Regional post service bosses discuss challenges

| 01/02/2012

r614816_4116172.jpg(CNS): The rarely recognized challenges faced by the region’s postal services were the topic of discussion in Cayman recently when the local postal service hosted a workshop for senior staff in the Caribbean Postal Union. The aim was to raise awareness among postal authorities about the challenges confronting the Caribbean postal sector and for them to develop an action plan. The forum also focused on quality of service, market knowledge and customer needs; postal reform and sustainable development, cooperation and interaction with industry stakeholders, local officials said.

The Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) Caribbean expert Gerard Power said he was gratified to see the high degree of interest made by countries in the region to the issues including the examination of the regional logistics network and establishing a working group to identify and address barriers to the exchange of electronic money orders and postal remittances.

“The frank and courteous debates enabled the participants to both gain a better understanding of the common challenges and some the solutions that have worked for others,” said Power. “The meetings were successful in raising awareness among postal authorities, including permanent secretaries, of the challenges and opportunities facing the postal sector in the Caribbean region. Particular attention was paid to the role of the postal sector in providing micro, small and medium sized enterprises with access to markets as the engine of economic growth, financial inclusion and access to electronic services. Defining, costing and financing of the universal service obligation were also discussed.”

Kearney Gomez, the chief officer in the ministry with responsibility for post welcomed the initiative to bring the Caribbean up to speed on the challenges experienced by all postal administrations. “More innovation is required; meeting our customers’ needs is the top priority,” Gomez stated.

Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said one of the key challenges facing all regional postal services is the ability to provide customers with quality services when the post has traditionally significantly struggled to attract and recruit skilled employees.  “Despite this, regional posts’ future survival will be dependent on our ability to remain relevant to our customers – there are no easy solutions to this particular challenge,” she added.

Delegates from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and British Virgin Islands attended the conference.

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