Promoting Regional Integration in the Caribbean via the Fashion Industry



Bridgetown, Barbados, November 13, 2013. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) supported the attendance of seven designers to the recently held Dominicana Moda (DM2013) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, during October 21-26, 2013.  The Fashion Week attracted the talent and passion of a great number of designers, delighted audiences and industry professionals alike.

Each year Dominicana Moda grows in strength, so much so, that it has become a vehicle for promoting the integration of the Dominican Republic and the countries of CARICOM.  Among the countries that came to exhibit their talent on Dominican soil was a very diverse delegation of leading designers and new talents from 7 countries of CARIFORUM; ILashan Apparel & Handmade Jewelry from The Bahamas; the Andrew Harris Collection of Barbados; Odanis Valdez Polonia from the Dominican Republic; MARSAE of Guyana; Mag Art from Haiti; Patwa Apparel Ltd from Jamaica and MEILING Inc. from Trinidad and Tobago.

The joint exhibition of these 7 countries sought to promote intra-Caribbean relations by forging strategic alliances that allow them to attack the international and regional markets with greater momentum.  In addition to the runway shows, the designers visited textile factories in the DR such as Group M and Blue Country to explore manufacturing opportunities for their clothing lines, thus ensuring the origin “Caribbean” for products and guaranteeing the preferential access to major markets.

This incentive is part of the joint strategy for private sector development of Caribbean Export, the European Union and the Multilateral Cooperation Directorate (DIGECOOM) which aims to help Caribbean countries to take a greater advantage of Trade Agreements signed by CARIFORUM countries including the Economic Partnership Agreement EU – CARIFORUM (EPA).

As expressed by Escipion Oliveira, Deputy Executive Director at Caribbean Export, “it is hoped that more regionally designed clothing could be manufactured in the Dominican Republic and exported to Europe under major trade preferences thus reinforcing the integration of our countries”.

Top row from left; Marcie De Santos, Andrew Harris, Anthony Reid, Odanis Valdez Polonia
Front row from left; Indira Lashan Moss, Heneka Watkis Porter, Meiling Esau