More business clusters emerging

More Caribbean businesses are consolidating their operations into clusters as they seek a competitive advantage beyond the small size of their domestic markets.

That is the observation of economist Professor Winston Moore, who is vice principal University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

He was speaking during a panel discussion examining regional dimensions of the global supply chain during the inaugural Global Supply Chain Forum in Barbados.

Moore spoke about how important it was for small island developing states like Barbados and its neighbours to have well-functioning supply chains.

This included in relation to the business community, and he pointed out that “if you look at what has been happening in the Caribbean, you have been seeing a consolidation of businesses within the Caribbean.

“And the reason for that is again because of the small domestic size but also because of the growing availability of links between countries within the Caribbean. So now you have the development of business clusterism” Moore stated.

“So within the beverage industry, within rum, you now have the development of these clusters developing and what you are seeing is that because of the increased connectivity between countries in the Caribbean, it’s reducing your vulnerability.

“And even more so it’s increasing your resilience to economic shocks. So the benefit of connectivity is that it reduces vulnerability and also increases resilience to economic shocks. So from a regional perspective that’s
the benefit,” he added.

The former president of the Barbados Economic Society also said that good supply chain connectivity could help the Caribbean exploit its significant potential from the export of green and blue goods.

“The Caribbean as a whole has a comparative advantage in a number of green goods and a number of blue economy goods as well but you are only going to be able to exploit those blue [and] green goods if you have a good connectivity network,” he advised.

“So even though we have a comparative advantage we are still very much dependent on the connectivity that we have within the region to exploit these blue and green advantages that we have.”

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