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First Annual GO Caribbean International Business and Investment Expo

For Immediate Release Contact: Raymond P. Lewis RP Lewis & Associates Sponsorship & Media Director 646.377.8329 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   FIRST ANNUAL GO CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND INVESTMENT EXPO The Expo promotes innovation and entrepreneurship in the Caribbean Diaspora and region, and facilitates global relationships to accelerate business growth and investment. (February, 2014) - Brooklyn, NY— Saturday, June 7, 2014, Anchor Strategy Group “Anchor”, with support from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (“CTO”), will host the first annual Go Caribbean! International business and investment Expo at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn. The Expo will offer strategic opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses based in the Caribbean Basin and/or North America to engage with investors, government agencies, financial institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from both regions. Go Caribbean! will promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Diaspora and Caribbean region, and facilitate global relationships that can accelerate business growth and investments. Go Caribbean! has signed on a number of key expo partners: Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), Caribbean Association of Industry & Commerce (CAIC), Dr. Honorable Una Clarke and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. The Expo will support businesses in several key, high-growth-potential industries: Food & Beverage, Information Communication Technology, Sport & Creative Services, Tourism, Healthcare, Energy, Agribusiness and Construction & Infrastructure, and will give its sponsors and partners an opportunity to:
  • Showcase their products and services
  • Network with regional and international leaders in business and politics
  • Attend industry-specific forums and workshops
  • Gain knowledge and access to new market oppotunities
Go Caribbean! Is the brainchild of Anchor Strategy Group “Anchor” Managing Director, Kevin Howell. Established in April 2009, Anchor is a New York-based consulting firm limited liability corporation. The company provides integrated management solutions for the private sector and government agencies in the Caribbean Diaspora and Caribbean Basin. It positions its clients to seize opportunities and achieve their strategic and implementation goals. The June Go Caribbean! Expo will showcase businesses from the Caribbean Basin and the Caribbean Diaspora, with a focus on business in the Northeast region of the U.S. More than 3,000 attendees will gain access to new market opportunities at the Expo. The event will also feature multiple investment workshops and industry-specific seminars for business owners looking to increase their knowledge and market share. Many new and innovative products and services will be on display. If you would like to participate, for more information about sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities, please see the respective contact info for Go Caribbean! Thank you…

Request for Supplier

A buyer in Nova Scotia, Canada is looking for a supplier of coconuts from the Caribbean. For more information on the buyers requirements and to indicate your interest please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Market Dynamics Caribbean highlights

Antigua & Barbuda has been removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ‘grey list’ for AML/CFT
Barbados Tourism Minister reports favorable trend in arrivals and hotel occupancy
Belize continues to rely on Petrocaribe to boost net foreign assets
Cayman’s Captive Insurers earned US $12.6B in 2013
Dominica’s struggles with Black Sigatoka continue to weigh on economic performance
Dominican Republic government contemplates re-entry into electricity generation business
Guadeloupe, Martinique and Sint Maarten have joined the Association of Caribbean States as Associate Members
Guyana misses another deadline on AML/CFT legislation
Haiti-Panama Free Trade Agreement is priority for Panamanian President Martinelli
Jamaica’s inflation for FY’13/14 is expected at 8.5%-10.5%
Montserrat reports +14.5% jump in stay-over tourists Jan-Nov
Puerto Rico’s financial sector is undaunted by Moody’s downgrade
Nevis’ economy shows signs of improvement
- Moody’s lowers Suriname’s outlook to stable
T&T’s PM travels to China to explore new partnerships in trade, energy
TCI received over 1 million total visitors in 2013

News around the region

Anguilla visitor arrivals post double-digit growth in 7 of 11 months to November
Antigua &Barbuda Barbuda Council seeks land ownership rights for Barbudans
Belize National Assembly passes new AML/CFT legislation
BVI ranks 4th in the world in FDI Inflows by UNCTAD with US $92B in 2013
Cayman Islands real estate sales up +30% YoY in 2013
Cuba has inaugurated first stage of Mariel Port
Dominican Republic exports $9.6B in 2013; Double-digit growth in credit cards market
Guyana anticipates +15% growth in tourist arrivals in 2014
Haiti diaspora contribution to economic activity estimated at 20%
Puerto Rico export growth sustains CAGR of 5.7% between 2000 and 2013; Moody’s and S&P downgrade debt
St. Kitts & Nevis reports inbound seat-count up +77% since 2005; IMF sees the country largely on track to meet targets
Saint-Martin’s waterfront development will move forward
Suriname Tout Luis Faut refinery expansion will not necessarily reduce costs of oil products
T&T gas production recovered in Q4 after maintenance concluded; Oil production posted mild drop for TY’13
USVI non-oil exports post strong growth: Transport Equip +79%, Electronics +79%, Machinery +39%
- Regional travel to improve from Winair/Air Antilles alliance
Regional news brought to you by Global News Matters

