Caribbean Export Development Agency Cancels Design Caribbean 2013 – But Why?

The popular position held by citizens when things go wrong, and Caribbean people are no exception, is to blame the political directorate. Six years after the meltdown on Wall Street which caused havoc on much of the global economy our islands depend, our leaders in the Caribbean both in political and civil society –  continue to use the same old approaches. Is it not obvious to those with sense that the way business was done pre-2008 now requires a different thinking and approach?

Many continue to engage in an asinine debate that we have only a production problem. BU suggest we also have a consumption problem exacerbated by the fact the majority of our people are hooked on products and services made overseas. We can go further and suggest that our thinking process has been likewise infected and this has affected our ability to value the urgent need to promote and give outlet to indigenous talent.

Also of importance is the necessity for the people of any nation to carve out a space to accommodate the talent an skills of its people. By doing so we have a chance to perpetuate our identity as a people which gives root to building self esteem and confidence. Of course there is the economic value to the national coffers which a vibrant cultural expression can give opportunity to.

The news that that The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has cancelled this years’ Design Caribbean scheduled for October should concern Caribbean people. The Caribbean Export press release refers to “the sheer number of applicants received is a clear indication of the importance of the craft and design sector to the region as a whole” YET the inexplicable decision to cancel in order to “regroup“.

Now why would would Caribbean Export cancel an opportunity for Caribbean people to display God given talents to the world. This is at a time when our region needs to produce.

Read the press release:

Bridgetown, Barbados, August 12, 2013.  The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) announces the cancellation of this years’ Design Caribbean scheduled for October 25-27, 2013 in Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas.At the recently held meeting of the Board of Directors, the strategic direction of Design Caribbean was discussed at length and how this platform could best serve the regional craft and design sector.  The decision was taken to cancel at this seasons event to re-group and put in-place the infrastructure to develop long-term, sustainable support to the sector.  The sheer number of applicants received is a clear indication of the importance of the craft and design sector to the region as a whole.  For that reason Caribbean Export is committed to delivering a Design Caribbean that facilitates sustainable development and growth.Design Caribbean must be developed in a way that produces results, promotes and increases regional exports to the international market.  In view of this the Agency will continue to work assiduously to develop a strategy that facilitates the attendance of CARIFORUM firms at international buying events as part of Design Caribbean.For more information or questions please contact JoEllen Laryea at orcall +1 246 436 0578.

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40 Comments on “Caribbean Export Development Agency Cancels Design Caribbean 2013 – But Why?”

  1. David August 17, 2013 at 7:31 PM #

    You see Bush Tea unless it is about politics and religion nobody gives a rat’s ass.


  2. Hants August 17, 2013 at 7:47 PM #

    David I just browsed past exhibitors of the event and it showed very interesting marketable products.

    There is still a market in this world for products that are not made in China or Bangladesh.


  3. Hants August 17, 2013 at 7:49 PM #

    Perhaps “DesignCaribbean” could create a virtual Tradeshow online.


  4. David August 17, 2013 at 7:52 PM #


    Why the hell would they cancel the show?


  5. millertheanunnaki August 17, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

    @ David | August 17, 2013 at 7:31 PM |

    I suspect the cancellation might just be due to major cutbacks in funding from very financially hard pressed fiscally crippled governments. Parastatals and NGOs would find it increasingly difficult to survive far less expand in the prevailing funding climate which is expected to be a sustained limiting factor with a faster reaching point of Pareto optimality.

    It would be interesting to see the political leaders lead by example and make a concerted effort to support regional designers and manufacturers. This could be done by mandating all school and public institution uniforms be designed and fabricated mainly from materials produced in the region with furniture and furnishings for public buildings be designed and manufactured in the region.

    The politicians themselves could also wear formal clothing designed with the local climatic and tropically relaxing environment in mind. The business people and fashion buffs would follow in their ‘suits’ minus the professional females (educated at taxpayers’ expense) with their ‘hot’ heads covered with expensively imported false or exorbitantly overpriced remi hair.
    Why not have a regional hairstyling (based on creative hair art) exhibition or competition along with a fashion show based on regionally inspired concepts of dressing for the occasion, Caribbean style?


  6. David August 17, 2013 at 8:17 PM #


    At times of crisis there are areas which more funds should be allocated. The cultural and creative sector is one.


  7. millertheanunnaki August 17, 2013 at 8:24 PM #

    @ David | August 17, 2013 at 8:17 PM |

    Agree! If only you could get the pols to think outside the traditional box of tourism and international business both of which are under threat from both endogenous and exogenous “evils”.

