BCCEC looks to establish strong mutually beneficial linkages
The United Kingdom (UK) is a lucrative market for Bahamian spirit manufacturers to tap into, with The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), the UK High Commission, and the Caribbean Development Agency partnering on March 29th, 2023 to host a webinar on how to export spirits into that market.
At the outset of the webinar titled, “A Complete Guide for Spirit Producers in The Bahamas” the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) Chairman noted the UK has an interesting and lucrative market to tap into, with total trade in goods and services, between The Bahamas and the UK at £323 million in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022. This she noted represented a 38.8 percent increase or £92 million for the same period in 2021.
“The Chamber of Commerce has long believed in working with partners to establish strong linkages which are mutually beneficial. For this reason, we are pleased to partner with the British High Commission, a relationship which is not new, and the Caribbean Export Development Agency, a relationship which we are excited about and look forward to strengthening and working more closely together in the future. We were particularly interested in collaborating with stakeholders like this to expand the available opportunities to our members and to highlight the work that is being done that Bahamian businesses can benefit from,” said Rutherford-Ferguson.
The Bahamas is a top CARIFORUM country for UK FDI
According to Keisha-Ann Thompson, an international trade law & economics consultant, The Bahamas is presently one of the top destinations among CARIFORUM countries for UK FDI. She further noted that outward FDI – investment into the UK from The Bahamas- is significantly higher than inward FDI or investment into The Bahamas from the UK.
According to Thompson, the UK is one of the EU’s top recipients of FDI as it imposes fewer restrictions on foreign ownership. Thompson also noted that in 2019, the UK was among the top five export destinations for The Bahamas. While The Bahamas imports more from the UK than it exports, Thompson noted that it is not unique in this regard. She also pointed out that the UK is transitioning from its legacy Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), a change exporters must brace for.
David Marston of Category Wins UK, a company with more than 30 years in the fast-moving consumer goods food and retailing, noted that UK consumers are quite keen on knowing more about premium rum. According to Marston, Tesco, Morrisons, and Asda are key retailers for spirits. Marston also pointed out that flavored and spiced rum products are winning over traditional neat spirits. The UK rum category as he noted, has two distinct consumer groups- those focused on premium and younger cocktail drinkers. According to Marston, 48 percent of rum consumers in the UK are between the ages of 18-34, with 94 percent of rum consumers are more into education around heritage, flavor, and provenance. Marston also noted that 47 percent of regular consumers want a greater range, desiring more options than gin on drinks menus.
View the webinar recap below