Starting today May 15th, 2023 through Wednesday the 17th, fifteen (15) local businesses will be showing off their goods and services at the first-ever OECS Virtual Trade Show- a massive digital event aimed at providing visibility for OECS enterprises and boosting regional and international exports.
The bulk of exhibitors from Dominica are agro-processors in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors, who use local herbs, fruits, essential oils, and other botanicals in their products. There are also companies within the service and creative space. Many of these export-ready MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) were suggested to the OECS by the local trade promotion and business support organization, the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA).
According to the Head of Export Promotion and Development at DEXIA, Lloyd Pascal, lending support to the OECS in that capacity was a natural move as the Agency has a close relationship with most of the exhibitors.
“We have been working with these entrepreneurs for some time, having not only helped them on product development, but we’ve taken their products to trade shows across the Caribbean region and the world- the most recent being Expo Dubai.”
He adds, “This is a great opportunity for local businesses, especially those looking to expand to markets outside of Dominica and we at DEXIA are there to help them prepare for this event and provide needed support after its conclusion.”
For Jodie Dublin–Dangleben of Jaydees Naturals, manufacturers of organic hair and skin care products, the Expo is an extension of her move to build her presence in the digital space.
“I have been online for some time, starting off on Facebook and adding other platforms and creating an e-commerce website to expand my presence and reach new clients. So the Expo is another digital space that I am excited to be in as I hope to meet new customers and potential international buyers who can further enable me to export on a larger scale.”
Nelson Laville, of Café La Ville, who produces ground coffee, is excited to present his drip coffee singles to visitors to his virtual booth.
“The singles are convenient and eliminate the need for all the coffee brewing apparatus while maintaining an authentic high-quality product. We’ve already started exporting and are hopeful that through this Expo, we can expand our network and future business opportunities.”
The OECS Virtual Trade expo will, through a virtual platform called ‘THE WAVE,’ allow OECS companies to showcase their products and services in a cost-effective manner to buyers, suppliers, investors, and other industry players from across the Region and the world. This opportunity to ‘Connect, Converge, and Collaborate’ could lead to prospective opportunities and increased trade.
The three-day virtual exposition will showcase a wide range of products and services from various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, creative arts, and technology. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with exhibitors, attend informative fireside chats and round table discussions, and network with industry leaders.
Dr. Didacus Jules, OECS Director General, says this is a timely and opportune platform for small businesses in the Region.
“We are thrilled to launch the OECS Virtual Trade Exposition at a time when businesses in the region need support more than ever. The OECS Virtual Trade Exposition represents a unique opportunity for businesses across the region to showcase their products and services, forge new partnerships, and explore new markets. We encourage all stakeholders to take advantage of this opportunity as we are confident that this virtual exposition will help to boost regional trading activities and promote economic growth in the OECS.”
The presenting Dominican companies and their products and services are as follows: Hey Mama Products (dried sea moss), Layou Park Nature Farms (moringa powders), Café La Ville (ground coffee), Te La Vie Naturals (coconut oil and coconut oil products), Bee Natural (beeswax-based deodorants, lip balms, and body butter), Jaydees Naturals (organic hair and skin care products), Éclat Nova Luxuries (organic botanicals and eco-home goods), Wai’tu Music (record label and artist management company), and We Planet (earth focused solutions), 767. dev Ltd (IT professionals), Apachy Solutions (Marketing and graphic design), Draw teas (ginger and ginger turmeric teas), Kamisha Dominique (Coconut oil and activated charcoal), Merlinda Francois (professional development coaching), One Off Productions (film and media production). Jollys Manufacturing and Harris Paints are also represented at the expo.
Visit www.oecstradeexpo to register and access the platform so you can give support to these local companies and also be introduced to others from the OECS Region.