    BTW, what is the latest with the Cultural Industries Development Bill that was sent back to the drafting drawing board for a few minor adjustments many months ago?


  8. pieceuhderockyeahright August 17, 2013 at 8:28 PM #

    @ the Anunnaki

    Spot on regarding the issue of financing drying up but, in addition to the fact that the “deliverables” did not meet the stated target there is also the issue that incidental expenses, translated travel for some of CEDA high flyer upper management was noticeably higher than the originally budgeted program

    De white people from Europe doan tek kindly to black people wasting EU funds pun first class tickets en ting


  9. BAFBFP August 17, 2013 at 8:46 PM #

    I am constrained to speak on this topic but I have to admire David’s tenacity 🙂

    … All I can say is that I am glad David got a hold of this story, and I hope that it exposes the true worth of those at CEDA, for if the scripting of the cancellation is anything to go by, designers and manufacturers should be in the process of drafting a formal “no-confidence” motion of sorts, to be presented to somebody somewhere (… the EU maybe?).

    The employees at CEDA do NOT have to sell anything to make a living, they do NOT have to earn a living …!

    Shame shame shame …


  10. David August 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM #


    The Cultural Industries Bill was read for a first time on Thursday night.


  11. millertheanunnaki August 17, 2013 at 9:18 PM #

    @ David | August 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM |

    What about the Electricity Act Amendment bill to speed up the facilitation of the RE movement?
    This piece of amending legislation was promised to be completed by August last year.
    Here is what was said in the June 2012 Budget speech:

    “In support of this aggressive vision of restructuring of the economy through renewable energy, government has already examined and proposed several amendments to the Electricity Act of Barbados to facilitate the orderly distribution of excess electricity produced outside of the main power company into the national Grid. This Amendment Bill should be before the House In August and it is expected that the new legislation will provide for prices to be set each year for each renewable energy source. The feeder tariff will hold for a number of years at a level to enable investors to cover their debt service and recover their capital. It will also put a mechanism in place to ensure that the price to the public is kept to a minimum.”


  12. Hants August 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM #

    Design Caribbean boasts over 100 regional exhibitors with more than 1000 products – it is the place to spot future talent and emerging brands and is where visitors from the region, North America and Europe leave with a true sense of the diversity and creativity that breathes vibrancy into the Caribbean region.

    The show may have been cancelled because there may not have been enough “Buyers” promising to attend.

    The Bahamas is a great location for a show.


  13. BAFBFP August 17, 2013 at 10:05 PM #

    You know Hants, if this were so what would be that harm of saying so … OOOps … Whose responsibility was it to attract buyers? I any event I like the Bahamas, but is it not about time that there are at least one direct flight there each year …? Why should I have to give up ownership of something as personal as my finger prints, just because I am desirous of traveling to the Bahamas …?


  14. David August 17, 2013 at 10:14 PM #

    Good point Baf, why the Bahamas given its location and need to pass through Miami for most Caribbean attendees. Many of these expos are located in countries because of the social activities on offer. In this case Atlantis and Paradse Island.


  15. Hants August 17, 2013 at 10:22 PM #

    BAFBFP this type of show is meant to attract potential business.

    The Bahamas is a good location if the target market is the USA.

    Maybe you all should copy the Canadians and have smaller shows in the target markets.

    The products I saw on the website are certainly not cheap (made in China) and would do well in stores in major cities around the world.


  16. Sargeant August 17, 2013 at 10:25 PM #

    @Miller etc.
    The politicians themselves could also wear formal clothing designed with the local climatic and tropically relaxing environment in mind. The business people and fashion buffs would follow in their ‘suits’ minus the professional females (educated at taxpayers’ expense) with their ‘hot’ heads covered with expensively imported false or exorbitantly overpriced remi hair
    Been there done that got the Tee Shirt, some years back it was de riguer to wear “‘shirt jacs” like the ones still favored by the artist formerly known as Elton Why did the males (esp.) move away from this trend? Today many of the politicians are dressed to the nines as if they are coming from Savile Row. In the tropics one should wear clothes that are comfortable for the climate, not outfits better suited to temperate climes but Barbados is not called “Little England” for nothing, these Lord Fauntleroys will soon be wearing Bowler hats and Morning suits.

    Back to the main subject, let’s hope the reasons for the cancellation are valid, with so many exhibitors interested in attending it is better to cancel the show rather than forge ahead and disappoint your clientele if the infrastructure is lacking.

    “David” can diarize it and see what happens next year.


