Deadline Date:

Caribbean Export is seeking the professional services of a consultant whose primary goal will be to develop a regional business linkages programme for the Caribbean focused on the tourism and distribution sectors, providing recommendations for the sustainability of the programme and for a proposed online B2B matchmaking portal.


The term “business linkages” generally refers to any upstream or downstream business relationship that takes place between a foreign investing firm and their local business partners in a country where the foreign investing firm operates. One of the major challenges in the Caribbean is the limited absorption of the benefits of foreign direct investment (FDI) by the local economies. This has been attributed to several factors, including the inability of local Small Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to meet quality, quantity, performance, delivery and standards compliance. Where these criteria are met, there is however limited information on these available sources of supply (of goods and services). This challenge is not faced by foreign investors only. All buyers in the Caribbean are faced with challenges in securing supplier information, particularly on regional suppliers in order to make the necessary business linkages.

During a Regional Consultation on Market Intelligence hosted by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in June 2014, firms indicated the need for a basic online platform which would provide initial matchmaking support by enabling Business to Business (B2B) interactions with potential buyers, distributors and other strategic partners, allowing them to showcase their product/service offerings in real time, prior to face to face discussion and further transactions. Such a platform would allow investors the opportunity to search for suitable suppliers within the region.

It is envisaged that a B2B platform will provide firms with a single, easy to use, web-based mechanism that will facilitate the introduction of potential business contacts, company profiling and viewing of available products/services, and provide a unique location for preliminary business discussions to take place. It will also include a market place where firms can identify products and services that they demand, or are able to supply, making it easier to source regional goods and services. With this platform, it is expected that CARIFORUM SMEs will increase their engagement with investors, in-market distributors and other potential buyers.

The identification of these buyers, their needs and demands is critical to the success of a B2B matchmaking portal. This business linkages initiative will seek to identify the supply needs and requirements of 2 major investor groups in the Caribbean – investors in the hotel and resort development sector and major distributors (e.g. supermarkets and wholesalers). Once these needs have been identified, securing potential suppliers for the platform will allow for dynamic interaction, engagement and business linkages.

The development of the B2B Portal will be undertaken under a separate consultancy that will work in tandem with the Business Linkages consultancy.


Interested parties are required to download the full terms of reference and submit a technical and financial proposal to Christopher McNair, Manager, Competitiveness and Export Promotion at [email protected] copied to Suzette Hudson, Snr. Advisor, Investment Promotion at [email protected]

The deadline for submissions is 4:30pm Barbados Time on 24 May 2018

Download the full terms of reference here.