Thursday 15th May, 2008

 
 
 
 
 
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Ariadna Perez

[email protected]

Moving forward together

The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) has been developing the Business Forum of the Greater Caribbean since 2000, following the Second Summit of the Heads of State and/or Government held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1999, when the need was expressed for the promotion and facilitation of trade and investments among the countries that make up the Greater Caribbean.

“The promotion of an enhanced economic space for trade and investment”, is among the objectives of the Association and it is for that reason that the governments of the countries that constitute the Greater Caribbean are cognisant of the importance of meetings between the entrepreneurs of the Island Caribbean and the Continental Caribbean and have proposed the annual hosting of the Business Forum of the Greater Caribbean, which was instituted by the ACS Special Committee on Trade Development and External Economic Relations.

The Business Forum seeks to create an environment for trade and investment that would help improve the competitiveness of the companies belonging to ACS countries, regardless of the States’ level of development or their export strategies.

This year, the 9th Business Forum of the Greater Caribbean will be held in Aruba, on September 23-25, where there will be meetings among entrepreneurs or business meetings, as well as conference cycles on trade and investment in the Greater Caribbean.

The objective of these sessions is to assist the regional entrepreneur to visualise trade and investment opportunities and to understand the obstacles that must be overcome in order for more efficient and effective trade to be conducted among the countries of the region.

There will also be, as at previous forums, a display of products by several companies, thereby facilitating the insertion of those products into other international markets.

The theme of this year’s Business Forum is “Moving Forward Together: Greater Caribbean Visions for the Future”, which signifies that the countries of the Greater Caribbean—the island Caribbean and the continental Caribbean—must advance together in today’s ever-changing economic world, where it is necessary for national export strategies to be constantly redefined, since each country requires clear rules in order to avoid obstacles to trade expansion.

This year, we must move forward together in Aruba, in this beautiful Caribbean island, which is strategically located and which has direct air connections, modern infrastructural facilities, state-of-the-art communication systems and services. Its people are multilingual and Aruba possesses a secure environment for investment and trade. The most dynamic sectors of its economy are tourism, oil refining, international trade and finance.

Moving Forward Together, we will succeed in creating a more competitive Greater Caribbean by developing new skills and knowledge to foster and develop intra-regional trade and enhance the flows of new and improved investments.

n Ariadna Pérez is the trade director of the Association of Caribbean States. The opinions expressed are not necessarily the official views of the ACS. Comments and reactions can be sent to [email protected]

 

 

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