  17. BAFBFP August 17, 2013 at 10:28 PM #

    Yes, the destination stands to benefit from the exposure that is given by the presence of the participants … but of course the focus is on the designers and how they benefit … Should they be made to travel and board, having given up the rights to one’s finger prints then to find that a vital piece of the layout is missing, namely buyers? The result will be of course that the event suffer a fall off in support. It troubles me that in the Caribbean so many travel around the world “on national business” with nothing really to sell (other than sea, sand and low corp tax) but trade missions cannot attract a cent from central governments ….!


  18. Culture Vulture August 17, 2013 at 10:53 PM #

    The reasons might be both financial and due to the need to produce real results as an outcome of the event. Caribbean Export has a mandate from the EU via the EPAs and is being supported financially to carry out its mission to assist cultural agents. If the decision is driven by finances, then I would think that something is terribly wrong in how funds are being handled or the costs for putting on such a show for CARIFORUM designers (given high levels of interest) would virtually bankrupt the institution ie make it challenging to stage other critical cultural events over time. I would rather think that they are indeed regrouping in order to ensure that they increase exports. “Design Caribbean must be developed in a way that produces results, promotes and increases regional exports to the international market.” This I believe may be far more of a challenge. Regrouping might mean that success has eluded the region. Perhaps they are assessing the reasons why and trying to determine how to ensure that viable products are actually sold. It might require a different approach and more strategic targeting of export ready firms.


  19. BAFBFP August 17, 2013 at 11:26 PM #

    Mr Vulture

    The easiest response to your insight is to consider performance based remuneration for the executives of the CEDA and to take on board a gifted world class sales force to open doors and attract interest to what the region has on offer, and to feed back from the potential markets opportunities to develop. This kind of skill is NOT taught in universities I’m afraid. I invite you to tour the offices of ITC (Sells cars all over the world) or any Life Insurance agency or pharmaceutical company in the region for example.


  20. David August 17, 2013 at 11:29 PM #

    If the region is not able to attract buyers to our premier regional expo why not just pack it in.


  21. BAFBFP August 17, 2013 at 11:31 PM #

    I think the type of employee angle should be explore first David …


  22. BAFBFP August 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM #

    I think that the UWI would do well with a three month programme on Effective Selling … in fact it should be a one year programme that includes psychology, pantomime, cultural etiquette, loads of practicals, boot camp training and torture sessions.

    Let’s face it. The biggest companies in Barbados that are not utilities, those that attract discretionary income, are the result of a sustained selling effort. Don’ min’ all deese accountants and PhD’s that have since been slotted in as figure heads, to globe trot as the face of the company, it is the value of the sales effort that has always been the one determining factor in their success.

    The last thing that I would like to see is for anyone to lose their pick … particularly in these times, but design Barbados, design Caribbean NEEDS a STRONG and EFFECTIVE sales engine to punch through on behalf of those involved. It is a simple matter. Marketing is expensive, very expensive and the returns mostly cannot be accurately determined. Selling is direct, targeted and the results are clear, measurable.

    The wheel has already been designed, just copy it …!


  23. David August 18, 2013 at 9:33 AM #

    Agree with you Baf BUT we know that the traditional qualification attached to the name defines how people self actualize in our society. Who will dismantle it? Sir Hilary could reallocate 10% of the cricket program budget to make your suggestion happen.


  24. Bush Tea August 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM #

    the very fact that it is so hard to quietly dispose of non-performers in our society is what is killing us.
    Um is like having a cancerous growth and knowing it, but refusing to cut it out because “we don’t want to offend anyone.”

    SIr Hillary’s ass should have been dottined LONNNNGGGG ago. Just look back at all the analyses done on BU over the years to see the lack of foresight, the personal agendas, the clear assault on the treasury – based on our idiotic focus on providing “free education” to the children of a population of already highly educated morons sitting in high-paying jobs where they are largely UNPRODUCTIVE.

    …so they can use their income to buy Luxury items such as high end Japanese and German cars, exotic foods, high end entertainment systems and to travel the world.

    Hilary enrolls students who CANNOT EVEN qualify for the polytechnic….but what the hell….it is free money from the government.
    Joke is, …the man was a good public educator when he was a historian, then some brass bowl gone and put him in charge of Cave Hill…..Steupssss…… ..and turn round and call him “Sir” to besides…

    These damn CEDA people want DOTTINING too…. But it will never happen….cause the idiots who should Dottin them probably want DOTTINING themselves…..

    Wunna know what catch 22 is….?

