RDF SYMPOSIUM - ON COMMEMORATIVE MAGAZINE
Declaration of Principles
NY Governor Pataki
Want to go home?
DEXIA - New Approach
Mo n Mo Music
Productivity and Economy
Health & the Diaspora
A Call to Action
Do You Remember When?
Technol. & Intel. Capital
Planning for Agriculture
Security & Development
Dominica State College
DSS in Partnership
Dominica & Integration
Education for Survival
Globalisation & Caribbean
Skills for Internet Age
Legacy of Rosie Douglas-1
DEXIA: A Different Approach
by Neal Nixon
The success of any nation lies in its ability to transform itself into an export based hub. It will be necessary that efforts from every organization, thus related, reflect a strong, well informed and well prepared marketing army. We cannot stand supinely on our backs hugging the delusive phantom of hope while we seem to be navigated, that way, or by lack of force, the other way, to some irreversible waters of crisis. We are, fellow compatriots, already at the edge of the precipice.
We must be ready for when the markets are identified, when the product is in demand, and when the channels of opportunities are opened. Anything less than being ready will not be the fault of global competitive geography, but rather the ineptitude of those in position (regardless of measure) to make a change. New opinions are always suspect and usually opposed; however, I beg the unprejudiced attention of my reader on some thoughts respecting the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) and how it can assist in this wise departure from "business as usual."
Every successful country has trade offices in other countries from which there are large prospective buyers. The functions of these trade offices include the gathering of intelligence on foreign markets, conducting research regarding demand, distribution, wholesaling, channeling, warehousing, different methods of payment, shipping, tariffs, and the like.
I advance that we establish trade offices in the Unites States, Guadeloupe and St. Martin, with others to follow as demand dictates. To reduce expenses in this process, the National Development Corporation office in New York can serve as the Dominica Trade Office (DEXIA Trade Office) as well.
Resources shared between, and capabilities and core competencies transferred across the trade office and the tourism office will give rise to added synergy and a more improved presentation of Dominica.
Moreover, there are many resourceful Dominicans and organizations in the United States who have expressed a keen interest in helping (gratis) in this endeavor.
Some of the organizations are Dominica Academy of Arts and Sciences (DAAS), Dominican American Relief and Development Association (DARDA), Examples of Dominicans in the US (EXODUS), the Dominica Association of Washington, DC (DAWDC), and the Roosevelt Douglas Foundation (RDF).
Many of these organizations have already hosted Dominican trade shows in New and Washington, DC, to name a few cities with some success. However, in every instance it was not part of a systematic plan or on the initiative of DEXIA.
Many Dominicans are made aware of Dominican products via my BUY DOMINICA e-mail newsletter. Several have made purchases of Dominican products as a result or gained marketing intelligence.
In the information age such access to data is key. I commit, herein, to partner with DEXIA in ensuring a dynamic marketing link via e-mail to the Diaspora.
Creating a serious and meaningful relationship with the French Caribbean is something long overdue. We have been talking about this possibility for decades. Establishing trade offices in Guadeloupe and St. Martin will lay the foundation for the beginning of a special intimacy between Dominica and its French neighbors.
The prohibition placed on Dominican hucksters in Guadeloupe and St. Martin effective October this year testifies to the urgency of the establishment of trade offices in these Islands.
It may not be expensive, if we use Dominicans already in place and arrange payment for their services by a tracking system, which ties productivity in marketing to fees paid. In essence a "Fee via Performance" model which encourages the Dominican Diaspora so chosen to get busy.
The United States, Singapore and other successful countries have acquired many markets for their products through the furnishing of intelligence and finance through their respective export banks.
An export bank controlled by a Marketing Task Force, armed with a robust marketing program can serve Dominica well. The bank would be responsible for financing companies that are interested in selling their products overseas, and will provide the support and the means of channeling their products to the demand destinations.
I must say that the buy local campaign of DEXIA is a noble one. We need to initiate more programs like this in Dominica. However, it is important to take the campaign to a buy-Dominica level. The buy-local campaign only solicit Dominicans to buy local products, but the buy-Dominica campaign is an initiative to create a global awareness of Dominica's products and to seek, preserve and establish markets for Dominican producers.
It would be the responsibility of those in charge of the Buy Dominica program to coordinate efforts with the Export Bank, trade offices, Dominican organizations, Ministry of trade, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. The Buy Dominican team can also work with the foreign embassies to ensure that Dominican producers have information regarding every possible foreign business directory. China has a cheap and abundant supply of raw material, so the Chinese embassy would be the first that we should approach.
In addition, this team can be commissioned to guarantee that there is a Dominican manufactured product or raw material competing with a foreign substitute in every store/shop shelf and that Dominican products are readily available and accessible at all times.
No program of that degree of importance can be successful without a training program. The Buy Dominica team would be responsible for educating the masses in general and the business community in particular on packaging, branding, shipping, product care, product preservation techniques and the like.
Marketing legislation and a quality control framework related to international trade standards would be established and strongly enforced to create and to maintain a good reputation for Dominica's products.
This law, in a great portion, will determine our longevity in markets and will be used as a benchmark for all export endeavors.
I hope these suggestions find receptivity at the highest levels of Dominica's Government, the AID Bank and DEXIA. However, the Diaspora Dominican or organization should seize the initiative where possible and identify local export businesses and partner with them to offer such marketing services, or access to store shelves in their respective cities in the USA, Canada, the UK or the French/Dutch Caribbean territories. No one can develop Dominica for us, but us. DEXIA can help that development process along where it marches along the path suggested.