The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Regional Integration and the Diaspora is the lead Government agency with the responsibility of managing the country’s international trade and foreign relations, as well as domestic commerce and consumer advocacy. In the exercise of this mandate, the Ministry has had to be pragmatic and flexible in its approach to doing business, given the prevailing international economic environment which, at the best of times, has not been very accommodating to small states.
FOREIGN TRADE DEPARTMENT
The Foreign Trade Department is responsible for co-ordinating and facilitating policyformulation and implementation and the monitoring of trade at the domestic, regional and international level.
The Foreign Trade Department aims to promote Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ (SVG) participation in the global trading system in an effort to facilitate and foster its development by promoting trade and investment. The Unit also seeks to foster SVG’s development through regional integration and development co-operation. Its strategic purpose is therefore to negotiate international trade agreements on a bilateral and multilateral basis within the context of a global trading environment.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is party to a number of Trade and Economic Agreements including the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Agreement, the CARIFORUM/EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the OECS Economic Union Agreement. The Ministry continues to lead the process on SVG's participation in the CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement.
WTO TRADE REFERENCE CENTER
The WTO, through its Trade-Related Technical Assistance (TRTA), has agreed to establish a Trade Reference Centre (TRC), in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines during the last quarter of 2014.
The basic objective of the WTO Reference Centre Programme is to enable Government officials, private sector and academic communities of in SVG to obtain trade-related information resources on the WTO Internet site, in electronic versions on CD-ROMs developed by the WTO, as well as trade-related publications, and to facilitate access and use of E-Learning programmes of the WTO. Particular emphasis will be put on E-Learning as an effective means of preparing Vincentian participants prior to any face-to-face training in line with the new progressive learning strategy adopted by the Institute of Training and Technical Co-operation.