    …don’t try and prepare for the end……


  25. BAFBFP August 18, 2013 at 10:17 AM #

    “the traditional qualification attached to the name defines how people self actualize in our society” David BU 2013

    “One in every household ..” Sir Hilary 2007

    “re-group … ” Caribbean Export Development Agency 2013

    There is a place for out and out academics in this whole affair, but is NOT on the front line. We are in a war, a WAR, for the very survival of a citizenry, one that will only be won on the backs of salable and sustainable products … NOT SERVICES.

    Design is the second stage of a four part process (Research, Design, Produce, Sell)

    One thing that must be said of Mr. Beckles and is that he is very capable of forming a structured assessment. To my mind he is a stubborn brute.


  26. Bush Tea August 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM #

    “We are in a war, a WAR, for the very survival of a citizenry, one that will only be won on the backs of salable and sustainable products … NOT SERVICES.”

    (C) BAFBFP 2013, BU Global Publications Inc.
    Shiite Baffy….try and copyright that quote yuh!
    Dat is profound!


  27. David August 18, 2013 at 1:47 PM #

    What we know is this lot will not do it. Our system which is built on MBA speak owes its genesis and aspirational appeal to its beneficiaries finding ways for its sustainability.


  28. Hants August 18, 2013 at 4:08 PM #

    London,New York,Toronto.

    Design Caribbean could have a “show” in each of these locations.



  29. BAFBFP August 18, 2013 at 4:39 PM #

    Sorry Bushie, no copyrighting, just straight talk. David refers to the vicious cycle that is the self promotion and perpetuation of a discipline set that is NOT completely irrelevant to the development of a truly productive environment. If we start with the premise that there will be NO Dottining, then there will exist a greater chance for a collaborative attempt at radical change.

    Again, NO firing of anyone …!


    Well said. Public purse officials frequent these destinations with nothing more to sell than Sand, sea, sun and reduced Corp Tax. How difficult would it be to include a number of individuals with something to offer to the rest of the world on a few of these trips, activity that will also be funded by the same purse? If Barbados is truly more than a destination, but a people, I can see no better way of expressing this truism.


  30. David August 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM #


    Your suggestion is an obvious one and we already have outposts in these locations read Embassies.


  31. Hants August 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM #

    How about a Design Caribbean showroom and sales centre in Toronto.

    Air Canada and West Jet flies out of Toronto to the Caribbean.

    Buyers could be targeted and invited to the showroom in Toronto.

    I watching cricket so my contributions are short and quick like Tino Best does


  32. BAFBFP August 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM #

    I watching Serena Williams’ derriere …. (She is Parisian now …)


  33. David August 18, 2013 at 5:13 PM #


    It seems a couple teams peaking at the right time in the CPL,.


  34. Hants August 18, 2013 at 5:24 PM #

    Gayle just scored a quick 50 from 25 balls.


  35. Hants August 18, 2013 at 5:29 PM #

    There are locations near the Toronto yyz airport that would be great for a showroom.


  36. Peltdownman August 19, 2013 at 8:24 AM #

    Over the years, I have both visited and participated in several trade shows, and the recurring theme is that there is absolutely no follow-up or support from those whose job it is to help small producers and artisans to meet the market needs. Too often, gifted artisans and designers are “pushed” into displaying their products internationally, when they have absolutely no chance of even meeting local demand. Design, sell, manufacture, and deliver is the sequence that most small businesses and artisans find difficult to get beyond the selling stage. There are multiple reasons, not always the fault of CEDA and similar agencies. Many artisans and small business persons have absolutely no idea about the basics of running a business, like keeping records, proper pricing, and maintaining an adequate cash flow. This is the gap that has to be filled by so-called “development” agencies, but that can’t happen when those agencies are staffed by persons who themselves are as clueless about business as those they are supposed to help.


  37. BAFBFP August 19, 2013 at 7:03 PM #

    Deliver, ha what a crock.

    Perhaps in the processed foods you may have a point, but the operations that are designed centric are invariable small volume niche market in character. Peltdown, stand down, with respect.


  38. BAFBFP August 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM #



  39. Georgie Porgie August 20, 2013 at 2:33 PM #

    BAFBFP | August 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM |
    I watching Serena Williams’ derriere …. (She is Parisian now …)




  40. BAFBFP August 20, 2013 at 4:10 PM #


    As a practitioner of both faith and science, the complexity that you attach to the simple is remarkable…. (I mekkin’ sure that when my daughter is in Florida she steers clear of both churches and medical facilities bo’ … keep the box out of harms way … never know ..!) HA


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