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16 Caribbean Chambers of Commerce Form Network Chamber

Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2019. 2:30 pm CST.

BBN Staff: Executive Directors from sixteen (16) Chambers of Commerce across the Caribbean region gathered at the Accra Beach Resort and Spa in Barbados on April 1, 2019, for the Launch and First Official Meeting of the Network of Chambers of Commerce (CARICHAM).

On the first day of a two-day meeting, history was created with the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the Network.

Signatories were from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname.

Sandra Husbands, Minister of Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, delivered an opening address and gave an overview of how trade policy is set in Barbados and ways in which the Network of Chambers of Commerce can contribute to shaping trade policy agendas. 

Executive Director of the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry,  Carlos Wharton, outlined that the formalization of the Network was timely, with one of its core objectives being to create greater value for members across the region.

He noted that the objective of the meeting was to provide feedback which would allow the Network to craft a framework to serve their members effectively.

Wharton also highlighted the importance of the Chambers speaking with a united voice in an evolving environment where states have been facing increasing challenges related to trade and development at the regional and international levels. 

The meeting received presentations from various Chambers as well as Regional and International stakeholders from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Some of the thematic areas covered included:

  • Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and how partnerships can be formed with organizations like the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) to advance the action plan of CARICHAM;
  • Knowledge Sharing, Advocacy and Membership Value Creation; 
  • Regional and International Transport and Trade Facilitation.

Discussions amongst the Representatives from the Chambers across the region continue.


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