Greater Caribbean Initiative

The Council launched its Caribbean Initiatives in January 2002 at the Organization of American States.

Following that event, the Council Organized a Business Roundtable in June, 2002 in Bridgetown, Barbados on the occasion of the Thirty-Second Regular Session of the Organization of American States. The Business Roundtable was convened under the auspices of the Government of Barbados as host of the General Assembly session, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Economic Council, and in collaboration with the Regional Chambers of Commerce and Multi-Lateral Institutions. For the Inaugural Programme, the Council convened 50 persons comprising corporate executives, government policy officials, and non-governmental organizations of the regional membership of the Organization of American States.

The overall theme of the Business Roundtable focused on promoting Economic Diversification and Regional Economic Development in the Caribbean. The Roundtable was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Barbados' Envoy for Technology Investment and Trade and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States. It included speeches by Regional Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, representatives of Multi-Lateral Institutions, the Caribbean Business Community and NGO's. The Majority of the participants at the Council's Business Roundtable would not otherwise have had access to the OAS General Assembly and its Government Participants.

The Roundtable was very successful. The event brought together a number of investors from the private sector, officials of Government and members of civil society who reviewed existing policies of the Tourism, the Financial Industry, Trade and Economic Diversification and made recommendations from an integrated public /private perspective. The results of the Roundtable have since been submitted to policy framers of the region and are being actively pursued by the Council with member States of the sub-region. A major follow up of the Encounter by the Council will be a Congressional and Business Delegation to the Region. It is the hope of the Council that this program will contribute to furthering the economic development of the sub-region

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