CAIC attends dialogue on the Trinidad and Tobago Private Sector Assessment Report

On February 19th, CAIC attended a joint dialogue hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development in Trinidad and Tobago with stakeholders regarding the Trinidad and Tobago Private Sector Assessment Report. The Report is an overall assessment of private sector development and recommendations for facilitating and accelerating private investment and growth. It was compiled by Dr. Carlos Elias, an economist and funded by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank and Compete Caribbean. The dialogue centered on six priority areas identified by Dr. Elias that included project proposals in the TT-PSAR. The Energy Chamber, TT Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of  Labour, Small and Micro Enterprise Development, Trinidad and Tobago Youth Council, Trinidad and Tobago Youth Achievement and other stakeholders contributed to the discussions.

CAIC President to visit Trinidad and Tobago

"Ramesh Dookhoo, President of the CAIC, in making his rounds throughout the Caribbean, arrives in Trinidad and Tobago on February 20th 2014 for a three-day visit.
Mr. Dookhoo is visiting for a CAIC Executive Meeting and will also meet with some of the key players in the Trinidad and Tobago Private Sector, namely the Energy Chamber, Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries.

Mr. Dookhoo's visit is part of the CAIC rejuvenation programme to make the Caribbean governments and the private sector aware of the resurgence of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce."

Canada appoints new Ambassador to CARICOM

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)    Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday commended Canada for its role as an exemplary global leader in development assistance. Ambassador LaRocque was speaking during an accreditation ceremony where the newly appointed Ambassador to CARICOM from Canada Her Excellency Nicole Giles presented her credentials at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown Guyana. Ambassador LaRocque said Canada’s excellent example was evidenced in its ranking of 8th out of 67 donor countries and donor organizations on the 2013 Aid Transparency Index. “This is an indication of the support provided not only bilaterally but also through multilateral organizations that offer development assistance to developing countries such as CARICOM Member States” Hi Excellency LaRocque said. The Secretary General further iterated that it was important for CARICOM to continue to foster and maintain meaningful relationships with like-minded states such as Canada and every opportunity should be taken to nurture those relationships. He said one important aspect of that relationship was the negotiations of the CARICOM/Canada Trade and Development Agreement.  “We seek a mutually beneficial arrangement which takes full account of the differences in size and development between CARICOM and Canada and which would support CARICOM’s efforts to adjust to further liberalization” said Ambassador LaRocque. Secretary General LaRocque also used the opportunity to highlight Canada’s involvement in providing support to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) through the Canada International Development Agency. He said CARICOM was also appreciative of other CIDA funded activities which support the Community through private sector development, strengthening regional economic infrastructure as well as reinforce good governance, security and justice sector reform. In her remarks, the newly appointed Canadian Ambassador said it was her wish to further solidify the CARICOM/Canada relationship by building upon the strength of mutually shared traditions and values, multilateral cooperation, robust trade and investment links, development cooperation and close people-to-people ties. She said Canada’s economic partnerships with CARICOM Member States were robust and led by significant Canadian investment in the extractive, financial and energy sectors. “I look forward to augmenting the investment climate by facilitating increased flows of Canadian investment into the region, and similarly, from the Caribbean to Canada.” Regarding the Canada-CARICOM Trade Agreement negotiations Ambassador Giles said Canada was pursuing a high quality, ambitious free trade model.  She said it was essential for Canada that, as a part of the agreement labor and environment provisions would be negotiated. Speaking to a number of the challenges being faced by CARICOM countries such as organised crime, drug trafficking and the proliferation of arms, the Ambassador said Canada remained committed to assisting and cooperating with the Caribbean on addressing these problems. She said this would be done by providing support on capacity building in the areas of countering illicit trafficking, crime prevention, and security and justice sector reforms. Source: http://www.caricom.org/jsp/pressreleases/press_releases_2014/pres34_14.js p

