The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS) partnered with the Information and Communication Technology (CTIC) for the implementation of a training programme for ICT Advisors from 11 CARICOM countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, The Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti) during the period March 23 – 25, 2015 at a face to face workshop at Divi Southwinds Resort, Barbados aimed at improving the competitiveness of firms through access, implementation, and use of ICT in business processes.
“We want more businesses to take advantage of the trade opportunities that are out there, and we can do this by enhancing their competitiveness and productivity through the adoption and utilization of ICT in their businesses” expressed Pamela Coke-Hamilton. “The reality of the situation is that SMEs must embrace ICT to survive in today’s environment.”
CTIC has successfully led a programme over the last twelve years to build capacity in the use of ICTs by SMEs through the training of ICT Advisors. ICT Advisors are then tasked with the responsibility of training SMEs in how to incorporate ICTs in their businesses so that they can become more innovative, profitable, and ultimately more competitive firms.
The programme commenced in January of this year with six (6) weeks of online sessions and completed during March 23-25, 2015 when technical advisors and ICT consultants from around the CARICOM region who work with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) were brought together. At this session a commitment to establish an ICT Advisory Group comprising of regional practitioners to further the work required to assist regional SME’s to utilise ICT within their business processes was made. This action will dovetail with Caribbean Export’s regional ICT strategy. The ultimate objective is the enhancement of competitiveness and capacity of private sector firms. Following the training, the ICT Advisors will work with various Business Support Organizations (BSOs) in the Region to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs through infusing ICT in their business operations.