While cruise tourism remains a small niche within the broader tourism industry—its 24 million passengers constitute just 2% of worldwide travelers—it is a critical economic activity in the Caribbean. More than two-thirds of the tourists in the region are cruise-ship passengers. Although cruise ship tourism is not as lucrative as other forms—tourists on cruise ships spend as little as one-tenth the consumption of stay-over visitors—it still accounts for an aggregated US$3.1 billion in expenditures in 2014-15 and supported roughly 75,000 jobs. St. Lucia conforms to this regional trend. Cruise tourism has a large footprint on the island, contributing 63% of the 1.05 million tourists who traveled to the island in 2017. Although there has been some fluctuation, the number of cruise arrivals has trended higher in more recent years. Nonetheless, there are still some weaknesses in the sector, most immediately the low impressions of St. Lucia’s cruise tourism products as well as the lack of strategic agenda. This report identifies some of the most prominent constraints and outlines potential upgrading strategies to boost passenger expenditures.
Shrimp is the second-leading seafood species as measured by world trade, trailing only salmon. There has been a strong increase in recent production, with global output increasing from 6.5 million MT in 2006 to 8.3 million MT in 2015, a jump of nearly 30%. The world’s leading shrimp producers traditionally have been in Southeast Asia; however, Early Mortality Syndrome has hurt stocks in Thailand and other locations. Belize is one such country. Aquaculture has traditionally been an important generator of revenue and foreign exchange, but a recent outbreak of EMS has decimated production and threatened the survival of multiple smaller and medium-sized businesses. This report uses the GVC framework to analyze Belize’s position in the shrimp industry and identify strategies for improving the competitiveness of domestic businesses.
Bananas represent an important source of economic revenue and nutrition for millions around the globe. However, resent shifts in the organizational model of banana trade and the liberalization of key import markets is changing the industry. These changes are placing increasing pressure on many exporters. Saint Lucia previously enjoyed a close relationship with the United Kingdom market, but finds its position slipping due to global market changes and internal issues related to productivity and cost of production. This report uses the global value chain framework to map Saint Lucia’s current participation in the banana industry and identify ways to increase SMEs participation in the chain.
Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, is a major source of income for many farmers. Producers of high value cocoa beans are able to capture higher prices on the international market and overcome economies of scale challenges by focusing on high-value markets. Belize has historically been successful in the cocoa industry and has a long history of cultivation, dating back to Mayan civilization. However, supply disruptions and organizational challenges threaten future growth. This report uses the global value chain framework to map Belize’s current participation in the cocoa industry and identify ways to increase SMEs participation in the industry.
Tourism is a dynamic source of economic growth throughout the world. The industry’s direct effect to global GDP was higher than many other sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, retail and financial services. The vitality of the industry is not confined to any one region; while Europe remains the most visited continent in the world, while Asia Pacific and African nations had the highest growth rates in visitors over the decade from 2006-2015. Tourism is the most important economic activity in Jamaica, as it is for most of the Caribbean region. The country’s beaches attract thousands of tourists each year. As a result, Jamaica’s tourism sector is strongly focused on that segment, which accounts for close to 90% of arrivals. Jamaica is the fourth largest destination in the Caribbean with over 2 million visitors annually after Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico. This report uses the global value chain framework to map Jamaica’s current participation in the tourism industry and identify ways to increase SMEs participation in the industry.
Over the past decade, the offshore services industry has experienced tremendous expansion and has emerged as a dynamic global sector, growing at faster rates than exported goods. As a result, developing countries are no longer relegated to manufacturing and natural resource-intensive industries for development. As companies frequently scout new locations with the necessary human capital to provide services at a low cost, opportunities to drive sustainable growth through the expansion of the knowledge economy are abundant, especially in Latin American and the Caribbean nations. Jamaica’s offshore services industry has expanded significantly since its inception in the early 2000s, doubling employment in the last three years. As an emerging location for customer support, upgrading opportunities are beginning to emerge. This report uses the global value chain framework to map Jamaica’s current participation in the offshore services industry and identify ways to upgrade to higher value-added segments.
Specialty coffee represents a high value and growing niche market based almost exclusively on one type of coffee bean, Arabica coffee. Producers of high value coffee are able to capture higher prices on the international market and overcome economies of scale by focusing on high-value markets. Jamaica has historically been successful in the specialty coffee market, consistently earning the highest unit price globally. However, supply disruptions and the rise of new competitors threaten its position. This report uses the global value chain framework to map Jamaica’s current participation in the Arabica coffee industry and identify ways to increase SMEs participation in the industry.
The rise in demand for premium products in the alcoholic spirits industry is creating new opportunities for producing nations to increase their participation in the global market. Barbados, the birthplace of rum, is currently poised to capitalize on this shift towards premium and authentic spirits. However, it must first address several issues in the industry, including the sourcing of necessary inputs and the development of a national brand. This report examines the potential for Barbados to increase its participation in the industry using the global value chain framework.
The Organization of American States (OAS) commissioned Duke GVCC to undertake a series of global value chain (GVC) studies in four different countries in the Caribbean: Barbados, Belize, Jamaica and Saint Lucia as part of a program to establish Small Business Development Centers. Between 2016 and 2018, a total of 10 reports were produced across the four nations. Duke GVCC supplemented research with a capacity building program that consists of a series of GVC training sessions in each country.
Week-long training workshops in each of the four nations, led by Duke GVCC researcher Karina Fernandez-Stark, helped government officials gain a deeper understanding of the GVC methodology and the challenges and opportunities SMEs face when participating in the global economy. In total, over 100 participants completed training sessions through the project.
Duke GVCC conducted 10 GVC studies in the selected nations. As part of the development of Small Business Development Centers, these studies focused on how to increase SMEs participation in global value chains. Studies include the following:
Barbados: Cruise Tourism and Rum
Belize: Cocoa/Chocolate; Offshore Services; and Shrimp
Jamaica: Coffee; Offshore Services; and Tourism
Saint Lucia: Bananas and Cruise Tourism