Ramesh Dookhoo elected new CAIC President

Ramesh Dookhoo elected new CAIC President

Written By Priya Ali Source: http://guyanachronicle.com/ramesh-dookhoo-elected-new-caic-president/
FORMER Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Mr. Ramesh Dookhoo, was recently elected President of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC).During the General Assembly of the CAIC on November 1, 2013, held in Barbados, a new board was elected, headed by Dookhoo from Guyana. The other members of the board are Secretary Dave Kowlessar of Dykon Consulting Trinidad and Vancouver, Canada; Treasurer Bobbi McKay of Barbados Manufacturing Association; and Vice Presidents Nigel John, Past President CAIC and Anil Padarath of Suriname Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The CAIC represents the interests of the Caribbean private sector in various international and regional organisations, such as in CARICOM. It is the umbrella regional organisation of the private sector. The new board is elected for 2 years. Dookhoo, who is Chairman of the Trade and Investment Committee of the PSC, in an exclusive interview yesterday with the Guyana Chronicle, said the CAIC is “a very old association”, and is one of the only broad-based regional private sector associations. Outlining some of the work to be done, he said, “There is a dire need at this point in time to have a private sector presence at COTED (Council for Trade and Economic Development) meetings and at the level of CARICOM, and for a private sector entity to be recognised by CARICOM”. “We recognise that we need to do something immediately to revive the CAIC; and as a result, we have had an ongoing campaign over the years, led by Dykon Consulting Company in Trinidad, to renew and increase the membership of the CAIC,” he disclosed. The new President of CAIC said their membership consists of about ten Caribbean and CARIFORUM countries, and that Guyana has been a member of the association for a long time, through the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association and the PSC. Representations at the CAIC have been done through those bodies over the years, he said, underscoring, “At this point in time, I represent the PSC on the CAIC board; so, therefore, the PSC of Guyana holds the Presidency of the CAIC. The next meeting of the CAIC will be held from January 27 to 28, 2014 in neighbouring Suriname, he said, “to springboard this resuscitation effort of the Caribbean private sector”. He said they have learnt of the establishment of an Economic Commission of the Caribbean, expressing, “It is our hope that we can also be considered for representation on that economic commission”. Additionally, Dookhoo said they are looking at boosting the finances of the CAIC as they move ahead. The association’s vision is the creation of a Caribbean Private Sector that is internationally competitive and cohesive in its approach to dealing with opportunities and challenges. CAIC started in 1955 as a private sector mission of the West Indian Incorporated Chambers of Commerce; and in 1970, it was named the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce. Today, CAIC is an umbrella organisation for private sector representative bodies. It is a supporting voice at the regional level for national representative bodies and seeks to impact upon the development, growth and competitive positioning of the Caribbean business environment through partnership activities.

New CAIC Team Ready to Represent Region

The Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC) has a new executive team. And if there was any concern as to whether the organization was alive and well, the attendance of Directors from all across the region to the recently held 56th Annual General Meeting at the Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados should dispel all doubts. Members from as far afield as the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Suriname alongside Associate members from Washington DC participated, some through online facilities, to elect Mr. Ramesh Dookhoo of Guyana as the newly appointed President of the CAIC. Dave Kowlessar of Trinidad and Tobago was also elected as Secretary and Bobbi McKay of Barbados as Treasurer. Chaired by its outgoing President, Carol Evelyn of St. Kitts & Nevis, Mr. Evelyn opened with his President’s address and noted that the organization has taken good time, and dedicated resources, to the restructuring and resurgence of the organization; and the AGM was a signal that CAIC was very much alive and well and ready to resume it duty to the Caribbean Private Sector. Speaking on the organisation’s development Mr. Evelyn noted “It would be a gross understatement to declare that the past 10 years of CAIC’s history have not been challenging. The last decade has witnessed a number of internal and external shocks that, at times, have caused some in our Organisation’s leadership to ponder whether it would not have been wise to take the easy, less frustrating way out by ripping down our shingle and closing-up shop. Others in our membership have even gone as far as declaring that CAIC was in a crisis of relevance. Yet, it was evident to some of us that although closing down may have been deemed expedient; it certainly was not going to be a decision that left the regional business community any better off. In fact, we would be in far worse shape by our lack of representation and advocacy at the negotiation table, when matters pertinent to private sector survival and competitiveness are being decided in our absence – by government leaders, bureaucrats and technocrats.” In his inaugural address, CAIC President, Ramesh Dookhoo assured the AGM attendees, “I will do my utmost to continue the work of the CAIC Team. We need to impress on everyone especially the private sector that we are active and open for business.” “Moving forward, the CAIC is structured to meet the changing economic and social conditions of the region through the promotion and furthering of trade. It intends to revive, under the newly elected executive, its relationships with CARICOM and the regional governments, and show the regional sector that the CAIC lives and is back in business,” Mr. Dookhoo continued. Mr. Dookhoo is the immediate past Chairman of the Private Sector Commission of Guyana and a four time President of the Manufacturers Association of Guyana. He brings to the office of the President of the CAIC a wealth of knowledge on private sector matters and indeed to the development of BSOs. The Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce is an umbrella organization representing the interests of the Caribbean private sector at regional and international meetings. Stylised as the ‘Voice of the Caribbean Private Sector’, the CAIC represents the region on economic, social and environmental policy at the regional level for national representative bodies and partnering internationally to impact upon the development, growth and competitive positioning of the Caribbean business environment. For more information please contact Jan Sirjusingh at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (868) 766- 3131.

