CARICOM Trade and Investment Relations

SRC WORKING PAPER U.S.-CARICOM TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATIONS

Exploring Business Opportunities for and with the Private Sector, A Transactional Focus

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In a global economy struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, contending with climate change, and being haunted by the return of rough and tumble geopolitical risk, U.S.-Caribbean relations are in the process of re-alignment. In many regards, the old business order has been turned on its head and new opportunities and risks are emerging for U.S. and Caribbean companies. Indeed, there is a greater sense that the business landscape is changing and from the creative side there is a sense of energy about opportunities. Nearshoring has returned as a powerful force in this, touching upon everything from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and captive insurance to the development of creative and orange economy and blue economy business activities.

Considering that nearshoring is playing such a key role in the new landscape, it is useful to have a clear definition. According to GlobalNegotiator, “nearshoring is the transfer of business processes to companies in a nearby country, where both parties expect to benefit from one or more of the following dimensions of proximity:
geographic, temporal (time zone), cultural, linguistic, economic, political or historical linkages. Nearshoring is a derivative of the business term offshoring.”

There are three major themes stressed in this paper: global conditions have changed and in doing so are putting U.S.-Caribbean business relations on a different playing field; new areas have opened up in trade and investment between the two regions; and nearshoring is of central importance.

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