Part 2:How They Will Do It (Cont'd)

Exports

Companies were asked whether or not they exported and how much they export to various markets

Seventy-one percent (71%) of the respondent companies were not engaged in any form of export as compared to sixty-three percent (63%) last year. Of the thirteen companies which do export, most operate within the Caricom area, many with over fifty percent to nearly all of their exports in this market.

Five of the respondents (11%) reported exports to North America ranging from ten percent (10%) to over fifty percent (50%) in two cases. Six of the respondents reported exports to Europe ranging from ten percent (10%) to over fifty percent (50%) in three cases.

Readers are asked to note that these respondents may be the same entities operating in both markets.

Companies were asked about prospects for trade growth over the next twelve months

Thirty-three percent (33%) of the companies project an increase in exports to Caricom over the next twelve months, considerably less than the fifty percent (50%) which predicted increases last year. Twenty percent (20%) expected their exports to remain the same, two percent expected decreases and seven percent said they did not know.

Twenty percent (20%) anticipated increases in exports to North America while a similar percentage also expected it to stay the same, two percent expected decreases and eleven percent (11%) said they did not know.

Sixteen percent (16%) of the respondents expected exports to increase to Europe whilst twenty-two percent (22%) expected it to stay the same. Thirteen percent (13%) did not know whilst none predicted decreases.

Fifteen percent (15%) of the respondents expected increases in exports to other countries.

Companies were asked to indicate whether on balance they regard trade liberalisation policies as a threat or an opportunity

The percentage of respondents who see liberalisation as an opportunity increased from twenty-four percent (24%) to thirty-three percent (33%). Eighteen percent (18%) see it as a threat whilst thirty-one percent (31%) see it as neither a threat nor an opportunity. Eighteen percent of the respondents either did not know or did not answer the question.

Ram & McRae’s Comments

That respondents see liberalisation as an opportunity suggest a willingness and readiness to accept the challenges that go with it.

Budgeting & Control

Companies were asked to indicate the frequency with which they formally review performance against budget

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the companies surveyed reported that they monitor their results against their budgets every month as compared to seventy-one percent (71%) last year and sixty-two percent (62%) three years ago. Quarterly reviews were conducted by sixteen percent (16%) of the respondents as compared to nineteen percent (19%) last year and fifteen percent (15%) did reviews for either every two months, six months, twelve months or other period.

The Power of Information

Companies were asked to identify the significant sources of their business information

On a weighted basis trade publications were identified as the most popular source of business information (42%) with magazines (41%) and personal networking (39%) being the other popular choices.

Personal networking was the most popular choice one year ago.

Other significant sources of business information identified by the respondents were local newspapers (38%), the Internet (32%) and television (25%).

Local newspapers were the most frequently used source of business information (47%). Thirty-nine percent used the Internet frequently, thirty-five percent (35%) viewed CNN regularly and thirty-one percent (31%) relied on local television as a source.

Times/Business Week, the Economist and trade journals were also frequently used.