Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Firms need good data

Executive Officer of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, is stressing the importance of market research in the exportation of goods and services.

“Market research and competitive intelligence can, and is necessary for helping the CARIFORUM private sector to better understand a number of issues in export markets, such as the market entry requirements for their products, consumer demand patterns and trends, competitor and substitute products, distribution networks and the regulatory requirements that affect their businesses. Having such market research and competitive intelligence support may not automatically result in firms being able to increase their exports, but it will go a long way to ensuring that when they do enter a new market, they are in a stronger position to compete,” she stated.

As she addressed the Regional Consultations on Market Intelligence and Export Strategy Development at the Radisson Aquatica on Thursday, she pointed out that if firms could be equipped with the ability to know when a competitor was going to replace a product line or making a move towards another section of the market, they would experience a phenomenal effect on their performance.

Coke-Hamilton expressed, “How would such intelligence affect the degree to which they can compete and establish their brands in their chosen markets? What effect would such improved performance have not only on their bottom lines, but also on our economies? I would like to suggest that such market intelligence is the missing link in our current regional business eco-system.”

Pointing out that there was a direct link between market intelligence and export strategy development, Coke-Hamilton said private sector support organisations and government officials must understand this in order to change the trajectory of regional exports. “Unless our export strategy planning is informed with reliable market intelligence, on what basis do we expect that we will be effective in increasing national, and by extension, regional exports?” she queried. (JMB)

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