July 2004 Last October…almost a year ago, three Jamaican companies won major awards at the 10th staging of the Caribbean Gift and Craft Show (CGCS), held in Grenada, attended then by over 200 regional and international buyers.
Blue Mountain Aromatics, Bill Edwards fashion and Starfish Oils all received recognition for the quality of their products. In addition, Jamaican Annabella Proudlock of Harmony Hall and Air Jamaica got special 10th anniversary awards for being a consistent sponsor of the show; while Cleopatra’s Collection, Harmony Hall, Cotton & Craft and Just Kids also got mentioned for being consistent exhibitors.
For this year the numbers are set to increase and the venue has changed “and the show promises to be bigger and better based on the responses that have been received so far,” according to the organizers. The place will be Sherbourne Conference Centre, Barbados, October 7 – 10, 2004 for the 11th renewal of the CGCS. This year’s show will also feature Caribbean Fashion Rhythms.
The Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA), Jamaica Exporters Association (JEA) and Jamaica Promotions Corporations (JAMPRO) are the organizers for Jamaica’s participation. At the event last year, JAMPRO coordinated participation for 45 companies and the launch of the show in Kingston on July 8, JAMPRO President, Patricia Francis said “I see this is an avenue for an increase in export and trade in the region which are set to promote the linkage industries which are generated form the tourism sector.” The President added that with programmes like Export 2010 – a programme for companies to expand exports – “it will help to form the partnership as we try to build the market together once there is a common understanding of the necessary steps to achieve the stated goals.”
Jamaica has traditionally taken the largest contingent to this show, “and this year will be no different,” says JMA Vice President, Paulette Rhoden; “I think 2004 will be the best year and Jamaica is committed to ensuring that this happens.”
Mr. Joselius Liranzo of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) has responsibility to organise the show each year in an effort to increase the international competitiveness and the export-earning capacity of Caribbean firms. Last year Jamaican firms reported approximately US$30,000 from on the spot sales and US$80,000 from projected orders. Liranzo says “the craft show has grown from a small event to a huge marketplace that celebrates the best of Caribbean creativity, design and ingenuity,” he added that the CGCS provides a unique opportunity for regional jewellery, paintings, sculpture, paper products and woodcraft items to gain exposure.
Buyers for this year’s show are expected to come from regional and extra regional countries which include the UK and the USA. The four-day trade show features two days for buyers and the other tow days for consumers. Over the last ten years the show has been to Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Barbados and Grenada.
First Caribbean International Bank is the title sponsor for the event and Andrea Adams, senior financial controller in endorsing the event said at the launch in Kingston that the bank recognizes that the Caribbean art and craft industry generates necessary economic growth in many communities, and by extension, it promotes our tourism product throughout the region.
Contact: Carole Beckford
978 7755 ext. 2267