Florida conference to examine strategic business links with CARICOM, Cuba

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A conference to examine the strategic business links between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states, Cuba and the State of Florida is set to take place on Wednesday, February 10 at the Miramar Cultural Center.

The conference will place specific emphasis on examining trade and investment opportunities in agriculture, agribusiness, green energy and related sectors.

Dean of the CARICOM Diplomatic Corps in the United States,  Bayney Karran
Dean of the CARICOM Diplomatic Corps in the United States, Bayney Karran

The Trinidad and Tobago headquartered Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) will spearhead a special session that will address investment opportunities and incentives designed to reduce the Caribbean’s food import bill while identifying strategic links with Florida that could expand market access and trade.

There will also be a special session on Doing Business with Cuba which will focus on recent initiatives taken by United States President, Barack Obama to ease trade restrictions with Cuba.

According to the organisers of the event, the City of Miramar and Broward County, Florida will also make a special presentation on the operations of their free trade zones. Other sessions will deal with market access and financing trade and investment.

Director of CARICOM Outreach at Outreach Aid to the Americas (OAA) and chair of the conference Wesley Kirton noted that the conference’s mission is to identify strategies which would lead to expanded business relations among Florida, CARICOM and Cuba through examination of the new relationship which is now conducive to less complicated procedures and a more enabling environment for trade and investment.

The conference will be declared open by the Dean of the CARICOM Diplomatic Corps in the United States, His Excellency Bayney Karran of Guyana, while the keynote luncheon address will be delivered by the Honorable Rafael Contreras, Minister of Trade and Investment of Belize.

Among other speakers at the conference will be Mayor Wayne Messam of the City of Miramar; Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness; Executive Director of CARDI Barton Clarke; Dr. Mark Kirton, Director (ag.) International Relations Institute University of the West Indies (UWI); Mr. Oscar Spencer, Country Manager (ret’d) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Mr. Eldon Bremner, general manager (ret’d) Jamaica Pegasus Hotel; Michael Young, President of the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and a host of experts on Cuba including Dr. Teo Babun, Mercedes Costa, Manny Dominguez and Enrique J. Lopez.

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