The Caribbean Trade for Sustainable Development Hub is the latest in a global network of Hubs that aim to strengthen the competitiveness of MSMEs by implementing green business practices.
The Hub will address climate resilience, sustainability standards, resource efficiency and circularity, positioning sustainable products in the international market, and access to green finance and international value chains.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) have launched the Caribbean Trade for Sustainable Development (T4SD) Hub. The Hub aims to help micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to develop green business models and become more climate resilient.
The Caribbean T4SD Hub is the latest in a global network of Hubs that aim to strengthen the competitiveness of MSMEs by implementing green business practices, including efforts to lower their carbon emissions, recycle waste, access green finance and value chains, and become certified in sustainability standards. ITC has supported the establishment of T4SD Hubs in Ghana, Kenya, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Nepal, Peru, and Viet Nam. By the end of 2022, the T4SD Hubs initiative aims for approximately 1,500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to better understand the benefits of sustainable business practices and for up to 360 SMEs to gain the capacity to implement climate-resilient, resource-efficient, and inclusive business strategies.
Caribbean Export will host the Caribbean T4SD Hub and support MSMEs in developing the expertise and skills to develop green business models and offer sustainability services. The Hub will build MSMEs’ capacity and skills in five areas:
- climate resilience;
- sustainability standards;
- resource efficiency and circular production;
- positioning sustainable products in the international market; and
- access to green finance and international value chains.
The Hub will offer learning activities to MSMEs that will share existing tools and services and provide guidance to MSMEs on how to integrate sustainability practices into their business models. Learning activities will include customized face-to-face coaching sessions, e-learning, and webinars.
ITC Executive Director Pamela Coke‑Hamilton highlighted trade as “a powerful tool to ensure a resilient and net zero emissions future, which leaves no one behind, when we ensure that it is used in the right way.” She stressed that any stakeholder along a value chain, from a consumer or local producer to an international brand, can transform trading systems “by demanding sustainable products,” implementing sustainable business practices, and adhering to sustainability standards. Coke‑Hamilton welcomed the launch of the Caribbean T4SD Hub, saying the region can help ensure trade contributes to an “inclusive green recovery and transition.”
Caribbean Export Executive Director Deodat Maharaj said SMEs must be prepared to enhance their competitiveness, including by improving resource efficiency. Maharaj emphasized that SMEs in the region must be “positioned to maximize the use of existing market access arrangements, by overcoming technical barriers to trade.” [ITC Press Release] [Caribbean Export Page on T4SD Hub Launch] [T4SD Factsheet]