St. Vincent and the Grenadines is endowed with a number of small and medium sized local entrepreneurs with export-ready products and capacity. To facilitate the development of exports across the various sectors, Invest SVG provides access to training that assists with branding, market access, food safety and quality standards, packaging and labelling, and financing options.
ARE YOU READY TO EXPORT?
If you plan to expand the footprint of your business beyond the local market, it is important to recognise that success in doing so is not down to a magic formula. Conduct a quick self assessment of your business – utilising the questions below – for an indication of your readiness to engage the regional and international market-place OR whether you need to devote more time and resources before committing to export. CONTACT INVEST SVG!
- Are you prepared to devote additional time, effort and resources that will be required to become a successful exporter?
- Has your research into the market uncovered existing competitors and ensured that you will be able to be comparatively competitive in terms of pricing and quality?
- Has demand for your product been strong in the market/country/region that you are targeting?
- As demand increases, will you have adequate resources: financial, human, Infrastructural as well as a business plan to manage your growth?
- Have you gone through the process of assessing any tariffs, duties or charges that will affect the price of your product in your target market?
- Have you assessed the standards necessary for your products and/or services to enter your target market?
- Do you have surplus capacity or the flexibility to expand production quickly if export orders are obtained?
- Are you able to identify unique features and qualities of your products and services that will enable you to exploit overseas market opportunities?
- Can your products or services be modified to accommodate overseas market requirements if necessary?
- Have you factored transportation costs, packaging, labelling and pricing into the feasibility of exporting your product or service?
- Has demand for your product been strong in the market/ country/ region that you are targeting?
- Has contact been made with key people? [These include: banker, forwarder, lawyer, accountant, export packer and insurance agent]
If unsure about any of the above, seek professional business advice FIRST before making any commitments.
EXPORT DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES
Enterprises benefiting from tax and duty concessions under the Fiscal Incentives Act are accorded partial relief from income tax chargeable on the profits earned from exports. This provision becomes operative as soon as the enterprise’s tax holiday expires and lasts for 5 years. The percentage allowance is the same as the rates of Rebate of Income, as above.
Other benefits under the Export Development Incentives include:
||Repatriation of profits
||Exemption from capital gains tax.
||Working capital advances for the purchase of inputs and raw materials under the Export Credit Guarantee Scheme (ECGS).
Assistance to Small/Medium Size Manufacturers:
Under the Industrial Incentive Credit Programme facilitated through the Ministry of Telecommunications, Technology and Industry, small to medium size manufacturers can benefit from consumption tax relief as well as an entitlement to 90% write-off of the outstanding arrears of local consumption tax. The Industrial Incentive Credit is not an amount paid in cash, but is an allowance that can be deducted against future consumption tax payable. This credit is granted annually.
Three sub-sectors were targeted to benefit initially from the Industrial Incentive Credit. These are:
||Agro-Processing and Pasta
Access to this incentive credit is not automatic. Manufacturers would be required to:
- Submit completed application form and audited financial statements
- Have annual sales of up to EC$250,000 (qualifying firms will receive a credit equivalent to 100% of the local consumption tax payable on the first EC$250,000 in annual sales). Firms with annual sales of EC$50,000 or less would not be required to provide financial statements, but must provided some form of evidence of its operations, for example, tax returns
- Fulfil all their statutory obligations, such as payment to the NIS and records of PAYE deduction for workers
Exporting To The EU Under The EPA Agreement
The European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade and development agreements that are negotiated between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) partners engaged in regional economic integration processes. The mandate of the agreements are essentially that of utilising trade and investment to reduce poverty, and encourage sustainable development in all states that have signed on to the agreements. The initiative intends to shift the focus from commodities to higher value products and services. EU markets are, therefore, open to exports from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
If you want to export your product to the EU and gain access to a market of 500 million consumers in 28 countries, visit the EU’s online Export Helpdesk HERE.