Business between B’dos, UK need not be affected
Sat, 10/01/2016 - 12:00am
Cara L. Foster
ON the topic of Britain deciding to leave the European Union (EU), Peter Martin, an International Brands Distributor from the United Kingdom (UK) as well as the mind behind Shop Barbados, has said that whether you like it or not it is something that has regrettably happened, but this does not mean that business between Barbados and the UK has to be affected.
His comments came at a workshop held by the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation held in Bagnall’s Point Gallery, Pelican Craft Village yesterday morning. Martin said that even though the UK leaving the EU means that currency will fall further, it does not have to affect the business that is being done between Barbados and the UK.
He added that the dollar dropping, however, will probably have a direct hit on Barbados’ tourism industry.
He explained that the drop of the pound meant that the British tourists could possibly not want to travel to Barbados as often because, essentially, their money will not go as far as it used to.
Martin continued, “It won’t stop some people from coming over, but we all have to consider that we’ve got some challenges in terms of the whole financial aspect. The cost of your goods, and your services have gone up and the tourist industry will be affected because people have a limit, I’m sure, on what they can spend.”
Acknowledging that there was really nothing that could be done now that the decision has been made, he went on to explain how the import-export business between Barbados and the UK did not need to fail. He expressed that the export programme was something that could be advanced during this time.
The International Brands Distributor mentioned that when the tourists do in fact visit, it would be wise to place the products in front of them – making them easily accessible – while informing them that there would be a place to buy their products back home, since business owners doing business with Shop Barbados will provide that opportunity.
Martin revealed that the market in England changes from year to year and that Barbadian business owners should do an adequate amount of research to make sure that their product is reaching the largest target market.
While mentioning that the gluten-free, organic-free and allergen-free scene was growing in England, Martin explained that having products such as these would attract a significant amount of customers.
“Barbados is your brand,” he said. “When people see ‘Barbados’ they’ll get drawn into it, not because it’s a certain product but because it’s Barbados.”
He explained that this is usually because the English locals are placed into two categories, those that have either been to Barbados or those that want to visit. He noted that selling your brand and products to the tourists while they are here is a good way to keep the export business thriving.
“I can’t do it on my own, you can’t do it on your own, we have to do it together. That’s the only way the export market works,” Martin concluded.