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  November 17, 2008

An Organization of American States (OAS) study is to be conducted on a range of Caribbean products to determine their real potential for increased export income based on the value of their intellectual property content.

The study, which the OAS Department of Trade and Tourism has commissioned Light Years IP to undertake, is intended to identify specifically what products Caribbean countries could further exploit in order to increase their export income, including producer income, by applying strategies utilizing a variety of intellectual property-based business tools. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is funding the study.

With Caribbean countries producing a number of distinctive export products and given a growing consumer demand for products with a unique story and history, some experts believe these suggest opportunities for Caribbean stakeholders to capture a larger share of retail prices earned for their products.

The proposed study will form an important outcome of the Caribbean Intellectual Property (IP) Export Project developed as a joint initiative of the OAS Department of Trade and Tourism and Light Years IP in collaboration with the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC), and other regional stakeholders.

Light Years IP is currently carrying out a "scoping" study on a variety of distinctive Caribbean products that are sold, or could be sold, at premium retail prices in developed markets. Producers of these products are currently not benefiting in any significant way from the high retail price fetched by their products, despite the fact that the distinctiveness originates in their countries.

The benefits may accrue at the household, community and national levels. As poverty derives from insufficient and unpredictable income, stabilizing and increasing export prices will directly help reduce poverty for producers and exporters and over time, have wider indirect developmental impact.

This scoping study underway is an outcome of a Scoping Study that Light Years IP published on products from Sub-Saharan Africa. It can be accessed at:

About Light Years IP

Light Years IP, a Washington DC non- profit organization that is alleviating poverty for millions by increasing export income and improving income security by assisting low-income export producers to improve their negotiating position through using far-reaching IP-based business strategies.

For more information please contact:
Antonnete Namai
Project Coordinator
Light Years IP
611 Pennsylvania Ave., # 261
Washington, DC 20003
Tel 202-547-7515
Fax 202-558-4385

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is a regional trade and investment development and promotion organization of the fifteen (15) CARIFORUM Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago). Its mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality trade and investment development and promotion services through effective program execution and strategic partnerships.

The Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) is committed to facilitating the development, growth and positioning of Caribbean businesses in the changing world economy, by providing products and services that are value-adding to our members and representing their interests in regional, international and hemispheric fora.
Contact: Ms. Carol Ayoung, CEO
The Caribbean Association of Industry & Commerce 27A Saddle Road, Maraval Trinidad
Tel: (868) 622-1148 or 622-6761 Ext. 25
Fax: (868) 622-7810

The Department of Trade and Tourism (DTT) of the Organization of American States (OAS) has been involved in trade capacity building activities in the area of intellectual property over the last 10 years. It promotes the exchange and dissemination of best IPR institutional practices in the Americas.
Contact: Cesar Parga, Senior Trade Specialist
Department of Trade and Tourism (DTT) Organization of American States (OAS)
1889 F St N.W. Washington D.C. 20006
Tel. 202-458-6190 Fax. 202-458-3561

Reference: E-442/08