10 million people but a relatively small $7.9 billion GDP. Haiti’s geographic proximity and historically strong links with the United States contribute to a strong market for U.S. exports. Haiti imports more than 70 percent of market goods, and American businesses continue to do well in finding local buyers and distributors. Haiti has the lowest import tariffs in the Caribbean region. Best prospects sectors for U.S. exports include: Apparel and Textile; Machinery and Transport; Automotive Sector and Parts; Telecommunications Services and Equipment; Electrical Power Systems; Tourism; and Construction and Building Products/Equipment.

The United States is Jamaica’s largest trading partner, accounting for almost 40% of Jamaica’s total trade. A small economy of 2.8 million people and $15 billion GDP, Jamaica’s geographic proximity and historically strong links with the United States have encouraged a wide range of U.S. investors and exporters to enter the Jamaican market. Best prospects sectors for U.S. exports include: Agriculture; Pharmaceuticals/Chemicals; Machinery/Transportation Equipment; Consumer Products and Tourism; ICT; Automobiles; Energy Production; and Telecommunications Services and Equipment.

Trinidad and Tobago
The United States is Trinidad and Tobago’s largest trading partner, accounting for 33 percent of Trinidad and Tobago’s total imports and purchasing 44 percent of its exports. A small country of 1.2 million people and a per capita GDP of $20,000, one of the highest in the region, Trinidad and Tobago’s economy is dominated by the energy sector. Trinidad and Tobago’s geographic proximity and strong links with the United States have encouraged a wide range of U.S. investors and exporters to enter Trinidad and Tobago’s market. Best prospects sectors for U.S. exports include: Oil and Gas Field Machinery and Services; Food Processing and Packaging; Automotive Parts and Services; Telecommunications; Computers and Peripherals; Construction; Tourism; and Maritime Industries.

The foregoing analysis of export opportunities in the Caribbean Region is not intended to be exhaustive, but illustrative of the many opportunities available to U.S. businesses. Applications from U.S. companies will be considered and evaluated by the U.S. Department of Commerce on their market potential in the Caribbean region.

Participation Details

All parties interested in participating in the U.S. Department of Commerce Trade Mission to the Caribbean Region must complete and submit an application package for consideration by the Department of Commerce. All applicants will be evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below.

A minimum of 20 and a maximum of 30 companies will be selected to participate in the mission from the applicants on a rolling basis. During the registration process, applicants will be able to select their markets of choice and will receive a brief market assessment for each selected market. All selected participants will attend business-to-business meetings in the Dominican Republic. For those companies seeking to participate in additional business-to-business meetings in another market on June 12, we will select based on market suitability. The number of companies that may be selected for each country are as follows: 2-3 companies for the Bahamas; 2 companies for Barbados; 4-6 companies for Haiti; 4-6 companies for Jamaica; and 3 companies for Trinidad and Tobago. U.S. companies already doing business in, or seeking to enter the market in the Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago for the first time may apply.

Mission Timetable

June 8, 2014

June 9, 2014

June 10, 2014

Travel Day/Arrival in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Registration and Trade Americas - Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference
U.S. Embassy Officer Consultations
Ambassador’s Networking Reception

Dominican Republic

Business-to-Business Meetings


June 11 -12, 2014

June 13, 2014

Business-to-Business Meetings in (choice of one market):
Option (A) Bahamas
Option (B) Barbados
Option (C) Haiti
Option (D) Jamaica
Option (E) Trinidad and Tobago

Travel Day

Trade Mission Registration is closed.

2014 Trade Americas - Opportunities in the Caribbean Region Conference

The Conference will include a Caribbean Region focused business discussion consisting of regional and industry specific sessions as well as pre-arranged consultations with Commercial and Economic Officers representing commercial markets throughout the region.

To register for the conference only, please use this form.

Date: June 9, 2014
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals (e.g., local transportation, interpreters) will be the responsibility of each mission participant.

For more information, contact David Royce at David.Royce@trade.gov or by phone 817-999-9757.

Meet Our Marketing Partners!

The elite group of companies listed below is contributing to the success of the Caribbean Business Development Trade Mission. If you would like to become a Marketing Partner, please click here.

Silver Marketing Partner

Bronze Marketing Partner

Supporting Organization

* An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations (see http://www.sba.gov/services/contracting opportunities/sizestandardstopics/index.html). Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service’s user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008 (see http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html for additional information).