Caribbean Ministers and Congress Meet To Improve Relations, Trade, and Security.

The Inter-American Economic Council convened a meeting of Foreign and Trade Ministers from the Caricom Member States and Members of Congress on May 23-25, 2004 in Miami, Florida.

"The meeting provided the Ministers with an opportunity to review the multi-lateral relationship between the United States and the Caricom Member States," said Council President Barry Featherman. The Trade Ministers met with a bipartisan group of members of the United States Congressional Caribbean Caucus and key business leaders from the Caribbean and South Florida. The issues discussed included the status of the FTAA negotiations, the third border initiative, port security, the patriot act, and foreign investment.

High-level ministerial delegations from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the Caricom Secretariat, the OAS and the Regional Negotiating Machinery were part of the discussions. Opening remarks were delivered by Council President Barry Featherman and the Lead Coordinator for Trade for Caricom, Dame Billie Miller, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. In addition to the meeting with Members of Congress the Ministers also discussed the FTAA negotiations and reviewed the experience of other governments in negotiating Free Trade. The Ministers dined with Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz and participated in a business roundtable moderated by Florida FTAA Chairman Ambassador Chuck Cobb.

"The Caribbean trade ministers meeting is a key component of our organization's Caribbean initiative," said Council President, Barry Featherman. "We are fully committed to realizing the potential opportunity that the FTAA offers the Caribbean countries, and to provide a forum for the Caribbean trade ministers to ensure that the FTAA negotiations produce an agreement that facilitates economic growth and development in the Caricom Member States"

According to Featherman, Miami was chosen for its close proximity to the Caribbean countries, the incomparable number of flights from the Caribbean to Miami, its state of the art facilities, and the city's experience in hosting important meetings of this type. Featherman also commended the excellent assistance provided by the Caricom Secretariat along with the state and city's leadership including Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz, Mayor of Miami-Dade County Alex Penelas, Ambassador Chuck Cobb and Florida FTAA President Jorge Arrizurieta.

Please click below to view pictures of the event and a copy of welcome remarks by Council President, Barry Featherman and the Hon. Dame Biller Miller of Barbados.

PICTURES: Caribbean Trade Ministerial Meeting

- Barry Featherman, Council President & CEO

- Hon. Dame Biller Miller - Minister, Foreign Affairs & Trade - Barbados

    Copyright 2002-2003 - Inter-American Economic Council - All Rights Reserved.
About Us    Initiatives    Membership    Events and Programs    Officers    Press Releases    Contact Us    About this site