Caribbean-US Relations Need A Reset

Thirty years ago this coming week, American and Caribbean forces landed in Grenada. Depending on one's point of view, it was a rescue mission to restore democracy and civil rights, an illegal invasion of a sovereign Caribbean nation, or possibly both. At the time, it divided the region's governments. For those who supported the US, it enabled the emergence of a strong alliance of conservative Caribbean interests in government and the private sector just as it appeared that the Caribbean and Central American region was fracturing ideologically, and becoming divided in its political and social thinking. Seen from an alternative perspective, it was, for the Caribbean left, and those who aspired to fundamental change in the region or the adoption of aspects of the Cuban socialist model, a defeat. It made clear that factionalism would destroy political objectives and that holding elections, even in situations deemed revolutionary, provided legitimacy to a government. It indicated, too, that the US would not hesitate to act unilaterally in the Caribbean if it felt its interests were threatened. It marked a moment when the UK was no longer the nation that was considered by the region or by the US as having the primary responsibility to respond in a crisis within the Caribbean. It demonstrated that the UK had considerations and concerns independent from the US, and revealed before, during and after the intervention, significant differences in the ways that Cuba and the Soviet Union thought about the hemisphere. More generally, the US intervention in Grenada played a pivotal role in the cold war, enabling President Reagan to demonstrate US will to the Soviet Union; showed that no president would ever again accept hostage-taking situations, real or implied; removed Grenada from US concerns and considerations about the insurgency and political situation in Central America; and met many of the Republican Party's late cold war ideological requirements in the hemisphere. HURT HAS HEALED Looking back, however, what is without doubt is that the military operation brought to an end an increasingly unpredictable and dangerous internal situation; although with the loss of many Grenadian, US and Cuban lives. Now, three decades later, much of the hurt has healed; the airport which was both literally and figuratively fought over has been renamed Maurice Bishop International and, as originally planned, is facilitating tourism's growth and Grenada's government is developing initiatives aimed at trying to return the economy to growth through the encouragement of investment and the delivery of new government initiatives. Today, however, the region's relationship with the US could not be more different. In the years since the 1980s, the world and the US have moved on. The cold war ended, economic globalisation proceeded, trade preferences were eroded, and the Caribbean became largely marginal in US and European thinking as new priorities and strategic concerns emerged. So much so that when the US vice-president, Joe Biden, met with Caribbean heads of government in Trinidad in May, just days before the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jingping, Trinidad Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar characterised the exchange as being at times brutal. In Trinidad, the Caribbean made clear its perception that US interest in the Caribbean had become marginal, that relations have been soured by a number of trade disputes, and that the US is not providing enough assistance in relation to security, tax and other issues on which the US is seeking Caribbean compliance. Since then, little has been heard about a planned summit with President Obama. In the past, such differences and new ideas to strengthen the US-Caribbean relationship would have been discussed at the annual Miami conference on the Caribbean. These events, organised by the Washington-based body Caribbean Central American Action (CCAA), enabled Caribbean governments, the private sector and interested parties from Canada, Europe, Japan and elsewhere to focus on the region and its needs. Since its high point in the years before and after the Grenada invasion and, with CCAA's help, the legislating of the Caribbean Basin Initiative, the conference has gone through highs and lows, but as its Executive director, Sally Yearwood, points out, it has never deviated from its central purpose of bringing the issues of the region to the forefront for debate and for action. This year, in a long-overdue move designed to place the conference at the heart of discussion on future US-Caribbean policy and the changing investment and trade relationship, it has relocated the November 20-22 event to Washington. WIDE-RANGING AGENDA Speaking about the objectives of the conference, which is co-sponsored by the US Chamber of Commerce and the Organisation of American States, Yearwood said that the decision to hold it in the US capital will enable Congress, the administration and key bodies to hear and meet with participants at the conference and representatives from the region. "CCAA has always committed itself to holding a conference where business and policy meet," she says. "The conference is not a single-issue or single-country event, but offers a wide-ranging agenda that focuses on policy, specific sectors, and new trade and investment opportunities. It is intended to offer a space for the Caribbean and Central America to address common goals and concerns within a public forum." She also suggests that the conference enables, at a time when budgets are tight, participants to pursue either their own commercial or government agendas while being able to understand from the plenary sessions the bigger picture driving the private- or public-sector decision-making process in the US. Participants already confirmed to speak include representatives of the US administration, business leaders, international financing institutions, and government- and private-sector leaders from the region. Much of what happened in Grenada in the early 1980s, either in the region or beyond, has never been fully or honestly explained, but these are matters one day to be written about at length. More importantly, there is now a pressing need for a much stronger but balanced US-Caribbean relationship that recognises that the US, with Europe and Canada, remain the most significant trade and security partners at a time when, quite rightly, the region's relationships are diversifying in ways that embrace the interests of newer friends. David Jessop is director of the Caribbean Council. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Originally published by the Jamaica Gleanor at: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20131020/business/business9.html

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